In my mad scientist flavor creation days at Eastside Distilling, I had a long conversation with Mark Stell the owner of Portland Roasting, the company I chose to supply coffee for the Below Deck Coffee Rum. In that conversation he remarked about the coffee fruit known as Cascara. The fruit is apparently high in antioxidants and is left over after the coffee bean is extracted. I tried several plain maceration recipes, but the dried fruit is very tough and would not let go of its rich flavors easily. Enter the Magic Butter Machine!
- 2½ cups/750 ml vodka (Portland Potato Vodka is my fav)
- ½ cup/80 ml sugar or agave nectar
- 1 cup of dried Cascara fruit
Because the Cascara fruit is so tough, almost leathery we need to soak it. In a mason jar or other sealed vessel, soak the Cascara in the vodka for one week. After one week pour the vodka and Cascara solution into your Magical Butter machine. Add the sugar. Press the Temperature button, and select 160ºF/71°C; then press the 1 Hour/Oil button. Allow the infusion to cool; then carefully strain it into the container.
This version is sweet but not syrupy sweet, so if you like your liqueurs sweeter simply add more sugar and remove some vodka. This liqueur has wonderful flavors of dried fruit, raisin, date and hibiscus with a lasting sweet tannic bitter finish. The Cascara has a unique flavor profile, one I think anyone can enjoy.