The Smell of Coffee is in the Air, and itís not Even Monday Morning | Eastern North Carolina Now

Coffee liqueur is a most delicious drink - especially if you love the smell and taste of good coffee.

    Actually the smell of coffee has been in the air most of this Sunday, and not because I normally drink coffee all day. Today the smell of coffee is in the air because I have brewed many pots of Eight O'clock Columbian Dark Roast. Why you might ask, when I am long past studying for college exams?

    The answer to your potential query is that I am making a liqueur - a coffee liqueur.

    Each year for the past three, I have made at least one batch, often two batches, of my coffee liqueur each winter, and always in winter. Why Winter? Because it is usually cold outside and the pot on the stove for nearly 24 hours steeping quietly works with keeping the house warm, and does not work against keeping it cool. It's very seasonal, and this being the season for giving, my children much prefer this potent, aromatic libation to the ever popular Kahlua. The one drawback to its innate goodness is that I am getting less of the liqueur to sample each year. Its popularity well exceeds my supply.

    The difference between my delicious beverage and that of the better processed beverage originating in Veracruz Mexico is quite wide. Both liqueurs are distinct in their flavor, with Kahlua having that unique sweet, coffee influenced flavor, and Stan's Coffee Liqueur having the same vanilla sweet flavor, but with a much more robust coffee flavor. I like coffee. Without mixing the brew with any other libation, you'll sooner get a kick from the coffee before you'll get a kick from the alcohol with my liqueur.

    And what about the alcohol? Kahlua is 20 to 21.5% alcohol by volume. Mine is roughly the same; however, my quality control allows me the variance ascribed to taste - my taste. Each batch is different, within certain tolerances. Tomorrow when I bottle the brew, I'll figure the math and I'll give you the tale of the tape on Monday morning concerning the final alcohol content.

    You see the most important tolerances in quantity for my beverage, which I hold true, is the following: the additive of dark rum, the brown sugar, the time of the brewing, the vanilla. The one flexible variable is the coffee, its quantity and its relative strength varies by nature. Especially if you use coffee that is weeks, maybe months old, put away in a Mason Jar in the back of your refrigerator. You see, I never throw anything away if it is still usable, and old coffee still in the pot is still usable if it is of the right ingredients. Those ingrediants are specifically: Columbian Dark Roasted Beans, and good filtered water from the tap, or from a bottle, but it must be filtered, whether it is in the older, saved coffee, or brewed on the day of the making the brew.

    And now with no further adieu ...

         The Recipe for Stan's Coffee Liqueur:

             Equipment needed -
        one coffee brew pot,
        one coffee bean grinder,
        one water filterer or equivalent,
        one 8 quart pot,
        one ladle,
        many bottles and corks.
        one funnel and a measuring cup with grooved lip.

            Ingredients -
        7 lbs. of light brown sugar,
         6 ounces of pure vanilla extract or equivalent (vanilla bean),
         Columbian Dark Roast coffee beans,
         Two 1.75 liter bottles of dark Jamaican Rum.

           The Process -
    Take your older refrigerated coffee, or start brewing fresh ground coffee, and pour what you have into the ten quart pot. Turn the pot down to medium low heat after you get it hot, and pour in all 7 lbs. of the light brown sugar with the first bit of coffee in the pot.

    Now you've started, so get ready to brew coffee, and feel free to get a cup of the strong brew, and I mean strong, but not too strong (grind 3/8 cup of coffee beans by volume and brew with 6 to 7 cups of filtered water). You will do this for 8 to 9 pots of coffee, if you start with about 2 quarts of the older, refrigerated coffee in the Mason Jars. Space the brews of coffee out, so that you do not overfill the 10 quart pot, and keep the pot uncovered at all times to aid in the reduction process. It is all about the reduction of the brewed coffee as it re-brews into a thicker liquid, combining with the brown sugar into a syrupy extract. This will take about 20 hours: So keep the burner on low when you go to bed and let it steep while you sleep. This is the base from which the liqueur will be quickly built. Also, I throw a half of coffee beans into the pot to add a bit more coffee kick and lend a bit of dimension the liquid perfection.
    Pouring into the bottles is quite a job when you make a double batch. Notice the thick syrupy liquid coating the tools: Above. These are the finished bottles minus one quart bottle. Notice the dark color as mentioned in the article. Must be the coffee: Below.

