Homemade Liqueurs

Homemade Liqueurs or Cordials are fun to make, fun to drink, and fun to give as gifts. The sky is the limit to the concoctions you can make. Here is a start to having you on your way to producing your own specialties. There is just enough time to have them ready for your holiday season gift giving. Let me point out that it is legal for you to make these for personal use, but it's not legal for you to sell them without proper licensing.

The common way to make a homemade liqueur is to macerate or infuse flavorings in a distilled product and add sugar. Fruits, nuts, extracts, and coffee are just some of the ingredients used to steep in the spirits. After the mellow aging of the flavorings, the makings must be strained if fruit or nuts are used. Simple syrup is then usually added. Colorings or glycerin may also be added. The result is bottled and put away to age to it's perfection.

Glass containers are the best for steeping. Quart canning jars can be used for small batches, and gallon jars for larger. For straining, you'll need cheesecloth or a jellybag. Coffee filters can be used for the final filtration, giving you the clearest liqueur, and a lesson in patience.

The bottles for the final product can be the most challenging. Save glass containers from bottled water or other beverage products. Always sterlize your bottles. Just like canning, get a big pot of water boiling and carefully drop your washed bottles and caps into the water for about 30 seconds.