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.

Surprising  Facts

  • 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
Known Facts
  • Better Vodka Makes Better Coffee Vodka
  • Longer Infusion is equal to more taste
  • Taste testing is fun
  • Drink your mistakes!
There are three steps to making fantastic Coffee Vodka. The first step is to make your own simple syrup, trust me its worth the effort, the second step is the infusion and the third step is filtering.
You will need the following (Roughly)
1-liter glass bottle (large canning jar would work too.)
1 half liter glass jar
750 ml of Vodka (go for mid-level quality)
475 ml of Water (2 Cups)
300 ml of plain white Sugar (1.5 cups)
3 ml of Vanilla Extract (1/2 tsp )
Coffee, I go with the middle of the road commercial roasters for this, good coffee is wasted.
1 French press
1 Large funnel
2 Cone coffee filters

Simple Syrup Process: Follow along with the images below

  1. Bring about 2 cups of water to a boil (475ml)
  2. Slowly add in sugar, stirring until dissolved. I add the sugar in quarter cup increments. (60 ml)
  3. 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)
  4. Add in 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (2-3 ml)
  5. Boil for another 3 -5 minutes to remove excess water
  6. The vanilla is to offset the bite of the vodka and the bitterness of the coffee, final product seen below
Coffee Vodka Process (750ml recipe)
  1. Fill the 1-liter bottle 1/3 of the way up with coffee grounds.
  2. Drop a funnel into the top, and slowly pour the vodka in, slowly swirling the liquid around to mix the coffee grounds.
  3. 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)
  4. Tighten the lid and shake. (a light foam/bubble froth should appear in the bottle) the froth should be tan/white
  5. Wait for the bubble and foam to settle a little bit, and add in more simple syrup to top off the jar again.
  6. Place in a cool place, and get ready to wait.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
Filter! As you can see from the equipment gathered above, you will need the french press, a funnel
  • 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 a coffee filter into the clean jar
  • Gently but firmly begin to depress the french press, when you get about 1/4 of the way downpour 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 your 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 depressed 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
Taste test the final product, if it is too bitter add in some of the original simple syrup to sweeten it up a bit.
Enjoy over Ice, or in a soda!
Follow the whole process below