- This has been brewing for a while now - I'm going to check the OD and see how close it is to
needing the ol' copper magic.
I wanted to make a boukha has my stock from Tunisia is getting low, I've tried several varieties
and it seems that the trick to keeping it light ( as opposed to the almost oily nature of some of
them ) is to add sugar.
This is what seething - 2kg dried sycamore figs ( aka 'slit figs' - they have to be slit some time
before picking so that the wasp grubs present in side drop out.) 1kg Muscavado sugar, 1
bannana ( simply because it was overripe and needed using up ). Chopped the figs finely,
added the sugar and the bannana and made the volume up to one gal with water. Brought it
briefly to the boil, tried to ignore the number of grubs which clearly hadn't leaft and floated to
the top. Chucked the whole thing a fermenting bin, added another gallon of water and pitched
a high alcohol/champagne yeast mixted culture as soon as it was cool. It's fermenting in a
cool place with a loosely fitting lid ( I don't believe in air locks ). It smells of figs.
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- Strounge was inspired by the Tunisian 'eau-de-vie de figue', 'Boukha'
to make a mash from a wild relative 'Ficus sycamorus' (msgs 4321,
4457). But Tunisia is not the only place to ferment and distill figs.
I came across a reference to a Portuguese fig spirit - 'Arguadente de
figo' using I imagine the domesticated 'Ficus carica domestica'.
Fresh figs have a sugar content of 10% and dried figs have a sugar
content of about 55%. Strounge is not alone in using the Sycamore fig
- in Angola a spirit is also made from the wild 'Ficus sycamorus'.
The same Portuegese site also gave details of 'Aguardente de
medronho' (medronheira) or a spirit from the fruit of the 'Strawberry
Tree' (Arbutus unedo). In Spain the tree is calle 'madrono',in Italy
it is called 'corbezzolo' while in France (Corsica) it is called
'arbouse'. In Italy, a wine and a spirit is made from the fruit. A
liqueur is also made by steeping the fruit in alcohol. In Italy it is
called 'Liquore di Corbezzolo' while in France it is 'Liqueur a
l'arbouse' or 'Creme d'arbouse'. The mash is made from 1 part water &
5 parts fruit and the spirit is 40-50%abv.