Making almond liqueur is one of the easiest liqueurs to make and is an ideal home made liqueur for beginners. It is very tasty and very easy to make and is something you can serve to guests.
You will need to obtain raw (not salted or roasted) almonds. I have bought raw almonds from Trader Joes (in Southern California). I was also very surprised to see them available in 3 lb. bags from Costco for a very good price. If you plan to make a lot of almond liqueur, then perhaps it would be an economical choice to buy them from Costco.
Like most nut liqueurs, it requires a 4 week maceration period to infuse the full flavor into the spirits. After maceration expect to wait an additional 3 to 4 weeks for the macerated spirits to fully clarify. After the macerated spirits is fully clarified, then it can be sweetened and bottled.
I have worked out this recipe from other similar recipes I have read on the Internet. This is my version:
Almond Liqueur Recipe
Step One Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups chopped raw almonds (raw – unroasted, unsalted)
- 6 cups vodka (80 proof)
- A 3" piece of cinnamon stick finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sugar
Step One Directions:
- Combine ingredients in a 1/2 Gal. Mason jar and shake thoroughly.
- Macerate for 4 weeks, shaking the jar every few days to mix the ingredients.
- Do not shake the jar after 3 weeks. Let it settle for the last week.
Step Two Ingredients:
- Standard sugar syrup – 1 cup per 2 cups of clarified macerated spirits
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp per cup of clarified macerated spirits
Step Two Directions:
- After 4 weeks begin straining, racking and filtering to clarify the macerated spirits.
- First Racking: carefully pour off clear portion at top of jar through a metal coffee filter into a clean jar.
- Straining: strain the remainder with kitchen strainer into a separate "sludge" jar.
- Allow macerated spirits to settle for a couple of days, then repeat step 2 for the sludge jar.
- When you can see the sediment settle to the bottom of the jar and there is a clear portion to pour off the top, then it is time to repeat the racking process. Continue racking off more and more of the clarified spirits into separate jars. Filter the nearly clarified spirits with paper coffee filters to gradually remove sediments. Store the nearly clarified part in one jar and the cloudy part in another jar. As some of the cloudy part clarifies, transfer it to the clarified part. At first it will take 1 or 2 days to settle, then gradually it will take longer and longer until finally you will have to wait a week or more for sediment to collect at the bottom of the jar.
- Repeat this "racking and filtering" process over and over for 3 to 4 weeks until the macerated spirits is completely clarified and you no longer see any sediments collecting at the bottom of the jar.
- Add sugar syrup and vanilla extract.
- Makes about 6 cups
Making The Liqueur
Obtain the ingredients from your local grocery store. Make sure you use raw, uncooked almonds. Do not use roasted almonds. I bought mine from Trader Joe’s here in Southern California for a very modest price. I was able to obtain a bag of cinamon stocks in 1-inch pieces from Herb Products Co, but you can use any brand of cinnamon sticks readily obtainable in the spice section of most any grocery store.
Measure out the almonds first then grind the almonds in a coffee grinder. Keep the grind pretty coarse and be careful not to overdo it. If it’s too powdery it will be difficult to strain and filter. You’ll have to do it in parts. Add only as much as will fill the metal cup in the grinder at one time.
Pour off the ground almonds and repeat until all the almonds are ground up. Note the measuring cup on the right where the almonds were measured first before grinding. After grinding the almonds, use the coffee grinder to finely chop the the 3 inches of cinnamon sticks.
Add the ground almonds and chopped cinnamon to the 1/2 gal Mason jar, then add the 1/2 cup of sugar.
Finally, add the 6 cups of vodka.
Close the lid tightly, then thoroughly shake all the ingredients.
Now, set the jar aside and let it macerate for 4 weeks. Every few days, shake the jar up again to keep the ingredients mixed. Do not shake the jar after 3 weeks. Let it settle in the last week to make it easy to rack off the clarified part. In the next post I will show you how to clarify the macerated spirits before sweetening and bottling.