Week 30 – Cherry and Chocolate Liqueur

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This post is coming so late, I would really like to apologize for this. It’s been a very busy couple of months, with travel and change in job. I am catching up. And I have a new official laptop so I am mostly on that and not on my personal laptop where I seem to have all the photo processing tools. So seriously a sincere apology again.

I meant to post this in summer but now I realize it’s autumn already. This was when I took snaps in the peak of summer where there was abundant cherries available. And guess what I made them into wonderful Cherry liqueur and also followed with a chocolate liqueur. They are such an easy substitute to the expensive Limoncello or Kahlau or their likes.

Liqueurs are a wonderful way to start concocting your own alcoholic drinks at home. I know it all sounds intimating but believe me they are very easy to make. But you should gather the patience to let it steep for a couple of weeks to a month at the max. If you are doing this for the first time, I would recommend trying Limoncello, most of the time it will turn out well.

Though I am not much of a drinker, I am mesmerized by the world of liqueurs and I will never fail to try or replicate a liqueur at home. I have already tried homemade Orange Liqueur, Limoncello and Kahlua. Unfortunately I didn’t click snaps while making them. My upcoming to try liqueur is homemade Bailey’s.

I scouted the net for the best recipe and after browsing through lots of site, these were the recipes I really liked. My final product was more or less a mix of these recipes. I also warn you that they will be not ready for at least a month, so please try it only if can wait for so long. And last and not the least I hope cherries are still available in your town, or keep it for trying next year.

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Cherry Liqueur

300 gms Bing Cherries
300 gms Sugar
1.5 cups of Vodka (can use a 100 percent proof)

Wash the cherries thoroughly, I washed them with lukewarm water to get rid of any pesticides. Dry it with a towel. Use a huge jar with secured lid, add the cherries. I slightly slit them open to let the flavours steep in. Cover it with sugar and them pour Vodka on top. Completely seal the jar and let it sit in a dark cool place for atleast a month. Keep shaking it once in a couple of days. As the vodka starts infusing the bright red color of cherries would infuse in the alcohol. You can let it steep upto 2 months. After that, filter the liqueur using two layers of coffee filter. Store it in a airtight jar. You can pack it in smaller jars labeling it clearly. The bright red color of this liqueur makes wonderful gift.

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Cherries slit open with pits

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Pouring the sugar

Day 265.365 - Jun 15

Liqueur ready to be steeped on Day 1

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Chocolate Liqueur

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1 cup good quality cocoa powder
3 cups of Vodka, 80 to 100 percent proof
1 cup water
2 cups sugar

Make a simple syrup using water and sugar. Let it cool completely. Add the cocoa powder and mix well. Now using a airtight jar pour the cocoa mixture into it. Add vodka, put the lid on and shake it vigorously. Let the liqueur steep for a couple of weeks to a month. The mixture would be muddy initially but would homogenize and turn into a uniform mixture over time.

Ok straining was a big issue with me, since cocoa particles are already very small. I used a coffee filter to filter the mix and eventually it took me over 12 hours to filter it and I am sure I lost a significant amount of alchohol due to evaporation. I would recommend do filtering in two ways. First use a muslin cloth which has wider pores and the resulting mixture can them be filtered using a coffee filter. You can also leave it as it is at the first stage, but I guess it won’t be very clear. The final filtration will give a clear liqueur. Store it in a airtight jar.

I noticed homemade liqueurs of any kind will have a little bit of sedimentation (hardly noticeable) which I guess this is due to the filtration techniques used. So don’t worry too much about that, else how will one know it’s homemade.

Enjoy the liqueurs in a cocktail or straight on the rocks!

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Before pouring the cocoa mixture into Vodka

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The liqueur on Day 1

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The liqueur on Day 30

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The final liqueur

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