I know, I know, I haven’t been posting much lately, ’cause, like most of you, the holiday season to-do list has taken over. We haven’t been cooking all that much either, and when we do it’s a vat of soup or a double batch of whatever so that we can eat leftovers while trying to knock out the holiday to-do list. Adding the time-consuming task of photographing as I cook makes posting on The Savage Feast rare this month. However, I have managed to put together a couple of holiday posts that will be short and sweet (pun intended) for your enjoyment.
First up, kahlua!
This is a recipe that has been adapted from a recipe we got from a friend of ours when we lived in East Lansing, MI. He would make two batches at a time, one to save for the allotted time of 6-8 weeks, and one he called “potential”. The “potential” was there to check from time to time to make sure the other was aging properly to reach its potential. The truth is, it’s good the day you make it and hard to resist, so the second bottle is there to appease the lack of self control.
Here is the thing, though: espresso is really the best way to go with this. Not espresso pods or one of those so-called espresso machines that you can buy at Target. I’m talking real espresso. If you don’t own a good home espresso machine you have a few options. You can brew really strong coffee, but make sure you are using quality fresh beans. You can use instant espresso (not really my favorite option) or you can make a trip down to your favorite coffee shop and buy a few shots. I called my favorite coffee shop, Mighty Good Coffee, and asked what it would cost for 10 1 oz shots of espresso and they said if you order a double shot of espresso and add 4 shots (doubles) to that it would only cost $5.20. If you say you want shots added to one double shot it’s much cheeper than ordering 5 double shots. That is a bargain in my opinion.
One more note: get the vanilla bean. We used a Madagascar vanilla beans for our recipe. They are kind of expensive at your local grocery store, but you can order online for much less. Here is a link to a Michigan based company, Beanilla, that sells all kinds of vanilla products including 3 Madagascar vanilla beans for $4.50. Try different types of beans for slightly different flavors.
This is a GREAT gift idea and even if you make it now and it isn’t (technically) ready until February, that’s fine. I can’t think of a better thing to be ready to drink in February to beat the winter blues.
1 1/4 cups of brewed espresso (about 10 1 oz shots) or 3 cups strongly brewed coffee
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 3/4 cups water with espresso or 1 cup for coffee
3 cups 80 proof vodka
1 vanilla bean or 3 Tablespoons vanilla extract
Add sugar water and espresso/coffee to a pan and slowly bring to a boil and remove from heat as soon as it starts to boil. cut a slit in the vanilla bean lengthwise with a small pairing knife. Add vodka & vanilla bean or extract and then put in clean jars, seal and let sit for 6-8 weeks.