Coffee-Infused Vodka

I know this isn’t really “dessert” in the usual definition of the word.  I know this.

But expand your definition of “dessert” to “delicious treat that makes me happy”, and then this works.

Every holiday season I make a berry-infused vodka with strawberries, blackberries and raspberries that is absolutely outstanding, and I’ve been thinking it might be fun to make a second, different infusion.  One year I tried a melon one that just didn’t cut it, and I haven’t tried a new one since – til now.

Recently for a friend’s birthday a bunch of us went whiskey tasting in Alameda, CA.  The distillery actually makes a lot more than just whiskey – one of the things they had was a coffee-infused vodka that was out of this world.  And I thought “I can make that!”.  So I set out to try and here are the results.


    ·       ½ cup water

    ·       ½ cup sugar

    ·        ½ t vanilla

    ·       ½ cup coffee grounds*

    ·        750 ml vodka *

  • Approximately – it’s really less and depends on the size of the infusion jar you use.  See details below.


Bring the water to a boil over a medium heat.  Once it starts boiling, lower the heat to low and pour in the sugar, stirring until it dissolves.  Then, turn off the heat, add the vanilla and stir until that’s well blended.  Set aside – this is essentially a simple sugar mixture that will cut some of the bite from the finished product.

In an empty (and clean) wine or vodka bottle (or in my case, a really cool looking 750 ml gin bottle gracefully donated by one of my friends), pour in your coffee grounds and the simple sugar.

IMG_1425IMG_1427Swirl it to mix, and then top the bottle with vodka, leaving room at the top so that you can shake it.  Shake it once and then put the bottle in the fridge.


Once a day for a week, gently shake the bottle to mix everything and return it to the fridge.  After a week you’re going to need to filter it.  You can do this a couple ways.  If you have a cheesecloth you can pour it through that.  Or, you can use a French press coffee maker to filter out the granules in the same way you’d make coffee.


A lot of the volume is gone once you filter out the coffee grounds. Plus the photo doesn’t really do it justice – it’s a deep coffee color, and smells fantastic.

IMG_1500IMG_1510Your finished vodka can be used in mudslides (yum!), in place of regular vodka in coffee-based cocktails like White Russians, to give a jolt to hot chocolate or as a syrup over ice cream.  Or, honestly, anything else – I’d love to hear of other creative uses!


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