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This homemade Kahlua recipe needs just a few ingredients including coffee, vanilla, and spirits. It takes about 15 minutes to make and creates about three standard wine bottles by volume. Enjoy your homemade coffee liqueur at home or pour it into small bottles for homemade gifts.
Autumn and around the holidays is liqueur season like no other! Baileys, Tia Maria, and Kahlua are all big favorites but there are even more to sip and enjoy. The only thing I don’t like about these sweet delicious drinks is their price. It’s a lot to pay when you realize what they’re made from and how easy liqueurs are to whip up in your kitchen. This homemade Kahula recipe costs just a third the price of a branded bottle to make yourself. It also tastes like the real deal.
Kahlúa is a branded coffee-rum liqueur that’s popular in the US and other places. You can have it served simply over ice (or ice cream!) or mixed into cocktails — Black Russian, White Russian, Espresso Martini, and Mudslide drinks all have Kahlua as an ingredient. It’s a simple but incredibly delicious liqueur that’s sweet and full-flavored and most people like it. And instead of buying a bottle, why not make a batch yourself? You may already have everything you need to make Kahlua in your kitchen cupboards.
Easy Kahlua Recipe
The recipe below will take you, step-by-step, through how to make Kahlua. It’s a simple process though! First, you make a simple syrup using hot water and sugar. Then you add instant coffee, and vanilla, and bottle it up. THAT’S IT. The only difficult part of making it is keeping your mitts off it while it’s infusing and the flavors meld together. Yes, you could drink it right away but if you wait at least a couple of weeks then it tastes even nicer.
If you choose to, you can also vary the ingredients slightly, customizing it to suit your own taste – more or less sweet, alcoholic, or more coffee. I use vodka to make this recipe, but for a more authentic homemade Kahlua, use rum. If you use stronger grain alcohol, like Everclear, you can make it much more alcoholic! Enjoy the recipe below and consider making some to give as gifts for coffee lovers. You could bottle it up in pretty bottles, tie it with ribbons and make some friends and family very happy this holiday season!
More Homemade Liqueur Recipes
Homemade Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
- 4 cups Water, scalding hot 950g
- 2 cups brown sugar 400g
- 2 cups white sugar 400g
- 1/2 cup instant coffee 50g – your choice of regular or decaf
- 1 vanilla bean or 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups vodka or rum 667g / use rum for a more authentic Kahlua
- clean bottles Your choice of type but you can use recycled wine bottles, small decorative bottles for gifts, or even mason jars.
- Bring the water up to a light boil either in a kettle or on a stovetop. Turn the heat off.
- Place both sugars into a heat-proof bowl and pour the now scalding water over it. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved then add the instant coffee. Stir again until dissolved then cool to room temperature.
- Once the coffee mixture has cooled, slice your vanilla pod along the side. Scrape the gooey insides out with a knife and stir it into the liquid. Alternatively, you can use vanilla extract.
- Pour the vodka into the mix and stir gently. Then, using a funnel, pour the coffee liqueur into the bottles and seal them. If any of the vanilla remains at the bottom of the bowl, spoon it out and into the bottles.
- Stand your bottles of homemade Kahlua upright in a cool dark place and wait about two to three weeks before drinking it. This is to give the flavors, especially the vanilla, time to infuse. If you absolutely can't wait that long it's fine to drink any time after you make it.
- You can serve homemade Kahlua on its own over ice, or mix it into a cocktail. Kahlua is the key ingredient in making White Russians and to make your own, mix one shot of vodka with half a shot of homemade Kahlua and pour it into a glass. Top the drink with a drizzle of heavy cream and then plop a few ice cubes on top. Cheers!