Introduction: How to Make Delicious Chocolate Liqueur

Picture of How to Make Delicious Chocolate Liqueur

This comes from a typical Italian recipe for chocolate liquor. Funny how those Italians love to add pure alcohol to normal everyday beverages and call it a liquor. Well it works because this stuff is extremely delicious and perfect for ice cream, coffee, or just sipping straight. At over 25% alcohol, most people will probably prefer to mix it with something. Perhaps, some cream and a little cinnamon?

Warning! For those of you looking for a quick way to get drunk, just skip the chocolate and buy Everclear. It will save you a few steps.

Good now that I got that warning out of the way, we can proceed.

Step 1: Ingredients and Materials

Picture of Ingredients and Materials

To make 750ml:

4 oz baking chocolate. Make sure it says baking chocolate, I've had bad luck with stuff like Lindt chocolate bars.
1 cup sugar, I prefer raw or turbinado, but if you wish you could use white.
1 pint whole milk. The wholer the better.
1 cup Grain alcohol 190 or 151 proof (75-90%). Its hard to find 190 proof in the states, it generally can only be found as 151. The typical American brand is Everclear. It probably shouldn't be too hard to find elsewhere.

You'll need a large pot for melting the chocolate into milk
A fine meshed strainer. I have yet to find one I like, but I found a non-disposable coffee strainer at Vons (supermarket) that worked pretty well.
Bottles (0.75-1 liter is good size), I'm not sure what to call these kinds of bottles, but I found the ones used in this instructable at Sur le Table (its close to work, don't judge me).

*Edited to add actual quantity of chocolate needed. I figured this was important.

*Edited a second time to add the quantity of alcohol needed. Turns out its also important.

Step 2: Caramelize Sugar (mostly Optional)

Picture of Caramelize Sugar (mostly Optional)

Since, you are a fan of instructables, I suggest you make the most out of this and carmelize your sugar. Its not absolutely necessary, but if all you want to do is get drunk, you're best off skipping this instructable entirely. Also, if you're capable of multitasking you can do this while you mix the chocolate and milk, and just turn off the heat to the one that finishes first.

To caramelize the sugar, mix the 1 cup of sugar and about 1 cup of water in a separate pot then what you are using to melt the chocolate. The sugar will dissolve easier as you heat the mixture, so don't try to mix it before setting it on the stove. Basically just keep stirring the mix as it heats up even once its mixed. It will start boiling and bubbling and will require much more frequent stirring. I guess there is a fine line between making caramel and making candy, but it will all dissolve into the end mix anyway. Its tough to tell when enough is enough (ok, I'm not a professional caramelizer), but you'll notice eventually that the stuff is thickening. Thats probably a good point to add it to the chocolate mixture.

Like I said, its difficult to determine the point of caramelization because you are stirring while hot when the stuff tends to flow the best.

Uhh, I guess I looked it up, and this is not the way to make caramel. Its the way I made it for the liqueur, so I'm going to leave it until I try differently. There isn't an instructable that gets at it, but Wikihow suggests just melting sugar.

Step 3: Mix Everything But Alcohol, Then Add Alcohol

Picture of Mix Everything But Alcohol, Then Add Alcohol

Heat up the milk on a stove, careful not to burn it. Mix in the baking chocolate. It will start melting into the milk as the temperature increases. Also mix the caramel and ensure that everything is well mixed before taking off the heat.

Reduce the temperature down to about ambient. Placing the pot in the sink and running cool water around it can help to bring down the temperature.

The last step is to add in the alcohol and again ensure everything is well mixed. Like I said, wait til the temperature is low, because the alcohol will tend to vaporize off if its too warm.

Step 4: Filtering

Picture of Filtering

I haven't quite discovered what this stuff is, but without fail a crust of sediment forms on the top. It takes about 4-5 days for the stuff to fully form, but you'll notice it after a day or so. Take all your chocolate liqueur and run it through the filter/strainer. It will go pretty slowly, and will probably be a messy painful process, but its pretty important. Wash the bottle to remove any sediments that didn't escape. You'll probably lose a small amount of this stuff during the process as it tends to stay behind in your pots and funnels. Re-bottle your concoction and notice its glamorous appeal.

Step 5: Let Sit and Wait

Picture of Let Sit and Wait

its that easy, just let this amazing bottle full of sin and alcohol sit on your shelf well sealed for a couple weeks to a few months. This is a confectionery Italian product, and can be extremely delicious depending on how well you make it. I gave you the basic recipe, but there is much more to it that I haven't quite yet discovered. If anyone else has done this before and has further suggestions (especially any Italians with secret family recipes!), please feel free to post comments.

