Reuse Coffee Grounds To Make An Easy Saccharum

You might use coffee grounds to upgrade your compost pile, rub them on your skin like an exfoliant, or just toss the leftovers in the trash like the majority of us. Whether or not you strive to maintain a zero-waste household kitchen, there's a tastier way to reuse coffee grounds after the last sip of your morning brew. With a few easy steps, turn those underused grounds into a coffee saccharum that can be used similar to coffee extract or liqueur in many ways — like giving a flavorful boost to boozy caffeinated beverages.

Typically, a saccharum might refer to an oleo saccharum. This concoction combines peels from citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits with sugar to extract the oils from the peels that are then strained and used in cocktails. The same method can be applied to your used grounds to get a coffee-flavored simple syrup that's similar to coffee liqueur with or without the alcohol content. For this technique, finely-ground coffee is ideal because it allows for the flavors to come out easier. But don't hesitate to try it with whatever grounds you already have, including those left inside your K-cups.

Use coffee saccharum to elevate your next espresso martini

To turn old coffee or espresso grounds into a saccharum, start with as many grounds are in your machine or any amount you want to deal with. Use equal parts freshly-used coffee grounds and granulated white sugar. You can also use another sugar like muscovado, which is a bit different from brown sugar, to obtain more molasses and toffee-forward flavors. Combine the grounds and sugar in a bowl until mixed well, then add one part brewed coffee to make a simple syrup, or add a neutral alcohol like vodka to make it boozy. The final step is to strain it with a paper filter — be patient because it might take some time — and the liquid that's left is your homemade coffee saccharum.

One of the most delicious ways to use your homemade coffee saccharum is to elevate your next espresso martini. You can replace any simple syrup or coffee liqueurs with the saccharum depending on whether you add brew or alcohol. It also works for other caffeinated boozy drinks, like for giving more of a punch to a classic White Russian. And if you have a recipe for a boozy coffee cake or other baked good that uses coffee syrup or liqueur, saccharum works perfectly as an elevated ingredient swap.