Book Review on Infusing Spirits and Making Liqueurs

August 27, 2010

Here are some books on infusing spirits and making liqueurs – a process completely legal so long as you don’t sell it.

Classic Liqueurs: The Art of Making and Cooking with Liqueurs by Cheryl Long and Heather Kibbey is part of the Creative Cooking Series and was updated in 2005. It has a nice short and concise intro including the basics, equipment needed, alcohol basis, other ingredients, and ageing before offering up 37 pages of fruit liqueur recipes and 21 pages of non-fruit liqueurs using herbs and spices. It does have some cream liqueurs in it. Next, it has 17 pages of drink serving suggestions, followed by 65 pages of food recipes using the liquors. This seems like a fun book, but there are no pictures to inspire you. Still, it seems very well organized. I accidentally got my hands on the older version printed in 1996, which appears to have less recipes in all the categories.

Cordials from Your Kitchen by Pattie Vargas and Rich Gulling was published in 1997. It is set up very much like Classic Liqueurs, but with more chapters breaking out fruit liqueurs, nut liqueurs, herb and spice cordials, cream liqueurs, candy cordials, coffee liqueurs, flavored brandies, rums, and vodkas, and fruits preserved in spirits. There are chapters dedicated to drinks or food recipes with the liqueurs, but instead are included as side notes in the margins. Again, it doesn’t have pictures, but I would probably pick this book over Classic Liqueurs.

Homemade Cream Liqueurs by Dona and Mel Meilach was published in 1986. Not to be confused with crème de liqueurs, which is a sweeter liqueur, cream liqueurs such as Baileys contain dairy cream. There really isn’t another book like this out on the market. It starts off with a brief intro and then the history of cream liqueurs, explaining that cream liqueurs contain cream, and saying that cream liqueurs have really only been on the market since 1979 when Bailey’s Original Irish Cream Liqueur figured out how to add cream to their product, keep it from separating from the alcohol, and keep it stable enough for it to be on shelves for years. Homemade cream liqueurs, it warns, will have a shorter shelf life than store bought because a person at home will not have the same tools to homogenize the mixture. To make a cream liqueur, the book says you will need a blender, measuring spoons, clear liqueurs, flavorings, canned or fresh milk, possibly eggs, and containers to store the final product in. It warns that the quality is a bit tricky to control, but offers up a suggested recipe record sheet. It talks a little bit about theory so that you can later go and experiment to make your own cream liqueurs. It then offers up 23 pages of cream liqueur recipes, followed by a chapter on cocktails, coffees, and ice creams, a chapter on cakes and cheesecakes, a chapter on pies, filled pastries, and fruit dishes, a chapter on cookies and cupcakes, a chapter on candies and confections, a chapter on sauces, quiches, fondues, and flan, all made with cream liqueur in it. While other books might have cream liqueur recipes, I feel that they don’t cover the topic as well as this book does.

Luscious Liqueurs: 50 Recipes for Sublime and Spirited Infusions to Sip and Savor was written by AJ Rathbun in 2008. The library lost the copy, so I can’t really tell you how this book is laid out or the quality of the recipes. However, I do remember this book for having pictures, which can inspire you on how to package the liqueur up, especially if you are giving it as a gift.


One Response to “Book Review on Infusing Spirits and Making Liqueurs”

  1. […] have a few posts on how to make liqueur, including liqueur making books, making jalapeño infused tequila, and making pear infused alcohol. So you really have to decide […]

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