Saturday, May 01, 2010

Homemade Kahlua and Raspberry Infused Vodka

Refreshing Beverage of the Week
Yes, fancy schmancy liquor can be very pricey, but there are some delicious libations you can make at home. Here are two suggestions. The one thing to remember is these concoctions need to age, so plan ahead!

Homemade Kahlua

4 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups water
1 vanilla bean, cut in half
3/4 cup freeze-dried coffee (like Café Bustelo instant espresso)
1/4 cup hot water
2 cups brandy
2 cups vodka or Everclear
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Combine sugar, water, and vanilla bean in a large heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let boil 15 minutes to let the sugar dissolve completely. Remove from heat. Combine coffee with the hot sugar syrup mix well. Return to heat and simmer on low heat for 6 minutes; do not boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Remove vanilla beans.

When cool, add brandy or vodka, and then add the vanilla extract. Pour into bottles and cap tightly. Store in a cool dark place, and let age at least 1 month before serving.

Raspberry Vodka

4 Cups Vodka
2 Cups Sugar
1 Lb. Fresh Red Raspberries
Large container with tightly fitting lid

Add vodka, sugar, and raspberries to large container, cover, and store in a cool, dark place. Every week open container and stir well. After about two months, strain liquid through a fine sieve into a bottle and store in refrigerator or freezer. This is a traditional and widely used method of flavoring vodka, and works well with any fresh fruit.