Useful Tips

The technology of preparation of caramel dye for cognac, alcohol or moonshine


It's time to treat yourself and your friends with selected home-made spirits. Caramel vodka is ideal for stormy gatherings!


  • Vodka - 750 ml
  • Caramel sweets - 150 g


  1. Pour vodka into a sealed container.
  2. Cut the sweets (We used the "Cow").
  3. Add sweets to vodka.
  4. Close the container with a lid.
  5. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  6. Leave on for 2-4 days until the sweets dissolve (periodically shake the container).
  7. Strain the mixture.
  8. Store the drink in an airtight container.

Cooking technology

1. Mix in a saucepan sugar and water in equal proportions (100 ml and 100 grams).

2. Put on fire, bring to a boil.

3. As soon as the foam appears and the bubbles become viscous, reduce the fire to the very minimum. After the evaporation of water, the sugar begins to darken, a caramel shade will appear. You need to constantly monitor the process so as not to burn sugar.

The correct temperature for making caramel color is 190-200 ° C. If higher, then when the dye is added, the alcoholic beverage will cloud or darken very much.

4. When the color of well-brewed, but not strong tea appears, remove the pan from the stove. It takes about 15 minutes from the moment of evaporation of the water until the desired color is obtained.

It's time to remove from the stove

5. Cool to room temperature. Sugar should be hard.

6. Add citric acid and alcohol to thickened caramel. It is advisable to dissolve the color in the same drink that you plan to tint.

7. Stir with a spoon until the alcohol base dissolves almost all of the caramel. The process is long.

If the caramel does not dissolve, it can be put on fire for a couple of minutes and softened slightly. Remember that you heat a liquid with a strength of 40%, do everything carefully!

8. In the resulting syrup (at the bottom there will be caramel residues, this is normal) add 30 ml of water to reduce the color strength to 20-25 degrees.

Water is being added right now, because according to the technology, the burnt sugar must be dissolved in a liquid with a strength of 40-45 degrees.

9. When the color stops ceasing to dissolve the caramel remaining at the bottom, pour the finished dye into a storage container (preferably glass). Crumble the remaining burnt sugar and toss into a container with color (optional).

It turns out a sugar dye (concentrate) of saturated black color with a light aroma of caramel.

A hermetically sealed color can be stored both in the refrigerator and at room temperature. No microorganism processes caramelization products, therefore sugar dye practically does not spoil.

There are no clear proportions of adding color to distillates and alcohol; the amount depends on the desired color. I advise you to use dye in a couple of drops per liter of drink, mix, wait 3-5 minutes, and then, if desired, tint again.

Sugar Coloring Dye

Based on the word dye, one can guess that the main task of sugar color is product coloring. There are other purposes for the dye, but they are divided into 4 classes, each of which has its own functions:

  1. Additive E150a (I) - ordinary caramel made from carbohydrates after their heat treatment, in which there are no excess reagents,
  2. the addition of E150b (II) - a dye obtained from alkaline sulfite technology,
  3. addition E150c (III) - the resulting dye is created from ammonia technology,
  4. the addition of E150d (IV) is a similar dye to the second point, but in this case it has already been produced with ammonium sulfite technology.

The first addition of dye “A” is most often called caramelizationin which there are acids, salts and alkalis after special treatment. As with any other dye, several important components are present in E150a (I). For example, starch, fructose, sucrose, dextrose and molasses. All are sweeteners that are generally available at grocery stores. The dye can be replaced as an acid, and components such as potassium, calcium, ammonium and sodium are present here as alkali. The charge of the dye, in which certain components are present, can be either positive or negative.

In order for the result to be satisfactory, it is necessary to correctly compare the dye classification with the reagents, paying attention to the characteristics of the product. Due to the high temperature and density, no microorganisms can develop in the product, which once again proves high quality. However, due to any dye, possible allergic reactions. This is because each sugar color is made from certain components.

For example, glucose is obtained from wheat, lactose from milk, and malt syrup from barley. Therefore, when using products with different additives in the form of dyes, you should pay attention to the composition. But there are times when some reagents in the composition may not be indicated. So, what happens with the sulfide methodwhen sulfites are contained in the product, but there is not a single word about them on the packaging. This is because the traces of sulfite or the component itself in the product is minimized and therefore allergic reactions are very rarely detected.

How to caramelize sugar

To make caramel sugar for brandy, it will take from two to five years, because cognac is made from alcohol. But so to speak it is possible not about all cognacs, but only about those that are blended. If we talk about the cognac recipe, then in this case there should be special syrup, water and sugar color, which we are talking about today. The last component is needed so that the color of cognac is more saturated.

Caramel sugar is used by many manufacturers of cognac, which once again confirms the safety of the components and their quality.

Cognac in which caramel color is not addedcan be quickly distinguished from others. Firstly, the main difference is the shade of cognac. Most often it is pale yellow or, conversely, light and saturated. But cognacs of this production scare away their customers, so you can rarely see cognacs without caramel sugar on the shelves.

How to make caramel syrup

To prepare caramel for the skate, you need a lot of experience in this area and good knowledge of the recipes for several stages:

  • Caramel sugar
  • fortification,
  • aging in oak barrels.

