Mother had a tradition of making Homemade Liqueurs for her friends during the holidays. I’ve carried on the tradition by making a few batches each year.
It takes no special equipment to make these, All you need is some jars with tight-fitting lids.
Below are the family recipes which have been protected for years.
Note: Turn liqueur jars over once every 3-4 days after recipes are completed to disperse alcohol and properly age liqueur. Store in a dark, cool spot.
Basic Sugar Syrup #1 for Homemade Liqueurs
1 lemon 3 cups granulated sugar 2 cups water
Pare very finely, the bright-colored rind from the lemon (no white). Blot peel on paper toweling to remove any excess oil. Combine the sugar, water, and skin in a saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring often. Lower the temperature; simmer for 5 minutes. Strain syrup into a glass container and cool to room temp before preparing liqueurs.
Basic Sugar Syrup #2 for Homemade Liqueurs
1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar 1 cup granulated sugar 2 cups of water
Combine brown and granulated sugars and water in a large saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring often. Lower the heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Pour syrup into a glass container and cool to room temperature before preparing liqueurs.
Crème de Menthe (Makes about 1 ¼ pints)
1 1/3 cup vodka 1 ¼ cup Basic Syrup #1
½ tsp peppermint extract 2 tsp vanilla
a few drops green food coloring
Combine vodka, sugar syrup, peppermint extract and vanilla in a 4-cup screw-top jar. Stir in just enough green food coloring to tint liquid to a bright green. Close jar. Store in a cool dark place for at least 1 week to age.
Cherry Liqueur (Makes about 1 ¼ pints)
1 1/3 cups vodka 1 ¼ Basic Syrup #1
2 tsp cherry extract (or strawberry) 1 tsp vanilla
A few drops red food coloring
Combine vodka, sugar syrup, cherry extract and vanilla in a 4-cup screw-top jar. Stir in just enough red food coloring to tint liquid to a bright red. Close jar. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 1 week to age.
Chocolate Liqueur (Makes about 1 ¼ pints)
1 1/3 c vodka 1 ¼ c Basic Syrup #2
3 tsp Chocolate Extract 2 tsp vanilla extract
Stir vodka, sugar syrup, chocolate extract, and vanilla in a 4-cup screw-top jar until well blended. Close jar. Store in a cool dark place for at least one week to age. Note: For chocolate-mint liqueur, add ¼ tsp peppermint extract to the above mixture.
Coffee Liqueur (Makes about 1 ½ pints)
1 ½ cup Basic Syrup #2 ¼ cup instant coffee powder
1 1/3 cup vodka 2 tsp vanilla
Prepare as above
Crème de Framboises (Raspberry Liqueur)
1 1/3 cup vodka ¾ cup Basic Syrup #1
½ cup bottled red raspberry syrup 2 tsp vanilla
Prepare as above (Can substitute blackberry syrup)
So, there you have it! Make your recipe as soon as possible so they have a chance to age before New Year’s Eve.
Click here for some additional tips.