Liqueur made with bay leaves sounds very strange, but its taste is hardly strange at all. This liqueur’s scent, flavor and even color are similar to French Chartreuse, a liqueur made by monks following to a centuries-old secret recipe. It makes one wonder if bay leaves are not one of the secrets.
- about 32 large, young bay leaves (about 1/2 ounce)
- 2 Cups grain alcohol (usually 95% alcohol)
- 2 Cups water, distilled
- 2 1/2 Cups sugar
- Crush the bay leaves in your hand. Put them in a jar and cover with alcohol. Let the leaves infuse for at least 24 hours. You can shake the jar a few times, but it really isn’t necessary.
- The infusion is ready when the alcohol has turned dark green and the bay leaves have lost their green color and have become golden-colored and look brittle.
- Combine the water and sugar in a 2-quart non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes. The syrup is ready as soon as it comes to a simmer. As it settles, it will become crystal clear. Let it cool to room temperature.
- Strain the alcohol once through a fine mesh strainer, then again through a coffee filter. Pour the filtered alcohol into the sugar syrup and stir well. Discard the bay leaves.
- Pour the liqueur into a jar or bottles.