I Still Need a Still…

img_6564Yesterday I saw this little gem in the 50% off cart at the bookstore. The opening chapter makes it seem like distilling one’s own spirits is a breeze!

While I most certainly am looking forward to creating liquor from scratch, that day lies waiting somewhere in the future. Coming up early next week, however, is a overview on the result of my first attempt at making 11 different varieties of Cocktail Blueberries!

The closing chapter of this book has a wide array of cocktail recipes that I believe would translate quite nicely into drinks made with whiskey, rum, and vodka infusions for anyone looking to jazz up their next holiday party!

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Fancy Sugar Cubes

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• 1/4 Cup- Sugar

• 1/2 tsp- Water

  1. Mix sugar and water until it reaches an even consistency.
  2. Press mixture into molds (I picked up these 1/2 cube trays in the candle-making section at the craft store) and let sit at room temperature overnight.

Now for a tasty twist on this classic try using fruit juice or muddling fresh fruit and/or herbs into the sugar for flavored sugar cubes.

Here I muddled fresh Mint Leaves into Pomegranate Juice. Stay tuned for a Pomegranate-Mint Rum Old Fashioned!

Homemade Coffee Liqueur: Vanilla, Cinnamon, or Chocolate?

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Medley Drink Designs Coffee Liqueur:

  • 1/3 Cup- Coffee Crystals
  • 2 Cup- Sugar
  • 3 1/3 Cup- Vodka
  • 1 Cup- Water
  • 1 Vanilla bean/Cinnamon Stick/TBS Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  1. Mix Coffee Crystals, Sugar, Vodka, and Water until everything has dissolved.
  2. Pour into seal-able container, and add flagrant of your choice (Vanilla bean/Cinnamon Stick/Cocoa Powder).
  3. Let sit for 2 weeks, then pour through a fine mesh strainer.

By my calculations the end result of this process will be a roughly 20% ABV flavored coffee liqueur that is thoroughly enjoyable IN coffee, on the rocks, and mixed into cocktails (ever wondered what a Cinnamon White Russian tastes like?).


On a recent whiskey-bound trip through the liquor isle of the supermarket I paused and took note of how many variants of Coffee Liqueur there are these days. When I turned 21 and sought to fill out my home bar I seem to recall only having that trusty bottle of Kahlúa available.

I also didn’t have such a robust internet available, so DIY recipes for coffee liqueurs were not readily accessible. Above is the result of the research and development that I have personally executed on crafting homemade coffee liqueurs. The original recipe I found called for a Vanilla Bean-infused & sweetened Coffee + Vodka solution.

I am here to tell you that not only is it delicious, but the Cinnamon & Cocoa variants I tried out make for superb White Russians, as well!

Happy Brunch, folks!

Homemade Coffee Liqueur: Vanilla, Cinnamon, or Chocolate?

img_6141I know where the whiskey is, and sometimes after work my feet take me directly to its spot on the shelf, make an about face, and bee-line it for the checkout lane. Last visit, however, my feet were in a meandering mood and stopped me in front of the Coffee Liqueur section. It was at this point I discovered the abundance of coffee-flavored liqueurs—which was followed immediately by an upwelling of curiosity as to what undiscovered means of enriching your basic Kahlúa.

Luckily the internet abounds with recipes to replicate this classic, and my first step is to find one that can stand up to the original. My second step should be to modify that recipe with other exciting flavors that would pair well with Coffee. But since these recipes take 2-3 weeks (it’s an infusion of Vanilla & Coffee Crystals into a Simple Syrup & Vodka solution) and I don’t care to abide patience where I can help it I’m attempting Vanilla, Cinnamon, and Cocoa separately and simultaneously.

In mid-September they’ll be ready to sample, and as soon as I have a suitable recipe worked out I’ll make it available here, and begin working on more flavors!

Homemade Coffee Creamer (Amaretto Version!)

Amaretto Coffee Creamer:

  • 3.5 Cups- Water
  • 1.0 Cup- Granulated Sugar
  • 0.5 Cup- Brown Sugar
  • 2 TBL- Almond Extract
  • 2 tsp- Vanilla Extract
  • Milk or Heavy Cream

 

  1. Combine Water, Sugar, and Brown Sugar in a pot on the stove and heat until all sugar has dissolved, and a hot syrup results
  2. Let syrup cool
  3. Add and mix Almond and Vanilla Extracts
  4. Brew your favorite mug of coffee and add Amaretto Syrup and Milk/Cream to taste!

Like many Americans willing to be honest about it, my girlfriend and I sometimes love a good dram of flavored coffee creamer in our coffee. However, we at the same time dislike spending the seemingly $937 that one must shell out to stock our house with a single week’s worth of delicious flavored coffee creamers.

Thus, a quick check of the internet revealed that it can be exceptionally easy AND economical to make flavored coffee enhancements at home! Above is the recipe for Amaretto Coffee Creamer that I have tweaked and developed. Stay tuned for the Irish Coffee Creamer version next week!