Brandy has long been used as a base for Istrian liqueurs. It is used to extract medicinal ingredients, phytonutrients from fruits and herbs that grow, like treasures, in and around orchards, as well as in the forests and fields of Northwestern Istria, which I love so much.
Sweet liqueurs, loaded with antioxidants, protect against free radicals, round off savory meals and encourage digestion, especially if you love, like I do, to eat a bit more. This time, I bring you my own recipe for a home-made liqueur kissed by the winter sun and based on one of the most famous and healing Istrian brandies – biska.
I love the healthy mild bitterness of biska, especially if I am drinking it as an aperitif. But my desire was to achieve a drink that could be drunk as a digestif both before and after a meal, so I could enjoy the lovely taste – as well as the benefits! – of biska for a little while longer. Thus, today, my dears, we are fusing biska and limoncello! Yes, you read that right, in 2020 we are moving into new flavors and putting a smile on everyone’s face.
So, the recipe is very simple. You need ten lemons, untreated, of course. Then, three deciliters of water, the juice of one small or medium lemon (depends how sour you’d like it), 200 grams of sugar and one liter of biska based on lozovača, a grape brandy.
Carefully peel and dry lemon – the inner side of the peel should not have any white parts on it because biska is bitter enough on its own. Put the lemon zest in a large glass bottle and pour biska over it. Close it well and leave for two to three weeks. Stir the bottle occasionally, but do not open.
In the third week, boil the water to which you have added lemon juice and sugar. When the sugar has melted, cool down the resulting syrup completely. Mix the lemon zest biska with the syrup well and then strain into smaller bottles.