DIY liqueurs are the perfect project for holiday gift-giving. The rumchata and crème de cacao recipes are perfect in the Del Valle Pecan Pie Martini cocktail.

DIY Rumchata

Servings: 5 cups


  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup simple syrup equal parts cane sugar and water
  • 1 cup white rum
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until well combined. Pour mixture into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

DIY Crème de Cacao

Servings: 3 cups


  • 1 1/2 cups vodka or rum
  • 6 ounces cacao nibs
  • 3 vanilla beans split (or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • Simple syrup 1 cup raw or brown sugar to 1 cup water


  • Add the cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and liquor to a swing-top bottle. Give the bottle a shake. Rest for 2 weeks, shaking periodically.
  • Alternatively, if you don’t have the patience to wait several weeks, you can use heat to speed the process. Gently heat the cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and liquor in the top of a double boiler for 30–60 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and place in a swing-top bottle.
  • Strain out cacao nibs and vanilla beans. Pour liquid back into swing-top bottle and discard the nibs and beans. Add 1:1 simple syrup to your bottle. Taste and add more simple syrup for a sweeter liqueur. Rest for an additional 1–2 days before using. It will last on your shelf for a very long time.

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