Week 30 – Cherry and Chocolate Liqueur
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.
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.
Cherries slit open with pits
Pouring the sugar
Liqueur ready to be steeped on Day 1
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!
Before pouring the cocoa mixture into Vodka
The liqueur on Day 1
The liqueur on Day 30
The final liqueur