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!

DIY Grenadine

grenadine2Grenadine ain’t just for Shirley Temples. When made right, it can add more than sweetness and color to a drink. (Try a Jack Rose cocktail!) I like to add pomegranate molasses and rosewater to give the grenadine some depth and complexity. You can leave them out, but you’ll have a flatter, more one-dimensional syrup. (So, like, don’t leave them out, OK?)


2 cups pomegranate juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 teaspoons rose water

Cook pomegranate juice on medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and cook about 5 more minutes, until it forms a syrup. Add pomegranate molasses, cook and stir for 2 more minutes

After the syrup cools, pour into glass container and rosewater. Refrigerate for up to one month, adding vodka to preserve if desired.

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

DIY Advocaat

20121230-231729-diyvsbuy-advocaatIf you want to inject a little Dutch hospitality into your Christmas, try Advocaat! Though it’s often called Dutch eggnog, this treat is a creamy brandy custard with a pudding-like texture.

(makes about 4 servings)

10 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
cinnamon to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon)
2/3 cup vodka
1 cup brandy

Put an inch of water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce to low heat. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Whisking and pour in the liquor.

Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk as it cooks. When the mixture is thick enough to form a coat on the back of a spoon, it’s done cooking. (about 8 minutes or least 130°F). Take the bowl off the heat and whisk in vanilla. Transfer into a glass container and refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours before serving.

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