Kahlua, Brizard, Tia Maria, Bahia, Irish Velvet, Illy, Bahia, Sabroso, and any other number of coffee liqueurs are on the market around the world. New ones seem to appear every day. I will leave you to judge each on its own merits; or, how about creating your very own coffee liqueur. It is incredibly easy. Just assemble:
- 1 cup dark-roast coffee beans, unground
- 2 cups vodka, whiskey or brandy
- 1/4 vanilla bean
- 1 sterilized pint (one-half liter) bottle with cap
- sugar to taste, if desired
- Simply combine the coffee beans, vanilla bean and liquor in the bottle.
- Add quick-dissolving sugar to taste, if desired-but no more than about a third of a cup. You might find that you prefer the taste of unsweetened coffee liqueur, as opposed to most over sweetened commercial liqueurs.
- Within less than a day you will see the liquor change color as it takes on the essence of the roasted beans. After about a week, begin tasting it to see if it meets your standards of coffee flavor.
- As soon as you approve, strain the liqueur into a decanter and discard the coffee beans and the vanilla. You can savor your home-made liqueur after dinner, with a hot cup of coffee. Or use it as an amazing topping for ice cream or other desserts.