Turkish Coffee Liqueur | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

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Turkish Coffee Liqueur

Turkish Coffee Liqueur

Homemade Turkish coffee liqueur. Photo by Jessica Halfin

Makes enough for about 4 8-ounce liqueur jars

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Cardamom-laced Turkish coffee makes a traditional finish to any good meal, and is often offered on the house in hummus shops around Israel as your plate runs low.

Add a sweetened alcohol base to create a liqueur, and you elevate the coffee to the realm of an elegant digestif. Sip it as is, for an after-dinner jolt, or mix it into a drink to get a delicious white Russian or coffee-flavored martini.

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2 cups water
2 heaping tablespoons Turkish coffee, or other finely ground strong coffee
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 750ml bottle vodka (about 3½ cups)
2 teaspoons vanilla
Cheesecloth or coffee filter

  1. In a large saucepan bring the water, coffee, cardamom and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature, then add vanilla and vodka.
  3. Stir to combine, then pour through a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter over a large bowl.
  4. Let the coffee slowly drip through. Repeat the process with a fresh filter should any coffee grounds remain.
  5. Pour clean mixture into a decorative jar with a seal, and store in a cool dark place for at least 1 week before using.