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Coconut liqueur, also known as coconut alcohol, is a coconut-flavored alcohol, often with a rum base. While you can purchase flavored alcohols, especially coconut rum, manufactured coconut liquers are often high in sugar, low in alcohol, and do not have a truly rich coconut taste. (2) You can easily make your own coconut liquer by infusing your favourite alcohol with fresh or dried coconut.

Coconut Alcohol and Flavoring

While rum is often the spirit of choice for a coconut liquer, you can make coconut liquer with any number of base spirits, including vodka or whiskey. However, the sweetness and smoothness of rum lends itself well to the rich, round nuttiness of coconut. (2) You can use either fresh or dried coconut meat to make a coconut infused liquer. However, if choosing fresh coconut meat, stick with the meat of a mature coconut, as the flesh from a young coconut will not be sufficiently strong tasting. (2) In some cases, you can add other seasonings, such as dried vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks, to add spice and roundness to your coconut liquer. (2)

Infusion Time

Prep your coconut by chopping them roughly, into 1-inch pieces. The smaller size allows the alcohol to penetrate faster, although cutting them too small can result in excess residue after the infusion process. (1) If you are using fresh coconut, you can let your infusion rest for less time. For fresh coconut, let your infusion rest for at least two weeks, but no more than three, tasting regularly after two weeks to check the flavor. (3) Dried coconut needs to sit longer, so check after three weeks. (1, personal experience)

Straining Properly

To ensure that your alcohol infusion lasts as long as possible, strain out all sediment from your infusion. Any small bits of organic matter can, over time, rot, ruining your coconut liquer. After straining out large pieces with a mesh strainer, use either a coffee filter or a cheesecloth to strain out any additional pieces. (1, 3, 4) Ideally, strain your infusion twice to ensure that all sediment is removed. (4)

Storing Your Liquer

Air, heat and small particles leftover from the infusion process can cause your coconut liquer to go rancid. Store your coconut liquer in a small bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Fill the jars to as high as possible, as the less air there is in the bottle, the longer it can be stored for. While you can keep your coconut liquer at room temperature, storing it in the fridge will mean you can keep it for longer. If your liquer has gone cloudy, throw it out as it is possible sediment in the liquer has started to rot. (4)

About the Author

Rachel Benson

Rachel has worked professionally as a chef and writer on food since 2010. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree, she holds a diploma in classic culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute. She has an active interest in wine, fine dining and sustainable agriculture.