DIY Chocolate Liqueur

chocolateliqueur

Delicately sweet with a hint of bitterness, a homemade chocolate liqueur (aka creme de cacao) is like an expensive dark chocolate bar in your drink instead of like a jigger of Nestle Quik. Give it as a Christmas gift or use it in holiday cocktails!

DIY Chocolate Liqueur
1 1/3 cup vodka
2/3 cup cacao nibs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a sealable glass jar, steep the cacao nibs in the vodka for 8 days. Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Once cooled, add this syrup and vanilla extract to the jar. Leave steeping for one more day. Strain and filter into a bottle or jar for storage.

The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column.

DIY Spiced Rum

spicedrum-2
Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of spiced rum! Skip the Captain Morgan, because making your own is so easy. Try your DIY Spiced Rum in a Dark ‘n’ Stormy or any other cocktails you’d normally use the store-bought stuff in.

Spiced Rum
3 cups light rum
1/2 cup gold rum
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
zest of half an orange
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
3 allspice berries
1 star anise pod, broken
2 cardamom pods
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
1 slice of ginger, roughly the size of a nickel
3 black peppercorns

Combine ingredients in a glass jar. Let steep for two days. Sample to check flavor and make possible adjustments. Steep for up to five days, shaking daily. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the larger items and then strain again through a coffee filter into a bottle.

The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column.

DIY Peach Liqueur

diypeachliqueurSummer fruit! If you’re lucky enough to have too many peaches (or have some in the freezer), then here’s a DIY liqueur project that will allow you to add a little summer to your cocktails even after the season’s over.

DIY Peach Liqueur

1 cup vodka
2 peaches, pitted and chopped
3 inch piece of lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water

Steep vodka, peach, and lemon zest for 2 days. Taste. If the peach flavor is too weak, steep for another day. Strain and filter mixture through through two layers of cheesecloth, pressing down to extract liquid.

Make simple syrup by heating sugar and water for about five minutes. Once cooled, mix simple syrup with the peach infusion. Let rest for a minimum of one day.

The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column.

DIY Raspberry Liqueur

DIY raspberry liqueurThis homemade raspberry liqueur is perfect for adding to Champagne! The combination of wine and brandy makes for a complex complement to the raspberries. Use your DIY raspberry liqueur the way you would Chambord raspberry liqueur. Or come up with new recipes. (Psst: It’s great in Sangria.)


DIY Raspberry Liqueur

12 ounces raspberries
1/2 cup brandy
2 cups dry red wine
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 tablespoon zest (about one lemon)
1 cup sugar

Muddle the raspberries in a glass jar just enough to release the juice. Add wine, seal and shake the jar. In a separate jar, combine the brandy, vanilla bean and lemon zest. Steep jars separately for two days.

Strain the raspberry/wine through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Set aside one cup of this strained mixture. Combine the rest of the mixture with the sugar in a saucepan and heat on medium about five to seven minutes — until it’s a syrup. Let it cool.

Strain the brandy in the same way, then combine infused brandy with the cooled raspeberry/wine syrup and the reserved cup of raspberry/wine mixture. Let the final combination rest for two days at room temperature.

The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column.

DIY Bottled Cocktails

Bottled Cocktails by Wendy Rose Gould

Bottled Cocktails by Wendy Rose Gould

Lots of bars have jumped on the trend of serving housemade cocktails that they’ve bottled. You can do this at home. (I haven’t, but it’s on my to-do list!)

Tales of the Cocktail has a great photo tutorial about how to bottle a cocktail (with recipes, of course). If you try it before I do, let me know how it goes!