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How to Make Apricot Nectar

I am blending apricots as we speak and cannot find a recipe for apricot nectar! Do I put pectin in it? Do I put lemon juice in it? Can you find me a recipe?

We really thought this was going to be the easy question of the day. It wasn't.

First of all, there is really no such thing as nectar — that is, there is no specific juice or type of juice that constitutes a nectar. After consulting a dozen reference books, we now know or have been reminded that nectar is a) the drink of the gods in both Greek and Roman mythology; b) by extension, any sublime beverage; and c) the sugary liquid that bees find so attractive in flowers.

Beyond that, one source, (Webster's New World Dictionary of Culinary Arts), refers to nectar in the United States as "undiluted fruit juice or a mixture of fruit juices," while in France, it is the "diluted, sweetened juice of peaches, apricots, guavas, black currants, or other fruits, the juice of which would be too thick or too tart to drink straight."

The second problem, after finding conflicting definitions of nectar, is to find a recipe. Unfortunately, in this day of health-oriented cookbook publishing, all the juice books are about how to repair your spleen with a concoction of passion fruit pulp, grapefruit pith, wheat germ, and massive doses of vitamin C. None of our many juice books has anything resembling what we imagine apricot nectar to be.

On reflection, we have decided that making apricot nectar is actually much easier than doing all kinds of fruitless research to find out about it. Our humble suggestion is as follows:

Blend your apricots. If the result is too thick to drink, add some water. If you plan to drink it right away, add some sparkling water instead (it may not qualify as nectar with sparkling water, but who cares? ). If it seems too tart, add some sugar. We would either add superfine or instant-dissolving sugar or we would go to the trouble to make a sugar syrup, so that we didn't run across undissolved grains of sugar in our drink (a true nectar would not have undissolved grains of sugar in it). We like the idea of adding a little lemon juice, even if it requires adding a little extra sugar to offset the tartness. The lemon juice will help maintain the apricots' pretty color.

We do not care for the idea of adding pectin, which would only serve to thicken the juice, and would be more useful in making apricot preserves.

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