Dye is added to cognac in the smallest amount for a saturated shade. But the taste of the additive can not be noticed, because the caramel color in cognac is very small. In addition to cognac, color is also added to other products for a more attractive look. By the way, the E150 supplement is completely harmless to the body, so you should not worry when buying a product with a dye of this class.

Caramel Vodka

To make caramel for moonshine, you need to pay more attention not to the shade of the drink, but to their taste. To do this, caramel should be a lighter color. Many say that moonshine is homemade cognac, so caramel for moonshine is also needed. To prepare caramel syrup at home for moonshine, there are two ways, it is wet and dry. Recipe for the first: water and sugar are needed, with compatibility later caramel is obtained. In the second case, sugar must be dissolved in a hot container to a state of burnt sugar. Most often, experts in this field use the second method.

As for the amount of ingredients, for a wet method, this is the recipe: you will need 100 g of sugar, 100 ml of moonshine and only half a glass of water. All this must be mixed in a large saucepan and heated on fire for about 15 minutes until the water evaporates and the liquid turns brown. For the dry method, you can use a frying pan with high sides heated over a fire and gradually pour sugar in there, without stopping mixing.

Sugar caramelization

After brown foam appears instead of sugar, you need to reduce the heat and leave to warm to coffee color. After the liquid is ready, you will need another container, but already metal, in order to put cooked in the freezer. For a better result, do not add too much caramel to the moonshine, this will only spoil the taste and color. About three drops per liter of moonshine will be enough.

So very quickly, thanks to the exact recipe, you can make delicious syrup.

A quick and effective way to make caramel for moonshine

To implement this method, you will need metal spoon, towel, sugar and the fire. If you have more than 3 liters of moonshine, then take a tablespoon, and if less, then a teaspoon is ideal. The whole process is carried out in several stages:

  1. Sugar is poured into a spoon (without a slide).
  2. Holding a spoon with a towel, start melting sugar on a fire.
  3. Continue to do this until the sugar is completely caramelized and begins to froth. Caramelin should turn completely black.
  4. Remove the spoon from the heat and let the sugar harden for a bit (3-5 minutes).
  5. You don’t need to tear off the caramel from the spoon, just lower it with it into the jar and start stirring. After some time, the caramel will begin to dissolve, and the drink will change color.
  6. Get the most beautiful, in your opinion, color, and then stop this process.
  7. Let the drink stand for a day or two and start tasting.

Observe safety precautions during heating (slowly heat sugar and hold a spoon with a towel only). Burnt sugar can burn extremely hard.

It is very important not to overdo it with the amount of caramel, otherwise the drink will give an unpleasant burnt notes in the taste. It is impractical to achieve a dark color in a drink; it is better to paint it to lighter tones.

Dry recipe for making caramel for moonshine

This method is most popular among moonshiners, as it allows you to immediately prepare a lot of caramel for our strong alcoholic drink. To implement it, we need thin-walled pan, sugar and the fire.

  1. We put a dry pan on the fire and pour 1/2 of the total sugar.
  2. We begin to melt the sugar and when it already turns brown, then add the remaining half of the granulated sugar.
  3. Now just warm and stir the contents of the pan constantly.
  4. After the brown stage, the sugar begins to darken. Our task is to get absolutely black caramel, which will begin to give off the smell of burnt sweets.
  5. Cool the finished caramel on the balcony until it solidifies, then beat off the walls with a small rolling pin or stupa.
  6. Store the finished caramel in the freezer.

The only drawback of this method is the damage to the pan, which over time begins to fade. That is why for caramelization use old dishes, which is not a pity for such procedures.

The most understandable video is considered a video from Moonshine Sanycha. The famous moonshineman Konstantin shows the whole process of making caramel in a pan, and even describes in detail all the stages. Be sure to watch this video if you are planning to use this particular dry method.

Wet way to make sugar color (syrup)

The wet method allows to obtain a concentrated dark alcoholic syrup in which caramel is dissolved. To ennoble moonshine, you just need to pour part of this solution into the drink and achieve the desired organoleptic properties. We will need sugar (100g), water (130 ml) lemon acid (1 gram) moonshine 40% (100 ml) pan and the fire.

Cooking is as follows:

  1. Pour 100 grams of sugar and 100 grams of water into the pan. We start to heat.
  2. Evaporate the water and heat the sugar over low heat for about 15 minutes until a dark amber color.
  3. Remove from heat and cool the caramel until it solidifies.
  4. Pour 100 ml of moonshine into the pan and add 1 gram of citric acid. Stir the solution for 10-15 minutes until the hard candy is completely dissolved.
  5. When there is no more strength to interfere, add 30 ml of water, shake the pan a little more and pour the resulting mixture into storage utensils (a glass bottle, for example).
  6. Keep the color in the refrigerator and, if necessary, pour it into a container with moonshine to refine the drink.

The resulting caramel is previously dissolved in moonshine and water, so the method is called wet. It turns out something like a balm, which is mixed with distillate to give the taste and color of the drink.

Good video prepared by Youtube channel Alcofan. The author completely does the whole process before our eyes and describes in detail his actions. It becomes clear that preparing such a caramel is not so simple and definitely have to spend a certain amount of time.