When we started this process of figuring out how to make coffee liqueur at home, we found most of the recipes were too sweet, and lacked complexity of flavour. They all had only one note - and it was weak coffee flavoured vodka. It just didn't work for us.
So we started with fresh dark roasted coffee beans that we gently smashed in a mortar and pestle. We then added a vanilla bean, and bathed this in 151º over proof rum. You really want to layer flavour over flavour, and the higher alcohol helps dissolve more of the oils in the coffee - it also keeps the final product from being to cloyingly sweet when you dilute it later with simple syrup. Rounding out the complex flavour profile is a cinnamon stick, some orange peel, and crushed cocoa nibs. The Dude would be proud!
|Overproof rum||2 Cup (32 tbs) (151º overproof rum (75.5% alc))|
|Ground coffee||1 Cup (16 tbs) (dark roast)|
|Cocoa nibs||3 (optional)|
|Orange peel slice||1 (optional)|
Slice the vanilla bean it open lengthwise and then scrape out the inside of the bean.
Place the bean, scrapings, course ground coffee and rum to a sealable Mason jar.
Give it a shake and set it aside someplace dark.
After 24 open the jar and toss in the cinnamon stick, cracked cocoa nibs, and orange peel. Give it a shake and set aside for another day.
Strain the mixture through a coffee filter, and mix in the simple syrup.
Now this is another place where your personal taste will come into play. We like ours on the less sweet side so we start by mixing 1 part simple syrup to 3 parts coffee infusion; then we taste and start adjusting form there. Ideally you want to end up with about 40% alc by volume.