Fool’s Errand, by Robin Hobb
Chapter IV of Fool’s Errand is one that stays with you. A beautiful reunion scene in which old friends come together, break bread, and drink honeyed apricot brandy.
Apricot brandy is available commercially, but it can be difficult to find and often it tastes synthetic and kinda bad. While I eagerly awaited the release of Assassin’s Fate, my mind returned to Fool’s Errand and its gorgeous reunion. I set out to make my own Sandsedge Brandy, just in case I found that Assassin’s Fate made me feel like I needed a reminder of happier times. This infusion is sweet and smooth, with a pleasant mouthfeel and a strong apricot flavor. It takes around 4-8 weeks to fully infuse, but it’s well worth the wait.
You will need:
- A jar or two (I used two large mason jars)
- 1 bottle of brandy (I used Courvoisier)
- 1.5 cups of water
- 0.5 cups of sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 lb dried apricots
Combine water, sugar, and honey in a saucepan and set to medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.
Combine the syrup with the dried fruit and brandy in your jar (divide evenly between jars if you’re using more than one). Give the jar a good shake and then leave in a cool, dark place for 4-8 weeks.
Line a strainer with cheesecloth and strain the brandy into a clean bowl or measuring jug. Transfer to a container of your choice (I used a decanter).
The brandied apricots are delicious with vanilla ice cream, or can be used to make jam if you’re so inclined. 🙂