How to Make Your Own Liqueurs

Making your own liqueur might seem like a daunting, complex task, but that really couldn't be any farther from the truth. Even the novice cook can make a batch of cough-inducing liqueur. Tons of options allow you to vary the strength of your concoction as well as the flavoring used.

In its simplest form, making your own liqueur requires of a container, a base spirit, sugar, and a flavoring agent. To make a homemade batch of liqueur, you will need a container. The best to use is a glass jug. Plastics, unless really high grade (think pharmaceutical), will let off a smell and alter the taste of your drink. Unless you have a recipe calling for a specific spirit, it is best to use something flavorless, such as vodka, for your base spirit. You could use rum, whiskey, and even wine; however, you should be careful which ingredients you mix with them, or you could end up with some odd-tasting drinks!

Here is a simple recipe for a popular coffee liqueur. To try different flavors, such as fruits, it is best to find a specific recipe for a liqueur. These can be easily found in liqueurs and cocktails recipe books, or even better, for free online. The options are endless.

What you will need for a coffee liqueur:

2 ounces of instant coffee powder (You can play around with different coffee tastes here; try your favorite brew, perhaps?)

3 1/2 cups of white sugar

2 cups of boiling water

1 pint of vodka

1 whole vanilla bean

Metal spoon, or a stirrer


Clean pot or bowl to mix ingredients in (must be able to take the heat of boiling water)

Glass containers to store your liqueur in (Mixture can be stored in two 26-ounce bottles, so calculate accordingly if you are planning to use smaller containers.)


1. Put sugar and coffee into a bowl and mix; add boiling water, then stir until dissolved.

2. Let cool completely.

3. Split the vanilla equally between your containers.

4. Add vodka to your liquid mixture, stir again.

5. Pour the liqueur mixture into your containers, using a funnel if needed.

6. Close the containers tightly.

7. Let sit, undisturbed, at least a month in a dark, cool place.

There is lots of room for experimenting, and you really can't go wrong as long as you make a mixture that pleases your taste buds.

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