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Philosopher's Fuel

November 2011
The Ingredients for Kahlua

Ahhhhhh, Synaptic sparkle with subtle vapors of perversion… an esoteric ink of uncoiling, if you will. High-octane, too. The first ingredient in this Rustic Kahlua recipe is the ever-so-difficult-to-acquire Patience. Consider yourself warned, this is the stuff of Gourmands and crazy, three-eyed Philosopher-Alchemists. To quote M. Maier from his Atalanta fugiens, Oppenheim (1618): “If one fetches the king from the Mercurial water, one should be careful that he should not lose his crown... Afterwards one should place him in a steam-bath, so that he loses the water that he has swallowed, and then marry him, so that he produces a royal son.” Now, if you wish to understand what this quote means then I recommend a nice strong White Russian (well, maybe more than one) made from our Philosopher's Fuel following the recipe below and waiting the requisite 4 months cure time with the patience-of-a-saint (and if you can do this without “testing” the batch now and then, then you probably are a saint).

2 - 12 oz bags of Deadman's Reach®
(our High Speed Blend) ground for French Press
3 - 750ml bottles of 100 proof vodka.
4 vanilla beans
5-6 cups of sugar
7 cups of water for steeping coffee
1.5 cups of water for disolving sugar
Cheese cloth
An extra 750 ml bottle
4 months time

White Russian

Bring 7 cups of water to a boil. Remove from burner and allow to cool slightly (optimum temperature for brewing coffee is between 190 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit). Add a 12 oz bag of Deadman's Reach (ground for French press). Stir and allow the grounds to steep for about 3-4 minutes. Stir it again to break the crust and pour through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the grounds. Filter the solution once again through the fine mesh and a few layers of cheese cloth. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Gradually add 5-6 cups of sugar to the one cup of water. It may be because I was using organic sugar, but once I got all of the sugar in I needed to add another 1/2 cup of water to help dissolve the sugar - which was added after I removed the mixture from the heat (to help it cool as well as thin it out a bit). I allowed this to cool as much as possible without allowing it to cool so much that it turned into a lump of sugar. Then I added the room temperature coffee to the sugar-water. It wasn't until the coffee solution was added that the sugar became a syrup without sugar crystals.

Add 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise, to this mixture. Allow it to return to room temperature. Add 2 bottles of vodka (keep the bottles) and another 12oz bag of Deadman's Reach. Allow to steep for 1 week at room temperature in a glass or stainless steel container. After 1 week filter the grounds from the mixture using a fine wire mesh sieve and then a couple more times using a few layers of cheese cloth draped over the sieve.

Add the third bottle of vodka to the mixture and bottle it in the empty vodka bottles along with a fresh 1/2 a vanilla bean (split lengthwise) per container (tie a bit of cotton thread to the vanilla bean and hang the end out of the bottle so that you can pull the bean out).

Let it sit at room temperature in a dark cabinet for 4 months. Makes about 4 - 750 ml bottles of Kahlua.

Yes, there will be sediment. Cheers!

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