Brigitte's Home Made Kahlua - A Handy Gift for the Holidays

5 years ago

Kahlua is a trade name, of course, for coffee liqeure. Making your own coffee liqeure is sinfully easy. As with most things from Kat's Easy Kitchen, the prep time is practically nil. The wait time may try your patience, though. Coffee liqeure takes about a month before its good and ready for imbibing on.

I've made coffee liqeure in years past but this recipe is definitely thicker and more "inky" than ones I've used before. The amounts provided below result in two 750 ml (fifths) of finished product. What you see in the picture on top is what happens when you put the recipe on steroids since my kitchenistas and I wanted enough to give bottles away as client gifts for the holidays.

Even though we elected for pretty clear bottles for our batch, coffee liqeure benefits from being stored in dark bottles to protect it from light. That's why Kahlua comes in dark brown bottles. Empty wine bottles are a perfect storage device, especially if you soak off the labels first. If you start now, you'll have a nice batch to enjoy at the holidays or to give away as gifts.

Handy measurements:

One 750 ml bottle = one fifth = 25 ounces

One 750 ml bottle = three 250 ml bottles

We purchased 250 ml decorative bottles (in the picture above) so the recipe below netted 6 bottles. These bottles are sold in cases of 12. Doubling the recipe will net you enough to fill one case of 250 ml bottles.


  • 2 oz instant coffee
  • 2 cups boiling water (measured after boiling)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups vodka
  • 1 vanilla bean


  • Boil water on stove top. Measure out 2 cups and place in large bowl or pot. Dissolve sugar to create a simple syrup. Add coffee crystals, stirring until completely dissolved.
  • Place bowl in ice bath or refrigerator until completely cooled. (Pouring vodka into a hot mixture will burn off the alcohol. Let's face it, that defeats the purpose!)
  • Once the sugar/coffee mixture is completely cooled, add the vodka. Carefully transfer the fluid into empty bottles.
  • Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half. Please one half into each bottle.
  • Cork bottles and store in a dark place for at least 30 days.

Yield: Two 750 ml (fifths) of finished product

Kat's tip: We stored our brew in larger containers for one month. When we were ready for the bottling, we strained the mixture to capture the vanilla beans and used a funnel to pour the mixture into smaller, decorative bottles. To avoid overflow, make sure you leave enough room to drop the vanilla beans back in the bottles as a finishing step before corking.

Kat's second tip: Vanilla beans come in a number of different flavor profiles depending on where they are sourced. We purchased Grade A "Bourbon" vanilla beans from Beanilla.

Related articles and recipes (besides White Russians):

Chocolate Cavity Maker Cake

Mini Chocolate Tiramusu Cakes



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