Love Frangelico but don’t like the added sugar? Make your own low carb, sugar free hazelnut liqueur. It’s easy and delicious!
I really am having a ball making my own homemade sugar free liqueurs. I knew I was on to something after that first batch of homemade Kahlua turned out so well. I’ve been so gung-ho about the whole thing, I even went out and bought a whole slew of flask-sized bottles with swing-tops to store my collection. I envision giving them as gifts come the holidays, but that’s a long way away right now. For the time being, I am having fun making small batches at a time to see how they turn out. That’s all I really do…make them and then bottle them up. I don’t really drink them, I just admire them in their bottles because they look so nice. Ahem…and if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you!
Actually, the truth is that I’m really not quite sure what to do with this homemade Frangelico. I’ve never kept Frangelico around the house as it is, but I love hazelnuts and I really made it just to see if I could. Could I really get substantial hazelnut flavour by letting the chopped nuts “steep” with a bunch of vodka and a bit of brandy? I found a recipe on Serious Eats that seemed worth a try, but I admit I had my doubts. And I love hazelnuts enough to be leery of wasting a half pound…not to mention the vodka and the brandy!
I did adapt the recipe slightly, adding a touch more water and sweetener to make it less intensely alcoholic. And I didn’t bother with the vanilla bean, but went with a touch of hazelnut extract and some vanilla extract (you could easily do all vanilla). And then I waited, shaking my jar of nuts and alcohol every few days, wondering what would come of it. Do I even need to tell you that everything turned out beautifully? Can’t you tell from the lovely golden liquid in the photos? That colour is gorgeous and that’s all hazelnut…I didn’t add anything special to produce that. And the flavour is all hazelnutty goodness.
Now that I have it, I am really not sure what to do with it (except admire it in the bottle!). Most Frangelico-based drinks are overly sweet and sugar-y and not really my kind of thing. I do have one cocktail in mind to share with you, but that is waiting on my jar of homemade raspberry liqueur to finish aging. Oh yeah, I am into the berry liqueurs too and I will let you know how that turns out as soon as I can! In the meantime, I find that a little homemade hazelnut liqueur with a touch of cream makes a lovely aperitif! But if you have any other Frangelico cocktail suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them!
Homemade Hazelnut Liqueur – Sugar-Free
- ½ lb raw hazelnuts coarsely chopped
- 1 cup vodka
- ½ cup brandy
- ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoon Swerve Sweetener or other granulated erythritol
- 3 tablespoon xylitol
- ½ teaspoon hazelnut extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine chopped hazelnuts, vodka and brandy in a quart jar and seal. Shake and let steep for 2 weeks, shaking every few days or so.
- In a small pot over medium heat, bring water, erythritol and xylitol to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, until sweeteners dissolve and mixture thickens slightly. Let cool.
- Add cooled water/sweetener mixture to the jar, along with hazelnut and vanilla extracts. Seal, shake and let steep for another week.
- Place a large sieve over a bowl and line with cheesecloth or coffee filters. Let mixture drain through sieve (you may need to change the coffee filters once or twice to get it all to drain properly).
I’m still in the process of making mine but one of our favorite drinks with hazelnut liqueur is the nutty Frenchman. 3 oz of hazelnut liqueur and 3 oz of Irish cream over ice makes a lovely cocktail. Of course I’m using your sugar free Irish cream recipe that you shared and is perfect! Cheers!!!! Thank you for an awesome cookbook and so many great, great recipes, that keep us healthy and feeling “normal”.
Sami D says
Love the sound of this recipe. Curious what you do when you strain your nuts out? I’d add them to a chocolate cake or brownies, inside and out.
How many keto friendly alcohols & cocktail ???? recipes have you put together? Enough yet for its own recipe book?????
Sounds like a great idea!
Christina Hamilton says
Can I use all hazelnut extract in place of the hazelnuts (which a hugely expensive)? If yes, how much should I use? I love you recipes, btw, and really enjoy ALL of your recipes. Chris
No, that would not work well for a liqueur. It would have no color, and hazelnut extract simply doesn’t taste enough like real hazelnuts.
Lynn Delgado says
Can you use just swerve .. why the use the xylitol ??
Because Swerve does not stay in solution and so you end up with most of it settled at the bottom.
This looks delicious, but do u think its possible to make a sugar free coconut rum?
That’s an interesting thought!
A local restaurant here makes an amazing cedar plank salmon with a frangelico cream sauce and toasted pecans sprinkled on top. It is one of the few items I still have occasionally even tho on Keto I try to avoid sugar as much as possible. I will have to try to replicate it using your SF frangelico! Thank you!