Rice ‘Whisky’

This recipe is adapted from Marguerite Patten’s 1963 book “500 Recipes for Home-Made Wines and Drinks” though the quantities have been adjusted to be more convenient and correspond to the typical sizes in which the ingredients are packaged. This recipe has the advantage of requiring few special ingredients beyond the basics and makes a delicious beverage like dilute bourbon.


2 kg pudding/risotto/short grain rice, uncooked
750 g raisins
2 kg sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice (About 1.5 lemons) or 4.5 grammes (1 teaspoon) citric acid
0.25 teaspoon pectic enzyme
6.7 l water
High alcohol yeast per directions


Heat the water to 90 degrees and allow to cool back down to 50. (Alternatively treat the water by adding 0.44 g sodium metabisulphite or one crushed campden tablet and leave covered with a cloth for 24 hours then warm it up a bit.)
Add the raisins, rice, sugar, and citric acid or lemon juice. If the temperature is below 50 degrees add the pectolase (You can leave this out but it helps extract the flavour from the raisins and reduce haze in the finished product.)
Hydrate the yeast and when the temperature falls below 30 degrees pitch it into the must and whisk to aerate.
Put under airlock or cover tightly with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place for twelve days, stirring once a day for the first three days.
Once the twelve days are up, check that there are no fermentation bubbles, and the liquor should be clearing, if not then wait a couple more days.
Rack the liquor and if it is not clear wait a few days and rack again. You can apply fining techniques but it should not be required.
Transfer to glass bottles or a stone crock to mature somewhere cool for 6 months.

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