YoBrew Annual 2015
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Other drinks

Student's brew

One of the most popular brew items on YoBrew has been our student's brew. On a trip round our local Supermarket I decided to make some alcoholic drink without using my homebrew equipment. I was surprised to discover its actually quite easy to produce gallons of very cheap alco pops using standard items available in the average supermarket.

The Student's brew is documented in the Student's brew page


2 bottles of Red or white wine
1 orange
1 lemon
8oz sugar (227g)
Slice the orange and lemon thinly, and place half of each in two glass jugs, about 3 hours before the sangria will be required.
Add the wine to the fruit - one jug of white and one of red looks better according to the waitress in Majorca that spilled the beans on their national drink.
Taste before serving - if required, add a little sugar and stir well.
Add some ice cubes (purified water only)
Finally, enjoy at sunset with good friends & music.

(The waitress that passed on this info stressed not to then sing "ere we go, ere we go, ere we go")

High alcohol home brew

You can now brew drinks as strong as 21% alcohol which has started the new drive for home brewed (no distilling) copies of spirits + mixer e.g. Rum & coke, Gin & tonic.
I have just brewed the Coffee Rum. Very nice too. I think it is fair to point out that whilst the kit is well instructed, it is more involved than lower alcohol kits such as wine and beer kits. I think this kit will appeal more to the brewer that has already brewed a kit or two rather than the novice. The end result is good and I am told by fellow brewers that the peach schnapps is the best of the bunch.

Liqueurs (fruit infused spirit drinks)

To make your own liqueurs is easy but note these are non brewing recipes. They involve infusing fruit with spirits such as brandy, whisky, gin, etc. Choose very sound and preferably ripe fruit so that you extract the maximum of mature juice.

Blackberry brandy

1 bottle of brandy
1 lb blackberries
2 cloves
small pieces cinnamon
3 oz. sugar

1) Lightly crush the blackberries.
2) Put enough of the blackberries into bottles to half fill each bottle.
3) Add the cloves and the cinnamon pieces and the sugar and fill the bottle with brandy.
4) Cover tightly and leave for 3-4 months, shaking (shake every day for first 2 weeks then once a month)
5) Strain into another bottle or strain as you pour the latter will add the interest of having the fruit in the bottle as you pour.

Real Brandy

1) Make wine of the type of brandy you want (Use grape for normal brandy)

Blackberry wine for Blackberry brandy, Peach wine ...

2) Distil the wine to make a stronger brew. (40% Alcohol)
This is where we stop as distilling is a skill of its own and if not done correctly can be very dangerous. The alcohol fumes can blow up home made stills and the end result if not done by an expert can be toxic.
Don't let me stop you of course. There are am sure plenty of sites that go further down this avenue.

Maybe one day I'll do some YoStill rather than just YoBrew.

I am considering this and the way forwards I think is to produce Vodka.
1) Brew an alcoholic brew as High as possible. 14% - 20%
2) Distil this using a pot still
3) Filter the result through an activated charcoal filter. End result is high alcohol without the impurities.
Add Peach or other flavours as you wish. I understand this is pretty much the way peach schnapps is made.

Pete’s Traditional Lemonade

Ideal for a hot summers day & contains none of the nasty artificial chemicals you find in drinks mainly aimed (sorry, marketed) at kids. I first made this in the mid 80’s so it is traditional, the recipe was given to me by an old friend & so should really be called Frank Hargreaves’ Traditional Lemonade, but it’s not!

As with all recipes it may be a good idea to record the quantities and method used in order to “fine-tune” your next batch (assuming you are not too disheartened or ill).

For each LARGE UN-WAXED lemon use 25g of sugar & 250ml water. (Extra sugar can always be added later if required – it’s easier than removing it!)

EASY Instructions
1)         Thoroughly scrub & wash the lemons, thinly slice them into a heat-resistant jug, the pips can be removed. Add the sugar & the boiling water; stir to help dissolve the sugar.
2)         When cool, pour into a serving jug & place in the fridge although it may be drunk whilst hot.
3)         The lemonade may be poured through a coarse sieve when served but the bits can make it more interesting, the slices of lemon can be added.

NOT QUITE SO EASY Instructions
Apparently boiling the lemon juice destroys the vitamin C.
1)         Thoroughly scrub & wash the lemons, grate them into a heat-resistant jug, carefully avoiding the pith. Halve & juice the lemons into a serving jug. Chop the lemons up & add them & the sugar to the heat-resistant jug & pour on the boiling water, stir to help dissolve the sugar.
2)         When cool, pour into the serving jug containing the juice & place in the fridge although it may be drunk whilst hot.
3)         The lemonade may be poured through a coarse sieve when served but the bits can make it more interesting.

Variations of this recipe include Grapefruitade (for each LARGE grapefruit use 25g of sugar & 500ml water) & Orangeade (same quantities as the Lemonade).

You may be wondering what Lemonade is doing on a web site dedicated to alcoholic drinks, it could be considered as a “nice change” to try drinking something non-alcoholic (I’m seriously considering trying coffee next year) or even prove useful for a kids drink. It could also be a base for making Alcoholic Lemonade.

Alcoholic Lemonade

If a batch of Pete’s Traditional Lemonade was fermented with wine yeast & bottled with about 5g priming sugar per litre we would end up with a fizzy Lemonade around 5 or 6% alcohol. I have never tried this but we are in The Experimental Zone.

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