best vodka/base liquor for homemade liqueurs & herbal tinctures?


Hi, all -

Just wondered if anyone had an opinion as to whether any particular vodka (or other liquor, as needed, such as which whiskey for Irish Cream) is better than another to use as a base for making homemade liqueurs +/or herbal tinctures. 

Would like anyone with experience making these things to remark as to whether you have found that a particular brand makes any difference at all --- is the cheapest all right, or what would you recommend?

Looking at a wide variety of herbals, but with liqueurs, probably starting with the fruit or nut flavored ones as well as the Irish Cream.  I have made Grand Marnier with a Christian Brothers brandy base & it was wonderful.


  • 2Mark Angelillo Great question - I'd be interested to know what people think. Haven't made my own liqueurs so I can't help but I'm sure there are people here who could easily do so.

  • 2122675Angelina Romero Hello, has any one made tincture with flavored vodka? I used strawberry vodka and it had a thick, sugary result. I was feeling sad as I tried to strain it, I feel that I ruined it with the fruit version..I would love to hear if any one has used this or similar.. If you feel it's ok, still or if I should toss it.. Thanks


  • I use Vodka Monopolowa for making my herbal tinctures and have had really fantastic results.  It's a great potato vodka from Austria and available really inexpensively from Trader Joes (I believe BevMo carries it also).  I've also used Ketel One, in a pinch, to great effect.  While I don't want to go too high end, I don't want to sacrifice either quality or price, so Monopolowa has been my choice for years and I've never gone wrong.  

    I also just used another brand Trader Joes carries, a French brandy (the name escapes me) for a fresh Ginger tincture and it also came out great!  Have used Bacardi 151 for Ginger in the past, also to great effect.

    I haven't made my own liquors so I can't help you there.

    answered by

    Snooth User: T.c. Crandall

    Dec 2, 2011 at 2:45pm

  • The BEST Irish cream recipe is as follows:  3/4C brandy, 3/4C Captain Morgan rum, 1C heavy cream, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1T vanilla, 1t almond extract, 2T Hershey's chocolate syrup and 4 eggs (or Egg Beater equivalent).  Whisk all together or put in blender.  Keep refrigerated and shake before serving.  also, let rest for 24 hours before serving. 

    The best base for my Limoncello is Everclear (grain alcohol, not available in all states).  It has a high alcohol content and NO taste, so it extracts the maximum flavor from the lemons without adding any flavor of its own taste.

    Hope this helps..........Cheers!!

    answered by

    Snooth User: Lena2009

    Dec 2, 2011 at 2:52pm

  • Thanks, TC & Lena!

    I'll look for the Monopolowa - I'm not near a TJ's, but maybe someone else in the area will have it.

    Haven't come across an Irish Cream recipe that included rum!  --- Sounds interesting! :-)



    answered by

    Snooth User: Judith5

    Dec 2, 2011 at 4:56pm

    • 457251Lena2009 I experimented with different liquors for the Irish Cream.........whiskey, vodka etc, and decided that the combo of brandy & rum gave a nice rich, mellow taste. The whiskey seemed too harsh to me, and the vodka was,!! Try'll LOVE it!!

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