Re: Cactus Likker?
Your Saguaro cactus fruits are indeed capable of making wine. As Harry mentioned,the O'Odham Indians make wine out of the boiled fruits and then grind the seeds up to make flour and the pulp to make jams.
However, unless you can buy the fruit commerially, you may run into some problems. First off, the O'Odhams consider the catus as a being and honor it. The wine they make from it is a sacrid wine used in the yearly ritualistic Saguaro wine festivals they hold each year to promote rain... Im not sure how well they would appreciate it if we started using their sacrid fruits to make some of that there "White Man's Fire Water" lol....
Also, the Saguaro cactus flower is the state flower of Arizona and the catus is strictly governed by state law - it cannot be harmed in any way or even cut down without state concent.
It also seems a bit labor intensive to havest the fruits since they only grow on the very tops of the catus (which grow over 30 feet tall) They cant be climbed (unless your crazy hehe) the way the palm trees can to harvest the palm flower sap for making palm wine "Toddy" in the islands.
The only way to do it is with a long pole like so:
Theres a good description of how the O'Odhams make their wine at: http://www.ic.arizona.edu/~agave/ceram_feast04c.htm
Vino es Veritas,
Jim aka Waldo.
PS> I like the name "Sticker Likker" meself
--- In email@example.com, "wyobrunson" <wyobrunson@...> wrote:
> Here is an interesting thing I discovered that perhaps someone
> could help me with. I live in the desert Southwest, surrounded
> by large Saguaro cactus. during this time of year they produce
> a large purplish fruit that the Tohono Odham Indians harvest to
> make jellies and candies. I've sampled the fruit and it is very
> sweet and I thought Hmmmm.... "I wonder if this stuff would be
> ferment able". perhaps someone has tried this already? I'm not a
> wine maker and I'm really happy with my corn likker but this
> could interesting. I see Tony Ackland has a section devoted to
> Fermenting on fruits. should I look there first? is it actually
> a fruit? And if it works, what am I gonna call it? Cactus Likker?
> Desert Moonshine? Saguaro Brandy? Sticker Whiskey? oh, I could go
> on and on. any input would be greatly appreciated. thanks.