I recently was reading though some of my favorite blogs and came across an interesting recipe from theKitchn. The editors there were working their way through a cookbook called The New Portuguese Table by David Leite which featured a recipe for a delicious Milk Vodka Liqueur. The documented process both intrigued and fascinated me. As someone who enjoys making her own vodka infusions as well as her own vanilla extract (vanilla bean & vodka)- it appealed to me as something I immediately wanted to try. The recipe is simple, equal parts whole milk, sugar, vodka plus flavor additions (orange, chocolate, lemon, lime etc.) and the process looks disgusting to put it bluntly. You have to let the whole mix sit, coagulating for ten days in a dark, cool place. The result is an astonishing beautiful, clear liqueur that is lemony, milky, with a syrupy feeling in the mouth and all-around amazing. The finished product is perfect sipped straight, and is amazing, I’m sure, mixed with similar liquors. It’s almost like a creamy limocello, but sweeter, not as furniture polish-like. You can make this in small batches or larger batches, always keeping the portions equal. I started with a few variations- lemon first and then chocolate (85% cocoa) & orange. I struggled a bit through the filtering process but found the best option eventually, which I will share with you. Also, do yourself a favor and get over to Michael’s to pick up some cheap mason jars, which they have in different sizes that are perfect for gifting. Make sure your jars are absolutely clean before beginning this process. I put mine through the dishwasher first.
Makes about 1 quart of liqueur:
- 2 cups vodka
- 2 cups whole or 2% milk
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ of a lemon, rind and all!
For the chocolate liqueur:
- 1/4 of a an orange, rind and all
- 2 ounces of dark chocolate, Shredded
Add all liquid ingredients into your jar first, then add the lemon last wedging it in. Close your jar tightly and shake vigorously to allow the sugar to dissolve. Leave your jar in a cool, dark place for ten days, giving it a shake every couple of days or so.
After your ten days of infusion, it’s time to strain your liqueur.
I found the best option for this is to take a coffee filter & stick it into another vessel forming a pouch and securing the sides with tape. The tape ensures that your milk solids won’t mix with your finished result. Pour a little through your strainer, giving it a bit of help with butter knife or spoon when it seems to slow down a little. Change the filter if the solids seem to be REALLY clogging up. You can strain it 2x if necessary- take cues from the liquor, if it looks cloudy, strain it again. The finished result can be stored for months.
We love this after dinner, almost like a dessert liqueur. I tried two variations of this recipe, but the possibilities seem endless. I’m thinking some raspberries or strawberries would be lovely, as would some chai tea infusions. Always remember that with cooking and anything else, garbage in equals garbage out, so always use quality raw ingredients, like a premium vodka or Lindt 85% cocoa to ensure your result will be great.
Don’t be afraid to drink the finished result. I know the process seems odd, but the result is delicious. My parents loved it and so did everyone else I forced to try it.