Perk up your favorite cocktail with a little homemade coffee liqueur! Our favorite is a recipe from A.J. Rathbun (author of Luscious Liqueurs):
- 1/4 cup instant espresso powder
- 2 & 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup whole coffee beans of your choice
- 3 cups brandy
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Combine instant espresso powder, sugar and water in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat; stir occasionally until mixture is almost at a boil.
- Lower heat & keep it at a low simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let syrup cool completely in the pan.
- Put syrup, coffee beans and brandy in a glass container with a tight lid, stir well.
- Seal and place the container in a cool, dry spot away from sunlight.
- Let mixture sit for 2 weeks — swirling it occasionally.
- After 2 weeks, add vanilla, stir again and reseal. Let it sit again for 2 more weeks in a cool, dry spot away from sunlight.
- Carefully strain liqueur through a double layer of cheesecloth into a pitcher.
- Strain again through two new layers of cheesecloth into one large bottle or a number of smaller bottles — your preference.
Makes about 3 pints.