A liqueur is an alcoholic drink composed of distilled spirits and additional flavourings such as sugar, fruits, herbs, and spices. They are typically heavily sweetened and un-aged beyond a resting period during production, when necessary, for their flavours to mingle.
While most liqueurs can be consumed neat or on the rocks, they are best known to enhance cocktails. Liqueurs make cocktails such as Margaritas, Cosmopolitans, Sex On The Beach etc interesting. Some of the most famous liqueurs found worldwide are Cointreau, Sambuca, Kahlua, Amaretto, Jägermeister etc.
However, in India, it is rather difficult to find liqueurs on the shelves, especially during the lockdown. But worry not, here’s bringing five liqueurs that you can make at home, along with the cocktails you can use them for.
Triple sec (orange) or limoncello (lime) liqueurs are possibly the most famous liqueurs that go into a number of classic cocktails like LIIT, Sidecar, Lemon Drop, Singapore Sling etc. What if we told you that you could make it at home inexpensively? All you need is 2 cups tangerine or orange juice, 3 cups sugar, 1 cup water and a 750 ml vodka bottle. Once you’ve dissolved the sugar in water and created a syrup, all you have to do is let it cool and then mix in the flavour and spirit. Refrigerate it till it cools down and you’re done.
No bar is complete without coffee liqueurs like Kahlua and Tia Maria that produce a variety of cocktails like Black Russian and Midnight Martini among others. It looks complicated but making a coffee liqueur at home could not be easier. The recipe requires you to medium heat 2 cups of water, 1 piece of vanilla bean, and 3 cups of sugar in a small saucepan. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in about 8 tablespoons of instant coffee. Shake it well with 750ml of rum and leave it in a cool and dry place for 10 days. Every couple of days, give the bottle a shake. Strain and enjoy.
If you are a fan of Sambuca or Absinthe, you’ll love this fennel-infused liqueur that’s a perfect digestive or aperitif. All you have to do is combine 750ml vodka with 250 grams of fennel and 350 ml of sugar syrup. Cover this mixture up and let it sit for four days. Strain out the solids and there have it – your very own anise-flavoured liqueur. Add anise seeds, white onion or celery for a more customised taste.
This could apply to nearly anything – strawberries, peaches, apricots. Simply chop the fruit, cook it briefly just to soften it and use an immersion blender to puree the fruit. Combine it with vodka and let the mash sit overnight. Strain it and voila, you’ve got a fully flavoured homemade colourful liqueur ready to jazz up your cocktails. Whether you combine these with your Daiquiris or Mojitos is up to you. Just use the corresponding garnish and you can impress any guest who comes home.
Irish liqueur is an essential component of drinks such as Mudslide or a B-52 shot, or just to be sipped over crushed ice. You’re surely familiar with Baileys – the liqueur that can provide smoothness and sweetness to any whisky. It could not be easier to make at home.
Simply throw 200 ml whisky, 200 ml sweetened and condensed milk, 90 ml heavy cream, ½ tablespoon instant coffee granules and chocolate syrup into a blender or food processor and give the whole thing a whirl. Keep the mixture refrigerated and tightly sealed, and it should last you up to two months.
We’re sure you must have realized by now that there are no questionable ingredients, just the flavour you’re looking for, a touch of sugar and spirit. Best of all, you don’t have to wait for months for the taste to develop, these liqueurs can be ready to drink from a couple of days to a week. Keep in mind though, the longer you keep it, the better the flavours will blend together and create a smoother finish.
Which liqueur are you planning to make first? Let us know in the comments below.