For consumption, drizzle a small amount over your ice cream (or gelato!). Pour on top of fresh fruit. Mix it with coffee, or sip it straight. There are plenty of uses to get this stuff from the bottle to your belly.

The most important step is creating your own labels. I bought printable packing labels from Office Depot and designed what you see here. Its pretty simple, but it sure adds your own authenticity.


P.S. I hope you enjoy this for your birthday Kelly!


bobtooce (author)2009-04-23

I think I'm going to try an Ovaltine version of this recipe.

FranklinNewhart (author)bobtooce2017-01-13

When I was a kid we dug Chickory and roasted it. It made a good Coffee Substitute. Might try using it to make a Liqueur

The_3rd (author)bobtooce2010-09-09

Hey bobtooce, I know you had said you were going to try an Ovaltine recipe...did you, and how did it work out?

scuba03 (author)The_3rd2011-01-14

yeah i too wanna know how that worked???

The_3rd (author)scuba032011-01-14

I have actually been busy, and since I left that last comment, it has been sitting in the bottle in my fridge, unopened :-D

scuba03 (author)The_3rd2011-01-14

lol open it and trry it sounds like it'd be awesome. also u from aus? if so where did u get the alcohol base?

The_3rd (author)scuba032011-01-14

I'm actually from the states, and I used a slightly different mix, using Vodka instead. I have yet to blend a premium neutral spirits mix to make this taste better, but it is good :-)

scuba03 (author)The_3rd2011-01-15

so did you just swap out the other alcohol for the vodka?

The_3rd (author)scuba032011-01-15

Yes :-D

ggadget (author)2016-06-18

I don't like milk chocolate but I still want to make this. How do I adjust this recipe to exclude the milk?

jkoznek (author)2009-05-17

How long can this be stored for?

joycebr (author)jkoznek2016-04-28

Mine lasted the whole time I had it in the fridge. About 3-4 mo.

brawns214 (author)jkoznek2009-05-17

I have no idea. Its not like wine or hard alcohols so don't let it sit for decades. By the time I start drinking it a few weeks to a month later, I usually go through it quite soon afterward!

N3p7uN3 (author)2014-05-23

Would coffee paper filters work for the filtering? I have Melita #2 cone filters.

joycebr (author)N3p7uN32016-04-28

I tried those but it was very slow to filter. I just used a regular mesh filter. It doesn't bother me to have tiny bits of chocolate in my liqueur.

joycebr (author)2016-04-28

I had no problem finding the 190 proof Everclear. If you use a sweet baking chocolate add less sugar. If it's unsweetened you may need slightly more. Just make sure it's a good quality baking chocolate. I found this to be similar to the Godiva chocolate liqueur. It's really very good.

valerie.roberts.374 (author)2015-01-28

Yeah y is the powdered chocolate shown

esther.b.liberman (author)2015-01-07

Recipe calls for "baking chocolate," but photo shows cocoa. These are two very different products. Which do you use? Thanks!

MatrisInlumino (author)2012-07-19

Home-Brewing shops will have stopper jars/bottles as well as a variety of printable labels.

Also, there are specialty stores like The Container Store that have all sorts of stopper-styled jars and bottles, for a surprisingly fair price.

doodlesrkool (author)2012-01-11

I make a caramel for flan. Don't add water. All you are doing is melting the sugar when you caramelize it. If you add water then you just have to wait for it to cook out, which gets you back to just sugar.

#OccupyInstruct (author)2011-12-28

vanilla? possibly coffe to bring out the chocolate flavor?

Batness (author)2011-10-09

Any way to do this sans milk? I just can't handle that much milk but MUST try this. XD

draksul (author)2011-07-12

this really looks awesome! do you think you can do the same with white chocolate? to make a white chocolate liquor???

donhaynes (author)2011-06-20

That crust is called "bloom" when it happens in tempered chocolate. If the temperature of chocolate raises too far via cooking or sits too long at a temperature of above 70 degrees F, the cocoa butter will separate from the chocolate and you will get crystallized sugars and cocoa butter at the top.

Scurvymcdiggle (author)2010-06-17

you should probably chill about the whole getting drunk thing...some of us like to get drunk and have something done well by hand that tastes good. also you should just look in the recycle for bottles just clean them out and its free.

Well, most people that make their own alcoholic beverages like to buy the type of bottle pictured in this instructable because they can be re-used over and over and are generally of good quality. Around here they're often referred to as "Grolsch bottles", you can usually go to a bottle exchange and ask them to set a few aside for you for a small fee.

yeah. i know some people like grolsch bottles but they are not cheap so for those of you with a more limited bank account just get dirty bottles for free.

your_azz (author)2009-12-14

The crusty sediment gunk forming at the top is most probably fusel alcohol/fusel oil/potato oil.

