Caroline Cogswell's Celebrated Morning Tonic (A Coffee Liqueur)

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READY IN: 725880hrs
Recipe by MaryMc

Caroline's is a spiced coffee liqueur that I've named after a very patient and long-suffering lady who probably could have used a morning tonic like this to jump-start her days. I make it almost every year to give as a holiday gift. If you want to know the story behind the name, you can find it at

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Make simple syrup by heating sugar and water in a heavy saucepan, stirring to mix. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add instant coffee and spices and remove from heat. Cool.
  3. Add rum and brandy and pour into a glass or ceramic container (not metal or plastic). Cap tightly or cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  4. If you're multiplying the recipe, you will still want to steep it in containers no bigger than about a quart, dividing the spices up between them. The flavor doesn't seem to develop as well in bigger containers. I've bought a box of quart canning jars that I re-use every year.
  5. Steep for three weeks in a cool, dark place, shaking or swirling around in the container every two or three days.
  6. Strain out the spices and discard.
  7. Line a funnel, a sieve or a coffee cone with a dampened coffee filter and pour the liqueur through. Change the filter regularly. This is a SLOW process!
  8. When I make this for holiday gifts, I make such a quantity--seven or eight times this recipe--I'd get old and gray waiting for it to filter this way. So I invested around $20 in a gold-plated permanent coffee filter (look for them in a good kitchen shop). It's much faster and the results are a tiny bit more cloudy, but they taste just fine!
  9. After filtering, cover tightly and age another three or four weeks (or more--the longer it ages, the better it gets).
  10. Bottle your creation, decorate as desired and enjoy!

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