Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by Share My Kitchen
Old Bachelors’ Jam, bursting with the flavor of stone fruit and berries, is like summer in bottles. This fruit-infused, old-world liqueur is one the easiest recipes to make. This sweet and fruity liqueur will bring back the summer memories when the winter cold finally sets in.
What is Bachelors’ Jam?
Bachelor’s Jam is an old-world liqueur created through steeping summer fruits in brandy and sugar. Fruits, including cherries, berries, and plums, are added to flavor the brandy. These are left to steep in brandy for several months. You will get a sweet, fruity, and delicious liqueur when served on the rocks or poured over ice cream.
It is rooted in old French food preservation. Thus, it is more a technique rather than a recipe. In France, it is called Liqueur de View Garcon. People used to rely on other methods of food preservation that didn’t require low temperatures before the existence of refrigeration.
Consider using salt to ferment veggies, sugar to create jam, or vinegar to make pickles. Soaking fruit in alcohol, such as vodka, brandy, or rum, was a traditional method of preserving fruit.
This method is how thrifty chefs made classic recipes like brandied cherries and noyaux. Bachelor’s jam is a variation of the same idea.
What’s in it?
Bachelor’s Jam’s three key components are fruit, sugar, and strong alcohol. You may use whatever summer fruit you like. Stone fruit and berries, on the other hand, are excellent selections. Add fruit to the pot to produce the ideal jam as it comes into season.
- Bachelor’s Jam is all about summer fruit. As soon as the fruit is in season, add it to your crock—for example, strawberries in the early summer. Next, you can add apricots and cherries, followed by blackberries and plums in late summer.
- Several recipes call for brandy, a kind of strong liquor. It has a sweet apple flavor that goes nicely with other fruits. However, you may substitute other hard liquors if you’d like; comparable recipes sometimes call for vodka and rum.
- Sugar not only sweetens the liqueur but also helps preserve the fruit for long-term storage. Traditionally, cane sugar was the norm. But, you can also use maple syrup, palm sugar, or honey if that is what you prefer.
Tips When Making Bachelors’ Jam
It’s pretty straightforward to make a Bachelor’s Jam. It’s easy enough to make even for an old bachelor without cooking skills.
Start by layering fresh fruit with sugar, then adding brandy enough to cover them. You would then add layers of fruit, sugar, and brandy as the summer progresses. For the most delicate taste from your liqueur, let the fruit marinate in the sugar-sweetened brandy for many months. Please don’t open it until the winter cold sets in.
What to Keep in Mind when Making Old Bachelors’ Jam
Bachelor’s Jam needs an element of flexibility when made. The best thing to do is use what fruits are in season and keep the pot going until winter. It’s one of the easiest liqueurs to make at home. However, you should be aware of a few things.
- Flexibility is a virtue. It should be good if there is enough vodka or brandy in the fruit. Also, keep some room in the jar for fresh fruit, so you can add them as they come into season.
- Use good-tasting, ripe fruit. The liqueur you make will taste only as good as its ingredients. Therefore, make sure to add ripe, sweet, flavorful fruit. You may use fruit free from soft spots and avoid fruit close to being spoiled or over-ripe.
- Consider weighing the fruit with glass fermentation weights if it floats to the top. This way will ensure that the fruit remains submerged in the alcohol.
- Seal the jar with a non-reactive lid. Metal lids can rust when exposed to alcohol, so make sure you use a plastic cover or another non-reactive one. Line them with wax paper to prevent corrosion when you only have metal lids.
- Be patient. You can serve the drink any time, but it is best to wait at least three months before trying it. Traditionally, the crock is opened, and the liqueur is shared during Christmas.
Old Bachelors’ Jam Recipe
|Prep Time||Infusion||Total Time||Servings|
|5 mins||90 days||90 days 5 mins||16 (1 quart)|
- ¾ pound mixed summer fruit (berries, cherries, peaches, plums, etc.)
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup brandy (plus additional, if needed)
- 1 Quart-sized Jar
- Take out the pits of any stone fruits, and cut large fruit into bite-sized pieces. You can leave berries whole if they are firm.
- Place the prepared fruit in the bottom of a quart-sized jar, then sprinkle the sugar on top. Add the brandy, and increase the amount to submerge the fruit by an inch if needed. If the fruit floats to the top of the jar, you can weigh it down using a small saucer or a glass weight. Then, seal the pot with a non-reactive lid.
- Place the jam in a cupboard, and store it away from heat and light for at least three months. Keep the jam in the dark cupboard at room temperature for up to 1 year.