Meet the new boss same as the old boss.
I have a long history with Coffee and Vodka. A bit longer on the coffee side of things. And way back in 2007 I wrote an article on how to make Coffee Vodka, and for the longest time all was good. However there were a couple problems I noticed over the years in serving it to others. First off while I was fine with the infusion other people thought it a bit too bitter and not enough coffee flavor. So I worked to find out what was wrong.
I also noticed a raft of Coffee Vodkas entering the Market, Most of which have now ceased production sadly. So I needed to take what I learned from tasting the commercial attempts and rock out what I know about coffee in my personal trials.
I give you Coffee Infused Vodka 2011~!
If you can’t hear it now the crowd is going wild. Literally several people had to be subdued. Once things calm down I’ll explain a couple of things I figured out after a lot of vodka and a couple of cups of coffee.
- Better Coffee doesn’t mean better Coffee Vodka
- Single Origin Coffee is horrible for Coffee Vodka
- Espresso Roast is OK, but not great, has heavy bitter notes
- A good commercial coffee, like a Chock Full of Nuts, or a Medium Starbucks Blend will make the best Vodka, needs to be bold but not burnt
- Better Vodka Makes Better Coffee Vodka
- Longer Infusion is equal to more taste
- Taste testing is fun
- Drink your mistakes!
Simple Syrup Process: Follow along with the images below
- Bring about 2 cups of water to a boil (475ml)
- Slowly add in sugar, stirring until dissolved. I add the sugar in quarter cup increments. (60 ml)
- Stop adding sugar when the sugar stops dissolving (i got about 1.5 cups of sugar into the mixture, it will thicken as you add in sugar) (roughly 300ml)
- Add in 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (2-3 ml)
- Boil for another 3 -5 minutes to remove excess water
- The vanilla is to offset the bite of the vodka and the bitterness of the coffee, final product seen below
- Fill the 1 liter bottle 1/3 of the way up with coffee grounds.
- Drop a funnel into the top, and slowly pour the vodka in, slowly swirling the liquid around to mix the coffee grounds.
- Add in your simple syrup from the recipe above to top off the jar. (this usually meant using about 1/3 of the syrup we made)
- Tighten the lid and shake. (a light foam / bubble froth should appear in the bottle) the froth should be tan / white
- Wait for the bubble and foam to settle a little bit, and add in more simple syrup to top off the jar again.
- Place in a cool place, and get ready to wait.
- I check the jar every day to see if there was any air at the top. I then added in more syrup and shook the bottle again.
- By the end of the infusion (for me 5 days) the little foam that was left was dark brown. like below where no foam is visible
- Pour the Coffee Vodka into the french press, swirling the coffee to collect the grounds as you go.
- Clean the bottle. Place the funnel with coffee filter into the clean jar
- Gently but firmly begin to depress the french press, when you get about 1/4 of the way down pour the fluid into the funnel filter. This will be a slow process
- The lower you get on the french press the harder it will be to push. Break out you muscles on this one.
- Every time you get a bit of fluid above the screen pour it into the filter
- By the time the plunger is fully depress your coffee grounds should be left dry looking in the french press. this takes time
- Clean the french press, pour the vodka back into it and repeat the process (it should be much much easier this time)
- A second filtering removes a good deal of the sediment