Experiments in Homemade Everclear Cordials

In an effort to save some money on booze, I picked up a $20 bottle of Everclear at my local Spec’s to experiment with. For those of you who haven’t heard of this stuff, Everclear is a brand of distilled grain alcohol- like 95% straight booze.

Seriously, don’t drink it straight.

But what it excels at, at least according to the intarwebz (and some cookbooks) is providing a base level of booze for making your own cordials and even a bit of knock-off hooch.

All of my spoof labels aside, here are the recipes in case you want to try making your own.

A word on essential oils- many brands are not listed for internal use, look for brands that are okay for eating if you want to be safe. Some
“external use only” are supposedly safe in small amounts like this, but I officially have to tell you to stick to food-grade oils.

One of the big things with essential oils is that many are alcohol-soluble, but not water-soluble. That means that splashing the same amount in your bottled water is more likely to cause irritation or other side effects than the same amount dissolved in alcohol. Why do you think most old-timey medicines had alcohol? Sure, preservation was part of it, but holding the oils in place was really important, too!

Warnings – All of these are pretty “bottom shelf” because I’m not doing a lot of the steps involved in really high-quality stuff. These are offered as-is, without warranty- don’t shoot your eye out! Also, never try selling these, all of my bottles are clearly marked “Not for retail sale”.

All of these were made using the same batch of simple syrup:

Simple Syrup

  • 5 cups Distilled Water
  • 3 cups Sugar

Heat to just boiling, stirring if necessary to dislodge stray crystals. Allow to cool to a safe handling temperature.

Cap’n MacCormic’s Spiced Arrrum

`Tis not Rum, precisely… But `Tis spiced an’ potent!

  • 250ml Everclear
  • 250ml Simple Syrup
  • 500ml Distilled Water
  • 2-4tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1-3 drops Clove Essential Oil
  • 1-3 drops Cassia or Cinnamon Essential Oil

Place a funnel in the mouth of your bottle and add the flavors to the bottle. I recommend starting with a lower amount the first time and add more later if you want. Add the Everclear, then cap the bottle. Shake well.

Top with the simple syrup and water. Allow to cool and serve with ice. Makes roughly 1 liter at about 23.75% ABV.

Casa di McCormico

Orange liqueur

  • 250ml Everclear
  • 500ml Simple Syrup
  • 1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 12-30 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil
  • 1-3 drops Clove Essential Oil

Place a funnel in the mouth of your bottle and add the flavors to the bottle. I recommend starting with a lower amount the first time and add more later if you want. Add the Everclear, then cap the bottle. Shake well.

Top with the simple syrup and water. Allow to cool and then place in the freezer. Serve ice cold in small cups. Makes roughly 750ml at about 31.67% ABV.

Michkörmichen Pfefferminz Kräuterlikör

Peppermint liqueur

  • 250ml Everclear
  • 500ml Simple Syrup
  • 1/4 to 1 tsp Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Place a funnel in the mouth of your bottle and add the flavors to the bottle. I recommend starting with a lower amount the first time and add more later if you want. Add the Everclear, then cap the bottle. Shake well.

Top with the simple syrup and water. Allow to cool and then place in the freezer. Serve ice cold in small cups. Makes roughly 750ml at about 31.67% ABV.

Chez Maque Cormique

Mild Cherry Liqueur!

  • 250ml Everclear
  • 250ml Simple Syrup
  • 400ml Distilled Water
  • 100ml syrup from Maraschino Cherries

Place a funnel in the mouth of your bottle and add the flavors to the bottle. I recommend starting with a lower amount the first time and add more later if you want. Add the Everclear, then cap the bottle. Shake well.

Top with the simple syrup and water. Allow to cool and serve with ice. Makes roughly 1 liter at about 23.75% ABV.

Liberating My Life