Make or Buy: Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur

Make or Buy: Coffee Liqueur // stirandstrain.comSqueeeezing in here at the end of the month (and what a month…. so glad it’s over), this might just be our easiest DIY of the bunch so far. If you can boil some water, you can make… Coffee Liqueur.

Make or Buy: Coffee Liqueur // stirandstrain.comFor today’s post, we’ll be comparing coffee liqueur made with cold brew coffee. I have seen some infusions with coffee beans, and while we’ve done something similar for cocktails around here before, since the coffee liqueur that can be bought is made with cold brew, it made sense to match apples to apples. Also, since many of these posts have some content that is repeated in the pros and cons, I’ve decided to bullet point each to make it a bit easier to read and streamlined. Let me know what you think in the comments or through social; I’m here for you.

Make or Buy: Coffee Liqueur // stirandstrain.comTo Buy: Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur (vodka base)

  • Pros:
    • Available to purchase at a liquor store near you
    • Strong coffee taste
    • Minimal ingredient list
  • Cons:
    • Only available to buy in CA, NY, the UK, and Australia
    • Flavor is singular in that you’re only getting a coffee flavor and nothing else
    • Cannot adjust sweetness level

Make or Buy: Coffee Liqueur // stirandstrain.comTo Make: Homemade Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur (aged rum base)

  • Pros:
    • Very few ingredients
    • Super easy to make for a DIY project, just make a rich simple syrup and get some cold brew coffee
    • You can adjust the flavor to your liking
    • You can adjust the sweetness level
    • Scales up or down depending on how much liqueur you’d like
  • Cons:
    • It takes a minimum of 3 days to make, plus more if you brew your own cold brew
    • Flavor may not be consistent from batch to batch
    • You have to make it

Make or Buy: Coffee Liqueur // stirandstrain.com

And how do they compare in a cocktail? When I think coffee in cocktails I immediately think of a White Russian, so that’s what I compared both in today. Mr. Black stands out with a bold coffee taste and a rich flavor profile. My home brew coffee is lighter not only in color, but also in flavor. I wanted a coffee liqueur that had layers of other flavors in it like vanilla and spice, so the base is an aged rum. This also means that the coffee is more subdued.

Notes: If you want a stronger coffee taste I would suggest using a cold brew concentrate and playing around with the flavor until it suits your preference. Also, you could switch to a vodka base and cut the vodka back to 1-1/4 cups.

Make or Buy: Coffee Liqueur // stirandstrain.com

So there you are, two choices when it comes to a coffee liqueur. Will you make it or buy it? Let us know!

Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur

1-1/2 cups cold brew coffee (brew your own or buy your favorite unsweetened brand)
1 cup demerara sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups aged rum

If brewing your own cold brew, do that at least 24 hours before starting to make the liqueur. Next, in a small saucepan, combine demerara sugar and water. Bring to a boil, whisking to combine. Turn the heat down to a simmer and continue to whisk until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. In a liter jar, combine cold brew coffee, syrup and rum. Seal and shake gently to combine. Let the liqueur sit for three days in a cool, dark place, agitating it every day. After three days, liqueur will be ready to consume.