For now, let's talk about rượu Mai Quế Lộ.
Mai Quế Lộ is a special kind of liquor that has a variety of herbs soaked in it for the special flavor that nothing can substitute. This special liquor has been used in making a variety of dishes such as Chinese pork sausage (lạp xưởng) or moon cake (bánh trung thu) or roast duck (vịt quay).
Mai Quế Lộ can be purchased in store also, but very pricey, about $22.00 for a 12-ounce jar, the last I checked. It’s very simple to make and if you are like me, take pride in making everything from scratch, you will like making this yourself.
The Mid-Autumn festival is coming in 3 months. We should start soaking herbs in the liquor today so we have it ready to make the moon cake for the festival in 3 months.
1 bottle of Vodka (1.75 litre)
10 pieces of star anise seeds (hột hồi/tai vị)
30 whole cloves (đinh hương)
30 black pepper corn (tiêu hột)
4 cinamon sticks (quế)
4 pieces of dried orange peels (vỏ quit khô)
Roast all dried ingredients, except orange peels. Let cool.
Wash dried orange peels and dry with paper towel.
Add everything to vodka.
Let soak for at least 3 months before using.