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Liqueurs are an aromatic secret gem in any culinary cabinet, offering up an incredibly flavourful and fragrant taste sensation for both sweet and savoury dishes. Most liqueurs are quite sweet but you do get those that are dry and tart.
A liqueur is a distilled spirit that’s flavoured by any combination of herbs and spices, fruit and nuts as well as thick cream and even flowers. The finishing touch is a sweetener such as corn syrup or granulated sugar. One such spice that is revered in liqueur circles is the beautifully fragrant vanilla bean, imparting its own unique aromatic essence depending on the terroir of the region where it was grown.
What’s the difference between liquor and liqueur?
Before flavoured spirits were introduced, it was simple to separate a liquor from a liqueur. Vodka, gin, rum, whisky and bourbon are liquors. Kahlua, Baileys, Schnapps, Campari and Galliano are examples of a liqueur.
The rule of thumb is liqueurs are sweeter and more dense and syrupy than liquors. They also tend to have a lower alcohol content. Liqueurs are mostly used in mixed drinks to make a decadent cocktail or even a heartwarming hot beverage. They’re also commonly served neat over ice.
Liqueurs are not confined to the bar. They’re a highlight in the culinary world and many recipes for sweet and savory dishes call for an aromatic liqueur of sorts. One of the most popular liqueurs found in any good kitchen is the wonderfully flavorful vanilla liqueur.
What’s the difference between vanilla liqueur and extract?
Vanilla liqueur and pure vanilla extract are very similar. The only difference is the proportion of alcohol and sugar used and the concentration of flavour. Liqueurs have a more dense aromatic profile and pack a flavor punch because they’re more concentrated than extracts.
Vanilla liqueur typically has a low concentration of alcohol, a high concentration of sugar and a low concentration of vanilla flavor. Vanilla extract has a higher alcohol percentage, less sugar and a very high concentration of vanilla flavor. Left to infuse for long enough, both vanilla liqueur and extract add a wonderfully flavoursome and aromatic profile to any dessert or savory dish.
Make your own vanilla liqueur
Vanilla liqueur is often hard to find in the shops and what’s out there is often quite expensive. Not a problem! In just 10 minutes, you can make your own homemade vanilla liqueur.

Once the vanilla beans have been given time to infuse, you’ll have your precious aromatic brew on hand anytime you need it. Homemade vanilla liqueur also make perfect gifts from friends and family.

Here’s a simple recipe for homemade vanilla liqueur.
8 quality vanilla beans
1 cup/250 ml water, preferably distilled for a pure taste
2 cups/400 grams sugar
8 cups/2 litres vodka (at least 80 proof)
1. Slice the vanilla beans in two lengthwise to aid the release of flavour and aroma.
2. Place the split beans in a pot with the water and sugar. Bring to a boil.
3. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent it from burning.
4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
5. Combine the cooled syrup with the vodka.
6. Pour into a glass jar with a cap that can be sealed tight. Place the jar in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight.
7. Leave the syrupy liqueur mix to infuse for at least 6 weeks, longer for a stronger flavour and aroma. Regularly gently shake the bottle to stir up the mixture for maximum infusion.
8. Strain the mixture, passing it through cheesecloth or a coffee filter to get rid of gritty bits.
9. Pour into a decorative bottle and seal with a cork, if giving the vanilla liqueur away as a gift
Add extra flavour
Split the quantity of alcohol between half vodka and half white rum for a sweeter, smokier taste.
Add chopped hazelnuts for a nutty flavour.
Add instant coffee to make a delicious vanilla-coffee liqueur.
Tips for making quality vanilla liqueur
Thoroughly wash the glass jar you are using to remove any contaminants. Preferably use a mixture of baking soda and water to wash the glass jar and sterilize it in boiling water for 15 minutes.
Metal, ceramic or glass are best rather than plastic equipment. Plastic can impart an off-flavour to liqueurs.
Always store the liqueur mixture to infuse in a sterilized glass jar. Wine bottles with a metal cap or cork are ideal containers for vanilla liqueur.
Straining the liqueur mixture is the most important step in the process to obtain a clear, quality liqueur. A fine straining material such as cheesecloth or a coffee filter removes tiny pieces of sediment in the liqueur. Strain the mix more than once to ensure it’s perfectly pure with no gritty pieces in it.
Learn more about vanilla powder

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Lekki Shooting: CNN Carried Out A Hatchet Job On The Army – International Journalists




The report by Cable News Network (CNN) on the shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos was a “poor” hatchet job targeted at the Nigerian Army, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIIJ) has said.

In an electronic statement signed by special rapporteur, Francois Deburoiche, on Wednesday, the IIIJ said it came to this conclusion following a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the toll gate.

After forensic analysis of CNN’s report, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism noted that there were some missing details in the American television channel’s piece.

