A toast to nature! That’s exactly what will be on your mind when you raise your first glass of acorn liqueur. Yes, those unassuming acorns that sprout on the oak trees in your yard can be used to produce gorgeous liqueur.
Rest assured that this isn’t just an alcohol alternative for desperate times. Licor de bellota (liqueur of acorn) is a popular Spanish drink that is served on many exclusive tables throughout the Iberian Peninsula.
Acorn liquor is typically a clear, golden-amber hue with a flavor that ranges from nutty to mildly pungent. The most incredible thing isn’t that acorn liqueur is an actual thing. The best part is that it’s something you can make at home.
Our Own Acorn Liqueur Recipe
We had fun naming this recipe Ardilla Hermosa acorn liqueur because it translates to “beautiful squirrel” in Spanish. I wanted the name to be in this language because I tried it in Spain for the first time.
The taste is a bit different, mainly because we have different oak species in the US. But whenever I drink it, I think of the great people with whom I shared this liqueur for the first time.
First, make sure you pick up the best acorns you can. We go into detail about the best ways to gather acorns in some of our past blogs.
You should also be familiar with the acorn leaching process to prepare this liqueur. It should be the first thing you do, to help you remove the bitterness of the natural tannins found in acorns.
We do want to prepare you for the fact that it takes a full two months for your liqueur to be fully ready after you whip up this recipe. Patience is definitely a virtue for acorn lovers!
- 7 ounces of roasted acorns
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1 2/3 cups of water
- 3 cups of your favorite distilled spirit
- Oversized mason jar/several small mason jars
- “Soup” pot
To make our Ardilla Hermosa acorn liqueur, follow these steps:
- Roast your acorns at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Roast them in your oven for 15 minutes. You can go a little longer if the acorns aren’t brown yet. The rule is that darker acorns create a heavier flavor.
- Grind your acorns
Wait for the acorns to cool before grinding them into smaller pieces using a food processor. You should only be grinding them into pieces without turning them into a thin powder. Remember that if you go too thin, it will be hard to strain your acorns properly.
Bring 1 1/3 cups of water to a boil and stir in your sugar.
- Add the acorn grounds
Finally, add in your acorn grounds. You’ll be letting the entire pot cool down for a few minutes before doing the next step.
- Pour in the spirit
This is the moment when you add the 3 cups of a distilled spirit of your choice. I recommend brandy, which is how the original is made. Vodka also gives a good result.
- Fill the mason jar with the mix
Here comes the hard part. You’re actually going to have to wait a full two months to do anything else with your almost-ready liqueur.
- Strain the liquid
At the two-month mark, strain the liquid in your mason jar through a slightly moistened piece of cheesecloth. Do this very slowly to allow time to gently squeeze the pulp into the mix to extract the flavor.
The Last Step is the Best One
For the final step, take a sip and enjoy. And remember that this liqueur is not solely to drink; you can also use acorn liqueur for boozy popsicles, marinades, mixed drinks, and dessert toppings.
Finally, if you think it could be a bit stronger, wait three months instead of two the next time you make it.