[Photograph: Marcia Simmons]
Hazelnut liqueur flies a bit under the radar compared to its nutty cousin amaretto. However, hazelnut liqueur has a layered and complex flavor that makes it a treat to sip on its own after dinner or shake up in a cocktail.
Note: Whole, raw hazelnuts with the skin on can be found in the bulk bin section of natural supermarkets or at Trader Joe’s. This recipe goes light on the sugar, so add more simple syrup to taste if desired.
Read more: DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Hazelnut Liqueur
- Yield:makes about 2 cups
- Total time:3 weeks
- 1/2 pound raw hazelnuts with skin, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup vodka
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 vanilla bean, split
Combine chopped hazelnuts, vodka, and brandy in a sealable jar. Shake and let steep at room temperature for 2 weeks.
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Let cool, then add to the hazelnut mixture. Shake and let steep for 3 days, then add the vanilla bean and let steep for additional 3 to 5 days.
Sample often. Once desired flavor is achieved, strain through sieve and then again through cheesecloth or coffee filter. Refrigerate for up to 2 months.