Nothing says holidays like a handcrafted culinary treat. This simple-to-make homemade Kahlúa recipe is festive in brown glass bottles, tricked out with customized ties and labels.
- 4 cups strong black coffee
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 4 cups) dark brown sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 cups vodka (or rum)
4 16-ounce dark color glass bottles with resealable lids
Prepare the bottles by running them through the dishwasher and having them hot when ready to fill.
Prepare strong coffee and pour into a large mixing bowl or stockpot. While still hot, add the brown sugar. Stir until dissolved.
Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the coffee/sugar mixture, cutting the remaining bean into four equal pieces. Distribute the pieces of bean between the bottles.
Add the vodka to the coffee/sugar mixture and stir.
Using a funnel, divide the Kahlúa among the four bottles (you may have a little extra – for the chef, of course). Let the bottles cool to room temperature, then tightly seal with the caps.
Store in a cool, dark place for two weeks (four is even better), and once a week agitate, turning them upside down and right side up to move any settled sugar around.
If you find yourself short on time to have this made and stashed for 2+ weeks, how about attaching a cute little note saying “don’t drink til New Year’s Eve”? Nobody is going to judge if you give a gift with a little more resting time required. Let’s make this no stress, ok?
Traditionally Kahlúa is made exclusively with Arabica bean coffee. I made mine just short of espresso strength using a high-quality blend from Lavazza.
Choose a good quality spirit to mix with. As the kitchen saying goes, Garbage In/Garbage Out. Only here it’s Garbage Out with a whole lotta sugar, should you reach for rot gut.
I used Wholesome brand dark brown organic sugar which added a rich molasses flavor. As you can see in the photo above, its texture is more coarse than refined. Feel free to adjust sugar quantity to your taste. This yields a slightly less syrupy product than if commercially produced. But if you don’t mind a Kahlúa thinner still and you want to feature the coffee flavor, then you can cut the sugar back further, up to half of what I call for, using only 3/4 pound brown sugar.
Drink responsibly and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Cocktail
- Method: No cook
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: homemade kahlúa