The Spread of Sugarcane in the Old World
Solid Liquids: Dehydrating Liqueurs in the Oven

Solid Liquids: Dehydrating Liqueurs in a Food Dehydrator

SolidLiquidsProjectSquareLogoIn the process of making powdered liqueurs for future use, I've been trying to figure out the best method to get liquids into solids. I'll be comparing the microwave to the oven to the food dehydrator, using Campari as my first liqueur in all of them.

For now let's talk about the food dehydrator. I have a Nesco food dehydrator, which has a heating element and a fan in the lid. The racks in it are perforated for drying solid material, so I purchased additional solid-bottom racks made for making fruit rolls.


I poured 8 oz of Campari in one rack and turned it on. After 24 hours it was still a bit sticky. Towards 36 hours I noticed some parts that were clumpy so I broke those up to expose still-liquid parts beneath. (It turns out this helps no matter which dehydration method you use.) It might not take 36 hours to dry next time.

Wet campari dehydrator_tn

You can see it formed some interesting crystal patterns as it dried.

Dry campari dehydrator1_tn
Closeup dry campari dehydrator_tn

I scraped off the Campari initially with my fingers, then found a flat plastic serving spoon turned upside down made a good scraper.

I then put everything into a mortar and pestle and ground it up.

Campari dust pile2_tn

From 8 ounces of liquid I got about 3 ounces of Campari sugar. (A little less than 50% of the liquid volume has proved consistent using other methods.) That means that Campari has a ton of sugar in it. So much for my all-Campari weight loss program!

The Campari that I couldn't scrape off the plastic sheet washed off surprisingly easily with hot water, so the mess isn't bad.

All told, this method was easy to execute but can take quite a while. The dehydrator doesn't generate a ton of external heat (a concern in the summer when its hot enough already) but enough to be noticeable. Also noticeable is the sound of the fan running. 

In the next post, we'll look at using the oven to dehydrate liqueur.

The Solid Liquids Project index is at this link.



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Chris George

I find that the dehydrator works the best by far too!

Stelios R

Just discovered this useful blog!!May I ask at what temperature do you set the dehydrator and for how much time?

I am planning to make an Amaretto powder!

Thanks in advance,

Camper English

My dehydrator only has 1 temperature setting. In the oven I put it on the lowest temperature.

Matt Sorrell

Hi Camper, I'm in the process of dehydrating some liqueurs and I'm curious if there's a formula for how much powder equals, say, one ounce of 'wet' liqueur, for mixing purposes. I know it's very subjective and dependent on the spirit but thought there might be a rough benchmark to go by.


Matt Sorrell

Camper English

Hi - Well per volume I was getting nearly 50% sugar to the initial liquid so that's a good place to start. Of course the flavor changes a bit (high note aromatics like citrus disappear) so you'll probably have to take that into account as well.

Brianna Jonkers

I am trying to find out when dehydrating liquor/wine if all of the alcohol evaporates? I am interested in trying to make cocktail roll-ups or leather. But, honestly, I don’t think it would be worth it if it didn’t carry a decent alcohol content. Nothing crazy, just enough to taste it.

Camper English

Almost all the alcohol will evaporate, so there is no sensation of it.

ayla nganeko

So I dehydrated the fruit leff over from an infusion and holy wow it smells like gin on steroids, does dehydrating it raise the alcohol potentency?

Camper English

@ayla - Nope, dehydrating it should blow off almost all the alcohol, before the water evaporates. Gin on steroids sounds delicious!


I'm trying to figure out how to dehydrate wine for backpacking. My thought is to basically dehydrate the fruit from sangria. If I were to soak apple slices, berries, etc. in red wine for 12ish hours, and then dehydrate that fruit, should that work? Is there a fire risk with dehydrating wine/alcohol? I also have a Nesco dehydrator.

Camper English

@Doozy - Most of the alcohol will fizz off; only think you can do to concentrate it is to bring higher proof alcohol instead, and in that case it won't taste like wine....

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