While homemade liqueurs may sound intimidating, they’re simply an infusion of ingredients.
The liqueur I make the most is this ginger liqueur recipe — it replicates the flavors the likes of Domaine de Canton, which is on the sweeter end of the ginger alcohol spectrum, with some added flavor notes of my own.
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/2 – 3/4 large ginger root (depending on how ginger-forward you’d like your liqueur to be)
1 vanilla bean
3 cardamom pods
2 cups brandy (while quality begets quality, I typically look for the most affordable. Last time I used Korbel Extra Smooth)
Fill a medium-sized pot or saucepan with your 2 cups of water and sugar. Cut off your desired amount of ginger root, then peel the stub with a spoon and thinly slice it, adding it to the water. Halve the vanilla bean lengthwise with a pairing knife and scrape the seeds out into the water using the back of the knife. Add the husk of the bean into the water as well. Break open your cardamom pods and add to the pot.
Bring water to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Let mixture cool completely. Once cool, add brandy and zest your orange into the mixture. Stir together and transfer to a sealable glass container for the infusion. If you have a very large empty jar, a pitcher, or bottles those will work. This should be kept at room temperature, but out of sunlight.
After mixture has set for a day, remove the vanilla bean and let the infusion continue. After the second day, you’ll strain your liqueur. For the initial straining, I prefer to use a mesh strainer or my French press, then if you want it extra filtered, you can pour the mixture through a coffee filter (I used my Chemex), but this step is quite time consuming so be prepared for that.
Re-bottle your liqueur! It tastes best another day after the infusion. Happy mixing!
The recipe makes about two of the bottles pictured, which I’d estimate is around 24oz total.