Copypasta from wikipedia: "Excessive concentrations of these fractions may cause off flavours, sometimes described as "spicy," "hot," or "solvent-like." Some beverages, such as whisky, Siwucha and traditional ales and ciders, are expected to have relatively high concentrations of fusel alcohols as part of the flavour profile. In other beverages, such as vodka and lagers, the presence of fusel alcohols is considered a fault."

Zlosk (author)2009-04-27
There is not a quantity of grain alcohol listed in the recipe. The only note I saw that can be calculated into a quantity is "At over 25% alcohol, most people will probably prefer to mix it with something."

  • Available grain alcohol is 190 proof
  • 1 pt milk + 4 oz chocolate + 1 cup sugar + 1 cup water = 3 cups of non-alcoholic liquid
  • 1 measure pure alcohol + 1 measure non-alcohol = 2 measures mixed
  • >25% = 30% (IIRC, this is the % alcohol in Irish cream)

(24 fl_oz * 0%) + (n fl_oz * 95%) = ((24 + n) fl_oz * 30%)
.95 n = 7.2 + .3 n
.65 n = 7.2
n = 11.077 fl_oz, or 1-3/8 cups

Is this correct, or am I off?
brawns214 (author)Zlosk2009-04-28

You're math is just about there. One pint is 16 oz, so it would look like

(24 * 0) + (n * .755 or 0.95) = (16 + n) * desired_alcohol_level

I'd recommend using about 1 cup of 190 proof and maybe a bit more of 151 proof. Alcohol. Thanks for noticing the missing ingredient. I've just added that back in. Man, no wonder why this one wasn't featured, I originally forgot to mention how much chocolate and how much alcohol.

Zlosk (author)brawns2142009-04-29

There's 16 fluid oz. of milk. What about the sugar/water syrup? I am not sure of what the actual quantity is for the sugar/water combo. In recipes I've seen for simple syrup, 2 cups sugar + 1-1/2 cup water = 2 cups syrup. I made the assumption that the addition of the sugar had a negligible effect on the volume of the water, though in reality it probably adds a couple fluid ounces.

Your liquid before adding the alcohol is 16 fluid oz milk + 8 fluid oz syrup (minimum), or 24 fluid oz. total.

brawns214 (author)Zlosk2009-04-29

Alright, you got me, I'm not counting every ounce of caramel that goes in, but that stuff basically dissolves into the milk and the alcohol. Volume isn't really conserved in this case. Try it out, and see what you come out to in terms of volume then report back. Also a small amount is always lost in transferring to different containers. I actually did this with 2 one-liter bottles and scaled appropriately. I believe I used 1.5 quarts of milk, handle of everclear (750ml) and I think 2 and a little more cups of sugar. Somehow I still wasn't able to fill two bottles with the puportedly over 2 liters of stuff I mixed together. Sorry about mixing units in the same sentences. I generally a follow a 'its about right' sort of philosophy many times. Depending on the chocolate used, the sugar used, how the caramel turns out, and the strength desired, it will vary for each person. Recipes online varied by a small amount from one to the other for this stuff so I guess its up to you how strong you want it all. I also tried to come up with proportions that scale well. Let me know how your turns out.

Zlosk (author)brawns2142009-04-29

All right, I'll see what I get and report back. I've bought the baking chocolate and raw sugar, but still need to pick up a pint of whole milk and some grain alcohol.

Zlosk (author)Zlosk2009-07-21

Well, it's been a while, but I finally made it. I used:

8 oz baking chocolate (Trader Joe's Unsweetened Belgian Baking Chocolate)
1 quart heavy whipping cream
2 1/4 cups sugar (Trader Joe's Organic Sugar)
1/2 cup water
1 pint 190 proof grain alcohol

I melted the chocolate in the heavy cream.

I started the caramel with 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water. It got thick and syrupy, but then, all of a sudden, the water was gone and I had something akin to light brown sugar in the pan. I continued heating until the sugar melted and became caramel. I poured in the chocolate cream and some of the caramel solidified and cemented itself to the pan. I guessed about 1/4 cup sugar was left behind in the pan, so I added 1/4 cup more sugar to the mix.

Before adding the alcohol, it tasted like semi-sweet chocolate.

After adding the chocolate, I had just under 2 quarts of liquid; I'm guessing about 60 fluid oz. So, the final proof is:

190 proof x 16 fl_oz / 60 fl_oz = 50.7 proof, or 25.3% alcohol by volume.

