Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Wooden Bird" Coffee Liqueur

Like Kahlua? You'll like this better! I made this for Christmas presents this year and it was a big hit! I found it in my mom's old recipe box and added my own pizzaz, in the form of Chinese five-spice powder. It gives the liqueur an interesting little kick without it being overpowering. This stuff makes a great gift and and even better White Russian.

BEWARE: This recipe makes 1 and 1/4 gallons, so be prepared to either give a lot of it away as gifts or live on it for the next couple months.

-6 C sugar
-6 C water
-1/2 cup instant coffee crystals (like Folger's)
-1/2 cup vanilla flavor OR 2 vanilla beans
-1/2 gallon vodka
-1 Tbsp. Chinese five-spice powder

Mix sugar, water and coffee crystals in a large pot with the vanilla beans, but reserve the vanilla extract if you're using that.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours, then remove beans or add extract.
Tear open a tea bag, remove the tea. Add the five-spice and sew it shut. Hang the tea bag into the death brew. (You can also use a coffee filter, but it will eventually dissolve if it sits in the brew too long). A piece of t-shirt would probably work too. You get it, anything that filters.
Let it sit for at least 6 hours, then stir in the vodka and let it sit for at least another 6-12 hours (I think this is called "marrying")
Remove the tea bag and pour the finished liqueur into pretty jars or bottles. Your friends will think you're a genius!

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