Another liqueur from the closet was ready for straining today. I can’t remember if I mentioned in my last liqueur post or not, but I’m heading east for a wedding in a few weeks here, and instead of buying a gift, I’ve decided to make some liqueurs. I know the two brides are definitely wine drinkers, and while I don’t know them well, I thought “Who wouldn’t want handmade alcohol for their wedding?”
Cacao Nib Brandy, adapted from Here
1 cup brandy
1/4 cup cacao nibs
2 inch vanilla bean
Infuse in a glass jar, in a dark, cool cupboard for 4-5 weeks (I did four, exactly). Strain through a cheesecloth, and again through a coffee filter.
Can be drank neat, on ice, or as Alicia from Boozed and Infused suggests:
“[try] the cocoa nib brandy in a classic Sidecar. I also think it would be nice mixed with vanilla vodka and a few muddled strawberries. To turn it into a highball, you could add some club soda or ginger ale.
and a note: The cacao nibs do impart a mild bitterness to the brandy, so if once you make it, you find it too bitter, you can try adding a simple syrup (1:1 sugar:water) to mellow it out and turn it into a liqueur. Because of this, I wouldn’t recommend infusing the mixture for longer than 5 weeks. You’re welcome to try it, but I found four weeks to be perfect!
Chocolate Love Potion
The chocolate love potion is actually just a slight variation on the original recipe. I doubled it from what you see above, in part to share with others, and in part because I actually ran out of brandy making the first batch. For this batch, I had more available.
2 cups brandy
1/2 cup cacao nibs
2 TBSP damiana
1 TBSP muira puama
4 inch vanilla bean
Same process as above – infuse for 4 weeks, and then strain twice.
Tasting Notes: bitter and medicinal tasting. Not entirely unpleasant, but it does remind me of jägger, or cough syrup, or something. Which makes sense, I suppose, since this is technically a tincture. I might add simple syrup to it to mellow it out, I’m not sure.
And I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet, but I’ve created a drink for the love potion, actually a variant on the classic champagne cocktail, that I’m going to call
- 1 sugar cube
- 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 oz brandy
- Place the sugar cube in the bottom of a Champagne flute.
- Use the dashes of Angostura bitters to saturate the sugar cube.
- Add the brandy.
- Fill with Champagne and watch the sugar cube dissolve in a fountain of bubbles.
*Note: I am not a medical doctor, nor a licensed herbalist. Always research herbs before consumption, and consult your doctor prior to ingestion if you are on any medication, or suffer from heart problems, or are on blood thinners (aphrodisiacs increase blood flow).