Naturally made without artificial colors or flavors, this homemade peppermint liqueur is a wonderful alternative to store-bought peppermint schnapps. It's the perfect addition to holiday-inspired cocktails and also makes a great gift.
Rinse the fresh mint leaves and place them in a large glass jar.
Cover the leaves with vodka until completely, or almost completely, covered.
Let the leaves infuse into the vodka for several weeks.
Strain out the leaves from your vodka. The strained liquid is a homemade peppermint extract! Save a little bit of it in a separate bottle for recipes, if you like.
Making a simple sugar syrup
Dissolve the sugar in the water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Remove the sugar solution from the heat source and let it cool.
Making the peppermint liqueur
To finish making your liqueur, combine the sugar syrup with the homemade peppermint extract. This part can be done to taste. I used 3 parts vodka to 1 part sugar syrup and was happy with that concentration, but you can adjust that ratio to make your liqueur more or less sweet.
During the first days of the infusion process, stir the leaves and vodka or at least push them all under the surface of the alcohol. Leaves exposed to the air may form mold. If they are bathed in the vodka, though, it will prevent mold from forming.After several days, the leaves will reduce in size and sink to the bottom of the jar. Once you get to that point, you can occasionally shake or stir them, but not really necessary.I steeped mine for just over a month, but you really don't need to keep them there that long! Around 15 days is a good length of time to shoot for. When using mint leaves, you'll end up with an amber colored peppermint extract. For a colorless extract, you can use peppermint essential oil instead. The color will also be influenced by the sweetener used. Darker sweeteners like brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey will also darken the color of your liqueur.If using a diffierent sweetener, consider adding some water to dilute the finished liqueur to taste. For gifting, consider using pretty bottles or making homemade labels. Wrapping baker's twine around the neck of the bottle also adds a nice peppermint-y touch. 😉