Imagine a liqueur that is not only a delight to sip on a cool evening, but also a versatile companion for culinary adventures.
Whether drizzled over a sumptuous dessert, mixed into a sophisticated cocktail or enjoyed neat, this chocolate liqueur promises to be a luxurious treat that enchants the palate.
Made with care, patience and a dash of creativity, the recipe I am about to share is designed for both beginners and experienced bartenders.
So gather your ingredients and create a bottle of liquor that speaks of your passion for rich, chocolaty elegance.
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups cacao nibs or high-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher), finely chopped
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups Everclear (151 proof recommended for liqueur making)
- 1 cup heavy cream (optional, for a creamy version)Instructions:
- Simple Syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow the simple syrup to cool to room temperature.
- Infusion: Place the cacao nibs or chopped chocolate into a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add the vanilla bean or vanilla extract to the jar.
- Mix with Everclear: Pour the Everclear over the chocolate and vanilla. Seal the jar and shake it to mix the ingredients.
- Steep: Let the mixture steep in a cool, dark place for at least a week. The longer you let it steep, the more pronounced the chocolate flavor will be. Shake the jar once a day to help the flavors meld.
- Strain: After the steeping period, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove all the solid particles. If you used cacao nibs, you might need to strain multiple times to get a clear liquid.
- Combine with Simple Syrup: Mix the infused Everclear with the cooled simple syrup. Stir well to combine.
- (Optional) Add Cream: For a creamy chocolate liqueur, gently heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it’s warm but not boiling. Gradually mix the warm cream into the chocolate and Everclear mixture until well combined.
- Bottle: Pour the chocolate liqueur into a clean bottle with a tight seal. If you’ve made the creamy version, make sure to refrigerate it.
- Age: Allow the liqueur to age for at least another week before consuming. This will help the flavors to mellow and blend together.
- Serve: Enjoy your homemade chocolate liqueur neat, over ice, or as part of a cocktail. Remember to shake the bottle before serving, especially if you’ve made the creamy version.Notes:
The alcohol content of the final product will depend on whether you add cream and how much simple syrup you use. Be cautious with your consumption, as homemade liqueurs can be quite strong.
Always label your homemade liqueur with the date it was made, so you can keep track of its age.
If you’re making the creamy version, be aware that it will have a shorter shelf life and must be kept refrigerated. Consume it within a month.