Carob Liqueur | Punk Domestics

Carob Liqueur

Steep carob pods in rum for a complex liqueur with notes of coffee, caramel and vanilla., found on

Megan Lynch is a vocalist, visual artist, and student of economic botany. She's had a lifelong interest in gardening, particularly fruit, and has always enjoyed making things from scratch. You can buy her album "Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me" and other works on Bandcamp.

Carob: punchline for jokes about health food and hippies. As a student of economic botany, I've been researching the numerous carob trees that were planted in Southern California in the 1920s. And I've heard all the jokes. But carob was an important part of Mediterranean cuisine well before the 20th century health food craze and deserves to be rediscovered.

To that end, I've been looking at how they use it there. I read of a carob liqueur yet found no one who imports it to the U.S. So I started searching online for carob liqueur recipes then came up with my own twist based on those.

I grabbed my largest glass jar that had a seal. The next order of business was to get some carob pods. If you live in Southern California, it's likely there are streets not too far from you that have female trees that have pods you can harvest. But if you're not near any or don't want to go to the hassle of harvesting them yourself, you can order a pouch of carob pods here if you're in the U.S. or the Australian Carob Co. if you're in Oz.

Next I had to obtain an alcohol of at least 60 proof. Since I'd never made this before and didn't want cheap alcohol to confuse me into thinking that carob was a failure as an infusion, I chose Don Q Puerto Rican Rum as it was a medal winner, but affordable. If the infusion failed, I would be certain that it was a failure because carob alcohol just wasn't my style as opposed to being a failure because of cheap rotgut.

Carob pods aren't cleaned when they're harvested, so I wiped mine off with a damp cloth. I used tin snips to break each pod into pieces, saving the seeds for planting. I filled the jar with pod pieces then with enough alcohol to completely cover the pod shards, then let it sit in a room of average temperature for two weeks although some recipes I looked at recommended four. Other recipes added sugar but since carob pods contain roughly 50% sugar, I decided to try it without. The resulting infusion was a rich reddish brown with a complex flavor and slight sweetness. It's difficult to describe the flavor as carob has many alkaloids, phenols and flavonoids, but it has notes of carob, coffee, caramel and vanilla. So far I have enjoyed it straight but I will be experimenting with using it in mixed drinks. I've noticed that it pairs very well with dried persimmon.


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