pinterest

December 11, 2012

TIA NINA

       AKA:Coffee Liqueur

          Kitchen Kahlua etc..

Ok peeps, I know its been a while, but I'm back and ready to blog ! I won't bore you with the details, suffice it to say I'm still humming.

With the holidays upon us I thought a festive liqueur an appropriate post since we'll all need a drink. Make it now and and you'll be sipping it by Christmas or New Years. 
I love all things coffee, coffee jello, coffee ice cream, coffee gravy; you name it, the addition of java with its sweet and funky aromas is always welcome. And, I confess, I love a White Russian, (alcoholic coffee ice cream) my guilty pleasure. While perhaps thought of as a chick drink lets not forget that it was The Dudes libation of choice in the The Big Lebowski , and is therefore a "quest" drink.
The traditional coffee liqueurs , Tia Maria and Kahula are cloyingly sweet. Reducing the sugar and adding a bit of molasses, which adds complexity, results in a more sophisticated liqueur. Molasses is my new secret ingredient, I have been adding it to everything , especially anything with a caramel note. It's kind of like the Worcestershire sauce of the dessert world, adding a touch of umami to sweet preparations. Used sparingly it adds dimension and depth, but too much and you are in hermit territory. With it's bit of musk and funk it marries perfectly with coffee.
You can make this with almost any spirit, white tequila, dark rum and vodka, are all excellent choices, it's a matter of preference. I love the tequila with its peppery kick. Be sure to  use a decent  quality spirit and put it up for at least 3 weeks, the longer the better.  Try to keep one bottle until Christmas 2013, the longer it ages the smoother it gets.
It makes a festive (adult) stocking stuffer. 

YIELD:  18 cups  
  
 INGREDIENTS:
  •  6 cups dark brown sugar
  •  6 cups water
  •  6 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 1/2 cup instant coffee or espresso 
  • 1 1/2 vanilla beans or 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 12 cups spirits   
      METHOD:
  • Combine sugar, water and molasses in a large pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Gradually stir in coffee.
  • Remove from heat and skim when cool.  Scrape in vanilla bean, or add extract, saving  pods to add to the bottles. Mix thoroughly and add spirits. 
  • Bottle and exercise patience  
      
    NOTES:

  • Use a good quality instant coffee. Folgers just wont cut it. I like Medaglia Doro which also makes a decaf version if that's an issue. Starbucks is also apparently making some excellent instant coffees. 
  •  The coffee syrup makes 7-8 cups. You can boil it longer and make the syrup thicker if you prefer, this will result in a stronger and sweeter product.
  •  These bottles are wonderful for gifting, clean and simple they take labels well. Sunburst Bottles has lots of choices.
  • White Russian Recipe 
    •  two parts vodka
    •  one part Tia Nina or Kitchen Kahlua
    • half and half
    • build over ice
I like mine unshaken so I can see the dark liqueur swirl up to meet the cream.