    Once you have the syrupy extract built by reduction, and cooled, there should be enough room in the 8 quart pot to pour in the 6 ounces of vanilla extract (I use less if I have some vanilla bean) and to pour the contents of the two 1.75 liter bottles of dark Jamaican Rum. You should have half of the pot for the two alcohol based ingredients that give the liqueur its kick. If you do not have the space in the pot, continue reducing the syrupy extract, until you have the room to blend this into the delicious beverage you can be proud of. Hopefully, your children and other relatives will not end up drinking you out of house and home.

    Caution: Do not mix the vanilla extract or the rum into the syrupy coffee extract until it has cooled to warm, and do not cook the rum or extract under any circumstances. Cooking these two additives will remove the alcohol.

    But first you must bottle the libation, store the bottles, and hope that the nearly 8 quarts of delicious beverage will last the season. Good luck.

    Publisher's Note: When I was mixing the near magic elixir, I made a mistake and put about double by swag of the vanilla extract. Why did I do that? It's complicated; however, when the mistake was made, I was talking to Beaufort County Commissioner Hood Richardson on the telephone about county business, so, as a matter of convenience, I'll blame it on Hood. Why not? He gets blamed for plenty of other stuff that he has no control over, why can't I pass on some blame as well?

    Suffice it to say, the coffee elixir did not taste as it should, so rather than completely blame the beleaguered county commissioner, I elected to show a bit of initiative by figuring how to remedy the situation, and only partly blame Hood. I reckoned that I poured in about double the vanilla extract needed, so I redoubled my efforts by doubling the recipe. It worked. The brew turned out to be superb: rich in coffee flavor, dark in color, thick in consistency, and mellow on the palate.

    For those of you who want to take this recipe, and hope it ends up as a Kahlua knock-off, you will be disappointed. This beverage has its own distinct flavor - much more robust on the palate - than Kahlua, which is a more refined flavor. My suggestion if you wish to proceed: Stay open minded, and try it first in a mixed drink - a White Russian.

             White Russian Recipe -  (Stan's is really simple)
        10 ounce, or so, glass,
        handful of ice,
        pour in 3 ounces of Stan's Coffee Liqueur,
        pour in 1.5 ounces of Vodka (I like Absolut),
        two ounces of whole, or 2% milk,
        one ounce of half and half if you got it.
        stir and drink, then repeat the process.
    My two favorite coffee liqueur drinks: The White Russian, and the coffee liqueur on ice in a cordial.
    I did not forget my promise to calculate the alcohol by volume of the roughly 512 ounces of brewed beverage. But now the math:

        Product - 512 ounces
        Alcohol - 249.7 onces: 13 ounces vanilla extract at 35% alcohol, 236.7 ounces of Jamaican Rum @ 40% (80 proof) alcohol, which equals 99.23 ounces of pure alcohol.

        Alcohol by volume: 19.4%
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( October 22nd, 2016 @ 8:45 pm )
A man after my own heart you are B.T.:

And then there is this scene; one of the greats in all of cinema history:

I love the part where Sam Elliot as The Stranger, leaves The Dude, and goes in one direction, and then abruptly turns and goes in the other direction, as if one of the Coen Brothers said, "Sam, this way, come over here", and then they kept that take because The Stranger character is such a farcical character anyway, which really rounds out the film.
( October 22nd, 2016 @ 7:14 pm )
It sure does looks good but I'm afraid that I may channel the "Dude Lebowski" again if I were to sample it. So I will just abide with my memories from a distance.
( October 22nd, 2016 @ 6:59 pm )
Ted: This and old post, but, I am making a fresh batch since the weather has turned off cold.

B.T.: I swear this ain't like drinking alcohol. It really makes for a fine elixir in cold coffee.
( October 22nd, 2016 @ 4:45 pm )
This almost makes me want to start drinking alcohol again but a deal is a deal. I can almost taste this nectar and I am in hopes that my memory does not trigger any past flashback to those days of yesteryear when I did partake. But when you possess a compulsive personality, sometimes memories are better than U-Turns at this age.
( October 22nd, 2016 @ 3:31 pm )
Sunday? Today is Saturday. More liquor than coffee?
( October 22nd, 2016 @ 2:54 pm )
I'm at it again and needed the recipe.

Trust me on this one: This is a a bit of work, providing a creation that truly gives back ... over and over again.

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