Coffeepot distilling is a convenient and practical way to make alcohol essence. Alcohol essence is a flavoring that is made by adding fruits and any other desired foods or spices to alcohol and distilling it. The result is a flavored alcohol essence used to flavor liquor. This method of distillation requires few starting materials and does not create dangerous byproducts, making it a simple at-home activity. By distilling alcohol essence at home, it’s possible to avoid the high cost of buying flavored alcohols and to add a creative touch to customized liquors.

Things You'll Need

Add orange peels, juniper berries, licorice powder and 75 to 90 percent alcohol (150 to 190 proof) to a clean glass jar, making “mash.” Keep the glass jar in a dark place at room temperature for one to two weeks. Although any amount of alcohol and flavorings may be used, a rough guideline to follow is 5 to 10g flavoring per cup of alcohol.

Insert the cork into the top of the coffeepot. Test for an airtight seal by placing the coffeepot into a sink filled with water. If the coffeepot is airtight, little to no water will leak in.

Drill a hole in the cork fitted to the coffeepot in Step 2 to fit the size of the nozzle attachment on the condenser. Attach the condenser to the cork in the coffeepot, and make sure it’s airtight by again placing the coffeepot in a sink filled with water. Should the hole be too big, apply a small amount of wood glue around the condenser and allow it to dry.

Pour the mash in the glass jar into the coffeepot, and add a little bit of water to slightly dilute the mash before distilling.

Attach the plastic tubing to the two nipples on the condenser. One tube should attach to a sink nozzle while the other tube captures heated waste water from the condenser. Allow the hot waste water to flow down the drain during distillation.

Heat the coffeepot to 194 degrees F on a stove while water is running through the condenser. Measure the temperature periodically to ensure it is not below or above 194 degrees F. Collect the distillate essence in a glass as it flows from the plastic tube connected to the condenser.

Add the alcohol essence to any type of liquor to impart its flavor. Use a ratio of 10mL essence for every liter of 40 percent alcohol. If the liquor becomes cloudy, choose a higher alcohol level or add less essence.


  • Experiment with different flavorings to create one-of-a-kind flavored alcohol. Also try different ratios of flavors and changing the amount of time the mash is allowed to sit.

  • If you cannot obtain a distilling license, try substituting water for the alcohol. Distilling water is perfectly legal and produces a flavor essence similar to that of alcohol.