Monday, December 16, 2013

Exotic Christmas Liqueur

Home Made Hazelnut Liqueur
I never thought that that making liqueurs at home would be so much of fun.  It's the perfect gift for Christmas and other occasions and the best part is the surprise on the recipient's face and then their delight on tasting it.  I've made coffee, cocoa, pineapple, orange, apricot, ginger, strawberry and other liqueurs over the years.  This year I'm venturing where angels fear to tread.  We tasted some Exotic Hazelnut Liqueur at a friend's house which utterly delighted me.  All you have to do is buy the ingredients and follow the four basic steps involved- infuse, filter, sweeten and mellow.  The longer you age it, the better it is.  And let me tell you, this is one fantastic gift. 

 The Recipe:

2 cups hazelnuts; 1 1/2 cups vodka; 1/4 cup caster sugar; 1/4 cup water; 1 vanilla bean or 2tsp vanilla essence.  Use a good quality one.

Place the hazelnuts and vodka in a glass jar and infuse  for two to  four weeks.  The longer the better.  Store in a cool, dark place.  

After infusing, mix water and sugar and heat  till the sugar is dissolved.  Cool and add to the hazelnut mixture.  Steep for another three days.  Split the vanilla bean in half and add to the mixture and rest for five days.  Taste often and when the desired flavour is achieved strain, bottle and enjoy.  Use the hazelnuts for cakes and toppings and ice cream and anything you fancy.  Start the Christmas Season with a little bit of gusto and fun.

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