Forget the liquor store and instead start by opening up your kitchen cabinets. Do-it-yourself liqueurs are a simple and easy way to make festive specialty cocktails without any of the overpriced ingredients you’d find at a fancy bar. You can use almost any aromatics – fresh herbs, citrus, fruit, etc. – and switch up the base liquor for an exciting variation. Check out our 9 recipes for DIY liqueurs you can make at home and get started on your next cocktail adventure.
1. Coffee Liqueur
Cold brew coffee ages and melds beautifully with brown sugar simple syrup, rum, and some vanilla bean for extra flavor. Mix this into creamy cocktails or serve alone with ice. Get our Coffee Liqueur recipe.
2. Homemade Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
Haven’t gotten your fill of pumpkin spice this season? Try this pumpkin spice liqueur, made with cinnamon, pumpkin puree, sugar, cloves, vanilla beans, and rum. Get our Homemade Pumpkin Spice Liqueur recipe.
3. DIY Ginger Liqueur
A make-at-home take on a favorite fancy liqueur, this ginger mixture packs some heat. You can steep this combination for as little as one day, so this makes a great last minute gift. Get the recipe here.
4. Homemade Amaretto
After trying this homemade amaretto you’ll never look at the store-bought stuff the same way again. Apricots, almonds, dried cherries, apricot kernels, brandy, and vodka are mixed together for a subtly sweet outcome. Get our Homemade Amaretto recipe.
5. Mixed Citrus Liqueur
A truly customizable recipe, this citrus liqueur starts of with grain alcohol and gets a ton of flavor from fresh fruit, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and allspice. Get the recipe here.
6. Cucumber-Lemon Gin
This infused gin makes a fabulous gin and tonic or Tom Collins. The cucumber and lemon lends a light and refreshing taste that reminds you that summer will once again return. Get the recipe here.
7. Strawberry Citrus and Jalapeno Tequila
A margarita made with strawberry citrus and jalapeno tequila is one you definitely won’t forget. You can drink this straight or sweeten it a little with some pineapple juice or agave syrup. Mix with seltzer for a refreshing spritzer. Get the recipe here.
8. Spiced Rum
A great idea for a holiday gift, our recipe for spiced rum is a simple and delicious take that includes allspice, orange zest, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, and vanilla bean. Get our Spiced Rum recipe.
9. Grapefruit Infused Vodka
Grapefruit rinds are combined with vodka and in about 24 hours you have a delightful and impressive rival to Absolut Ruby Red. Makes for a great low-calorie vodka soda that bears no resemblance to the tasteless sorority girl favorite you remember. Get our Grapefruit Infused Vodka recipe.
Header image: Pumpkin Spice Liqueur from Chowhound
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.