Here’s how to make the BEST homemade white chocolate liqueur! It’s surprisingly easy to make and tastes deliciously creamy with extra white chocolate flavor, without being too sweet. And it’s got the perfect balance of booze and a creamy consistency. Heaps better than store-bought and makes a great edible gift for the holidays!
White chocolate liqueur had me hooked from the first time I tried it. It was a bottle of Godiva white chocolate liqueur that I bought for a cocktail that I wanted to make, and I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. I’m not a big fan of white chocolate and thought the white chocolate liqueur might be cloyingly sweet. But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it had the perfect balance of sweet, creamy and boozy.
So for the past few years, I’ve been trying to see if I can make my own version of white chocolate liqueur at home. The recipes that I’ve seen online and tried in the past had a few problems.
- They had a very low alcohol percentage (the Godiva white chocolate liqueur on the other hand has a 15% alcohol content).
- Way too sweet. The low alcohol content was because of the added liquid and sugar.
- This also makes the liqueur too creamy. This may not be a problem for some, but I love Godiva liqueur. It’s just has that right balance of thick creaminess and alcohol.
After doing some research I found out that white chocolate liqueur incorporates white chocolate (duh!), cream, caramel and vanilla.
White chocolate is made with a mixture of cocoa butter, milk and sugar. However, sometimes the cocoa butter can separate and harden in the fridge if the right amount of chocolate and alcohol isn’t added. So, to avoid white chocolate liqueur from separating and hardening, I have added condensed milk – which is white chocolate without the cocoa butter.
So only using dairy and sugar (plus vodka), I made my own DIY homemade white chocolate liqueur that you can use in cocktails, or beverages like coffee, or even gift your friends and family this Christmas! This homemade white chocolate liqueur is one of those things that you never know you want, until you’ve tried it! 🙂
I tested out several batches to get to this version. For the first batch, I used white chocolate sauce made with white chocolate and a milk/cream mix. Then I mixed equal amounts of this sauce and vodka together. This wasn’t sweet enough and the alcohol was a bit too biting at 20%.
Then I added some extra sugar and cream. Just enough to make the liqueur 15% alcohol. This was my favorite, but I found that some batches separated and the cocoa butter hardened in cooled climates. Since I and some of my readers couldn’t replicate this recipe consistently, I went back to the board to recreate this recipe.
I finally made a batch with less white chocolate, but increasing the milk and sugar content. The reduced cocoa butter was the key to help make this liqueur perfect! It’s still creamy and sweet with a hint of vanilla, but also with a lovely dose of “booziness”.
We finally had a winner!
This homemade white chocolate liqueur tastes very much like white chocolate without being sickly sweet. It’s so deliciously creamy and great to sip on its own, or as a mixer in cocktails.
It’s also important to note that you should leave your homemade white chocolate liqueur in the fridge for at least 12 hours (24 hours is even better) before you use it. The resting time lets the flavors and ingredients mingle and mellow out to create a smooth, creamy liqueur.
This homemade white chocolate liqueur has a shelf life of about 3 months in the fridge. It could possibly be kept for longer, since commercial white chocolate liqueur has a shelf life of at least 18 months. The alcohol acts as a preservative for the cream, which is why it can be stored for 3 months, but I wouldn’t risk keeping it any longer. That’s why I prefer making smaller batches of this. In any case, it never lasts for longer than a few weeks at most in our house. Since it isn’t too sweet, it serves us as a little treat every now and then at the end of a long day. 🙂
Better yet, try it with your coffee instead of adding rum or bourbon.
I made this white chocolate liqueur with Grey Goose vodka, but you can use a vodka of your choice. Just make sure that it’s a vodka you like to drink, and it’s got a smooth taste. I definitely don’t recommend cheap vodka that can have a somewhat harsh, cutting taste.
Also make sure to use GOOD QUALITY white chocolate. This is really important. And NOT baking white chocolate chips. White chocolate chips are not “true” white chocolate because they don’t use cocoa butter to make it. Instead, those use partially hydrogenated palm oil, palm kernel oil, or cottonseed oil. I used to use Lindt white chocolate, but now I use Callebaut white chocolate.
And for the vanilla, I use good quality Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract. Go for real vanilla extract or real vanilla beans if you can. It’s best to avoid vanilla essence.
There are some amazing cocktails you can make with homemade white chocolate liqueur – like this Rose and Vanilla Cocktail (also know as Faluda Cocktail)!
White Chocolate Liqueur
- 57 g couverture white chocolate 2 oz in weight
- ¼ cup milk Full fat. To make this extra creamy, use evaporated milk instead.
- ½ cup condensed milk
- 2 tsp Madagascar bourbon vanilla
- 1 cup good quality vodka
- Place the white chocolate, condensed milk, milk and vanilla in a saucepan. Heat gently while stirring to melt the chocolate. Do not let it boil.
- As soon as the chocolate is completely melted, remove the white chocolate mix from the heat. Let it completely cool down to room temperature.
- Mix with the vodka and place it in a sealable container. Let the liqueur sit for 12 – 24 hours (preferably in the refrigerator) before using. Place the liqueur in a bottle OR (optional) strain the liqueur through a double cheesecloth or a nut milk bag into a bottle.
- Drink neat, or as a mixer in cocktails. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
Recipe noteI’ve had a couple of readers mention that the chocolate solidified in the fridge. With the addition of condensed milk in liqueur, this should no longer happen. I have tested and retested the recipe to make sure this works with any kind of white chocolate. If your chocolate milk mixture curdles in the vodka, that’s usually caused by low quality vodka, OR old milk / cream. I’ve had this happen when I use cheap vodka. I have made this with and recommend the following vodka brands; smirnoff vodka, grey goose vodka, and absolut vodka.
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