A Note About Dehydrating Honey-Based Liqueurs
An Unexpected Flavor Trend in Copenhagen

Which Liqueurs Crystallize When Dehydrated?


SolidLiquidsProjectSquareLogoIn the Solid Liquids Project I've experimented with various methods to dehydrate liqueurs into solids. I've found that not every liqueur does crystallize through conventional heating methods to boil off the alcohol and water. Ones that do not crystallize usually leave a thick, sticky, gummy glob at the bottom of their container.

I have not figured out why some liqueurs don't crystallize, though I've had some theories.

First Eleven oven_tn

Here is my list of liqueurs I've tried to crystallize (most of them in silicone cupcake cups in the oven) and whether or not it worked.

Liqueur Crystallization 

Liqueur Crystallizes? Notes
Campari Yes  
Midori Yes  
Amaretto Yes  
Luxardo Maraschino Yes  
Green Chartreuse Yes  
Rhum Clement Creole Shrub Yes  
Emmett's Irish Cream Yes Dairy
Aperol Yes  
Tuaca Yes  
Hiram Walker Triple Sec Yes  
Licor 43 Yes  
Creme de Violette Yes  
DeKuyper Peppermint Schnapps Yes  
Pallini Limoncello Yes Beet sugar
Disaronno Yes  
Luxardo Bitter Yes  
Cointreau Yes Beet Sugar
Mandarin Napoleon Yes  
The King's Ginger Yes  
Wild Turkey American Honey No Honey
X-Rated Fusion Liqueur No Fruit Juice
Hypnotiq No Fruit Juice
Irish Mist No Honey
Courvoisier Rose No Fruit Juice
Velvet Falernum No- Squishy, thick  
Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur No- Mostly Solid  
Combier Roi Rene Rouge No- Mostly Solid Cherry Juice?
Firelit No- Hard puck  
Potters Creme de Cacao No-Thick, Squishy  
Hiram Walker Blueberry Schnapps No- Soft Squishy  
Patron Citronge No-Soft, squishy  
Barenjager No- Crusty top gel beneath Honey
Drambuie No- Crusty top gel beneath Honey
St.Germain No- Crusty top gel beneath  
Cynar No- Crusty top gel beneath  
Solerno No- Gel  
J. Witty Chamomile No- Crusty top thick gel beneath Agave?
Benedictine No- Crusty top gel beneath Honey
Cherry Heering No- Dense Gel  
Root No- Solid Puck  
Kahlua No- Full volume gel  
Domaine de Canton No- Gel  
VEEV No- Crisp, glassy puck  
Ancho Reyes No- Crisp, glassy puck  
Creme Yvette No- soft gel puck  
Bols Yogurt No- brown, crisp  
Allspice Dram No- thick gel  
Rothman & Winter Apricot brittle clump  
Drambuie 15 No- Crisp, sticky clear candy  
Pimm's No- glassy shattering candy  

It is possible that your results may differ for some of these, or that you have tried other liqueurs with successes and failures to share. If so, please let me know in the comments. 

Dehydrated frangelico_tn

 

The Solid Liquids Project index is at this link.

 

Comments

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Camper English

I think it's interesting that Solerno and Patron Citronge do not dehydrate, while other orange liqueurs like Cointreau do. I would LOVE to know what's going on there - it holds the key to most of this mystery of what dehydrates and what does not.

jentiki

What about Grand Marnier?

Camper English

Ran out!

Johnueding

My first thought would be the type and/or quality of sugar used in the liqueur. Honey obviously doesn't work. Have you tried to dehydrate different types of sugar syrups to see if there is a difference? Say, honey vs corn syrup vs simple syrup vs molasses and so on.

Brian Means

I saw Cynar didn't fully dehydrate, which is weird since it's another Campari product and both Campari and Aperol dehydrated. Is there anything different that is being done during Cynar's production that could affect it? I've done both campari and aperol dehydrations at home, so maybe i'll do Cynar next and see what's going on! Thanks for all the amazing work Camper!

Camper English

Yeah that stood out as weird to me also. Would love some double-checking!

Camper English

I haven't, only because I still don't know the true sweetening agent in almost any of these liqueurs. Even the honey flavored ones could be sweetened with something else as well; high fructose corn syrup for example. I may start with some producers who will honestly tell me what's in the products to gather information. I'm guessing that it's not exclusively the sweetening agents, but something else that interferes with crystallization even when it's cane/beet sugar used.

SpiritedAlchemy

What would be the temperature setting to do this in an oven? The technique page said low temperature but I was hoping for an ideal temperature range. Thanks!

Camper English

The lowest mine goes is 140F so I put it somewhere between there and 170F.
http://www.alcademics.com/2011/08/solid-liquids-dehydrating-liqueurs-in-the-oven.html

Tarc

If I had to guess, the gels are probably due to alcohol extracted soluble fiber (one of which might be pectin). Solernao and Patron have dissolved agave solids, and it looks like there is a high level of herbal/plant extracts in the others. I, of course, am guessing, but as a foodie with a heavy chemistry background, that is likely.

Camper English

Thanks! A few should have herb and plant extracts, though I think the majority are fruit/berry. I am working on some new experiments that might help.

Jeff

I've been getting the exact same result as you with the different liqueurs. I've been using the oven method between 140*F and 180*F. Any liqueurs that end up becoming syrup, I dissolve in water and the make into ice cubes. I'm a bit OCD about recycling my experiments. Ha! The St Germaine ice cubes helped make a delicious homemade strawberry and pomegranate soda.

Camper English

Nice - I was going to try ice cubes next. I'm glad to hear your experiments' results are the same.

Mizzy

I wanted to add to this, I had French Vanilla ciroc and it also crystallized its so pretty and clear

Camper English

@Mizzy - Thank you. Normally vodka shouldn't crystallize but flavored vodkas can have added sugar so that explains it.

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