Take this coffee liqueur, for instance. I don't drink coffee, but I do love a good dark chocolate, coffee truffle. You can make this coffee liqueur much more cheaply than you can buy a bottle of the good stuff. The other nice thing about this liqueur, unlike the blackberry I posted earlier, is that it can be made, start to finish, in less than a week. How's that for handy!?!
Yield: approximately 4 cups
2 2/3 cup vodka
2 cups whole French vanilla coffee beans
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
Dump the coffee beans into a large glass jar with a tightly fitting lid. Pour the room-temperature vodka over the beans. Put the lid on the jar, swirl to mix and then set in a cool, dark place to steep for five days, swirling occasionally.
After the five days, the vodka should be quite dark. If it is not, give the mixture another day or two to sit. I wouldn't recommend letting the mixture sit over two weeks, at the maximum. Strain the vodka, first with a colander and then through a couple of coffee filters to ensure a nice, clear product.
Heat the sugar and water just until the sugar melts. Let this mixture cool to room temperature. Pour into the strained vodka and stir. Decant into pretty bottles and enjoy!
NOTE: Obviously, the quality of vodka you choose to use in this recipe will affect the outcome. It all depends on what you intend to do with the final result. If you are looking for a fine sipping liqueur, then buy the best quality vodka you can afford. If you are making this recipe to use as an ingredient in other products, you can get by with the cheap stuff.