According to the institute, the report was carried out in poor taste, lacking professionalism and objectivity. It added that the claim of use of live bullets and testimonies of victims were all tales.

The institute, however, advised the television channel to retract and admit error in the documentary.

Read the full statement below:

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is issuing this press statement with the best of intents after a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria during the EndSARS protest.

A team of investigative journalists with extensive experience in conflict situation interrogated the various claims made by the American Cable News Network in its report on the Lekki Shootings and came up with a comprehensive analysis that found gaps that were not filled in the CNN documentation of the events at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

Our statement:

The CNN documentary on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria was released to the general public with lots of inaccuracies. These accuracies were detected after an extensive forensic investigation by the International Institute for Investigative Journalism.

It is thus our opinion that the report was carried out in the poor taste, lacking in professionalism and objectivity. This is a great betrayal on journalism by the CNN, which indeed violated the known tenets of journalism.

The videos and images used in the CNN report were not subjected to adequate scrutiny. Consequently, it lacked credibility for use by an organization of repute such as the CNN. This fact was also buttressed by the fact that the CNN report was very hasty in its conclusion by indicting the Nigerian Army of culpability in the events at the Lekki Tollgate.

Our position remains that the CNN erred substantially in its report that was highly misleading to the general public in Nigeria and other parts of the world. The documentary also failed woefully to highlight the events that led to the reign of violence in parts of Lagos state but instead rehashed the issues under different subheadings with minimal evidence that indicts the Nigerian Army of wrongdoing at the Lekki Tollgate.

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism concludes that the CNN documentary was prejudiced in its analysis as well as presentation which fall nothing short of a poor hatchet job with the undeniable intent to discredit the Nigerian Army operation at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

The analysis by CNN in the documentary was hasty in its categorization with regards to the use of live bullets by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate. The report attempted to portray the use of excessive force by soldiers, while the accompanying videos and images did not depict such.

The credibility of those interviewed in the documentary was also suspect with the choice of words and the facial and body expressions of the victims as well as their relatives. Thus much was revealed by forensic analysis as the emotions portrayed didn’t match their words.


The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is of the considered opinion that the CNN carried out a hatchet job that is targeted at the Nigerian Army institution. We as a result of this classify the CNN documentary as highly misleading and with the capacity to cause disquiet in Nigeria.

The CNN must retract and admit error in submission in its documentary on the Lekki Tollgate shootings. The International Institute for Investigative Journalism faults the CNN documentary in all ramifications.

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Why Army is Boosting Land Power, Buratai Speaks at War College Lecture




The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has said that the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) has continued to churn out highly-capable operational commanders, with a very good understanding of operational art and the requisite skills for the effective application of land power.

Buratai, was the special guest of honour at the ‘Graduation Lecture’ of Course 4/2020, in Abuja. The COAS, who had earlier commissioned the War College Office Extension Building, further said the building is made up of offices, Central Auditorium with 450 seating capacity, a lecture hall and a lounge with 180 and 120 seating capacity, respectively.

According to Lt. Gen. Buratai, the War College was conceived to address the observed gaps in the professional military education of Army’s personnel at operational level. The Commandant of AWCN, Maj. Gen. SE Udounwa, expressed gratitude to the Army Chief for tirelessly supporting the College, especially in the area of infrastructural development.

The AWCN was established in 2017 to bridge the gap between the tactical and strategic level training by producing well trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian Army.

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JUST IN: NLC, TUC Stage Walk Out From Meeting With FG




Labour union representatives on Sunday staged a walk-out from a meeting with the federal government, barely five minutes after it started.

According to the president of the Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olaleye, on the meeting’s top agenda were the issues surrounding the hike in the price of fuel and electricity tariffs, not issues of palliatives.

In his opening remarks before the closed-door session, Olaleye accused the federal government of dishonesty, playing to the gallery and painting the organised labour in a bad light before civil servants and the public.

Representing the Nigerian Labour Congress was its deputy president, Najeem Yasin.

“This meeting is not going to be as usual,” Olaleye told news men. “Why, because we have seen the insincerity of government and it’s putting us at risk. They are taking us for a ride, which cannot continue.

“We are in the process of discussing, for over three months now. And they made announcement increasing the fuel price again. And no other person than NNPC. When has authority been giving to NNPC to increase the price of PMS? This is unacceptable.

“The meeting agenda is not well prioritised. And because of that, we are leaving the meeting. We will not continue, we will go back to our organ, and we are going to get back to you on the next line of action.”

In attendance from the federal government were the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timiprye Sylva, Minister of state for power, Goddy Agba and the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha.

“We felt that the item of increase in PMS, having been listed at all as an additional item, would have satisfied everybody,” labour minister, Ngige said after the walkout.

More to come…

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