A funny thing happened when I was perusing the 63 videos on my YouTube channel. I noticed that 2 of the top-10 videos on Man Cave Munchies were homemade liqueurs: Irish Cream and Double Dutch Chocolate. At that moment it hit me...My audience REALLY likes recipes with booze. So, I decided to up the ante by devoting the month of November to booze-infused recipes. For a starter, I decided to give you guys yet another favorite homemade hooch of mine: Amaretto for $5 a pitcher. (see the video at right) The great thing about making homemade liqueurs is that you can use the cheapest booze on the shelf, since the alcohol is more about function than form. You can also control the flavor, since you are in charge of that as well. Add a pinch of this or a double dash of that and you will wind up with a whole new taste sensation.
Who Put the Irish in Irish Cream?
Most of you probably don't know that mixing whiskey and cream together was a traditional cure for an upset stomach in Ireland. It wasn't until 1971 that the management at Gilbey's of Ireland had a brainstorm. That's when the idea for Bailey's Irish Cream was born. The problem was dairy products and milk mix about as well as water and oil. As a result, the beverage separated within a few hours. It literally took the mixologists at Gilbey's 3-years to find the perfect formula, Today, Bailey's and all its imitators have become one of the world's most popular liqueurs.
That being said, you don't have to spend $20-$35 for a bottle of the stuff. Not when you can make it by the pitcher for around $10. Unlike Amaretto, which gets its kick from vodka, the Irish in Irish Cream comes from whiskey. Again, you aren't looking for top shelf whiskey. You should be able to procure a pint of low brow whiskey in the $5-$7 range. To that you will need to add a can of condensed milk, a teaspoon of instant coffee, a shot of chocolate syrup, a dash of vanilla and a couple of cups of milk or almond milk. Pour these ingredients into a blender, rev it up and you have homemade Irish cream on the cheap. (see the video below)
Making cream liqueurs is so simple, it amazes me that more guys don't jump at the opportunity. Pick a flavor or fruit, decide on the type of booze to use (whiskey, vodka, or brandy), add a dash of spice or splash of extract and you're off to the races. I did a quick search online and found dozens of different homemade liqueur recipes that were quick and easy to make. They were also WAY cheaper than their commercial counterparts. (Below is my recipe for Double Dutch Chocolate liqueur.)
Beer as Food
As you know, one of the hallmarks of Man Cave Munchies is my promise that 25% of the recipes I cook will use beer as an ingredient. That's right guys, you can EAT beer! Used as a leavening agent in breads, cakes and batters (see my Beer Battered Cod recipe below), or used as a flavor enhancer in sauces, gravies and main courses, it's hard to beat beer. I routinely use beer in everything from Barbecue Sauce and Pizza Dough to Jambalaya and Chicken Wings.
Did I forget to mention that you can also use beer in a number of desserts? On the show we have shown you how to make everything from Beer Cupcakes to Beer Brownies. Beer Crumpets are even better, since they can be used as a dessert or as a beery bun that's great with burgers, fish and cold cuts. In a future episode I will show you how to make chocolate cake with beer. So, I guess you can say that you can have your cake and beer it too.
With a little imagination there's no limit to how you can use beer in recipes. Next month I will show you to make such favorites as Beer Bean Soup and Beef & Beer Barley Stew, to Beer & Bacon Muffins and Beer Mac & Cheese. Whether you want drink it or eat it, adding alcohol to a favorite recipe is a great way to put a little kick in your cooking. That's the way we became the Boozy Bunch.
If you want to share your favorite beer recipes with Carl, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org For even more recipes and social posts, go to http://mancavemunchies.com