Zlosk (author)Zlosk2009-08-04

It's now been a couple weeks since I've made it, and either I shouldn't have used heavy whipping cream, or I shouldn't be keeping it in the refrigerator, or both, because it's about the consistency of pudding. It hasn't gone through the filtering step, because it was never liquid enough to even pour into a filter.

brawns214 (author)Zlosk2009-08-06

Hmm, the heavy whipping cream is an interesting choice. I guess I said 'the wholer the better' but turns out whole milk is about as fatty as you'd want to go. Also you don't really need to let it sit in the refrigerator, just in a nice dark spot.

jonesaj1006 (author)2009-07-30

There are only a few states that you cannot buy 190 proof in. Wikipedia has the list.

peeviech (author)2009-05-22

Thanks for the instructable, I wanted to make the liquer for my friends as a gift before we all leave our town after our graduation. To the alcohol issue, at least in Germany you can buy this kind of alcohol at the pharmacy, but here you also don't have to hide it in a paper bag....

brawns214 (author)peeviech2009-05-27

A graduation gift is a perfect opportunity. Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions. Make sure the stuff you buy at the pharmacy is drinking alcohol, not denatured, or rubbing alcohol. In the states at least, they add poison (methanol) to stuff sold in the pharmacy so they don't have to tax it at drinking alcohol rates. As to hiding it in a paper bag, we Americans have turned a bizarre law (non-existent in Las Vegas and New Orleans) into a fun hobby. Hide the alcohol from the cops!

peeviech (author)brawns2142009-06-27

In Germany they don't sell alcohol in pharmacies that makes you go blind or kill you. My mum works in a pharmacy so getting the stuff is not a problem Recently one student on a class trip to Turkey died because he drank adulterated alcohol, it was illegally mixed with methanol. Really bad.
I try the recipe on Monday but before I have to convert your amounts of the ingredients into metric.

brawns214 (author)peeviech2009-06-27

Well, I turned an Italian recipe (already in Metric) to convenient american units. My bad, not thinking too much about the other 6 billion people out there. You know how we Americans can be :) The original recipe, I believe was something of the following for 750 ml: 100 g chocolate (baking chocolate) 100 g sugar 2 deciliters of pure alcohol 0.5 liters milk

doughy (author)2009-06-07

the scum you are finding at the top of the bottle is cocoa solids, milk solids, proteins and so on, nothing particularly special but held together mostly by the chocolate (or that's how I understand it) to the chocolate, you'll get a better flavor with better quality chocolate if you are willing to add an extra step or two. choose a good chocolate and melt it slowly in a double boiler (metal/glass bowl over a pot of slightly simmer water, don't let the water touch the bottom of the bowl) stiring slowly while and constantly while the chocolate is melting, while doing that, let the milk slowly bring the milk up to temperature (no higher then 65 degrees centigrade) than take a small amount (max 1/4 cup) of milk and add it to the chocolate and start stirring, the chocolate will clump together (its called seizing) but keep stirring and adding small amounts of milk at a time, keep stirring and adding, eventually the chocolate will start the smooth out and become silky at that point you can start adding larger amounts of milk until its all added in. You've then got the perfect melted chocolate that will work for any chocolate you can get your hands on, it will work into any liquid you add it too. as a side note, if you use water to make the melted chocolate, you'll get a much more intense chocolate flavor, but the milk will create a more rich flavor. I hope that was clear, any troubles or need clarification let me know

brawns214 (author)doughy2009-06-07

That is really good information. Thanks for adding it!

cybertoddicus (author)2009-04-27

You can get swing top bottles and growlers from most any home brewing supply store. If you don't have a local shop, there are Many web stores. I purchase all my supplies from Northern Brewer, for example.

MRubenzahl (author)2009-04-26

Two comments. First, re the bottles: Another place to get them is at a good grocery store. There is a fancy French lemonade that comes in these. A few beers also some in similar, though smaller, bottles. Re: Caramel -- what you're doing is right. That's caramel: Melted and browned sugar. Use a heavy pot that is light colored inside and once it starts to brown, watch carefully -- the process accelerates and the caramel burns quickly. Also, be really careful. Melted sugar is a lot hotter than boiling water and will cause a really awful burn.

brawns214 (author)MRubenzahl2009-04-26

Again, thanks for the suggestive comments.

Browncoat (author)2009-04-23

Does the stuff you filter out taste good??

brawns214 (author)Browncoat2009-04-23

You know, this last time was the first time I used this quality baking chocolate. Normally I had used the Lindt and the stuff that filtered out wasn't really that good. This stuff that came out just seemed mostly like gritty undissolved chocolate. I guess would taste alright, but certainly took something away from the chocolate liqueur experience.

suckrpnch (author)2009-04-23

I am curious as to where you got those bottles, they look really useful...

bobtooce (author)suckrpnch2009-04-23

He mentioned in step 2 or 3 that he got them at Sur le Table (a cookware and foodie gadget store - expensive). You can also find them at your local homebrew supply shop.

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