Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Homemade Kahlua

'Tis the season to be jolly and for making spirits bright!  I promise it will be easy to be jolly after enjoying these homemade spirits.  Um, in moderation.  Because I can also promise the opposite of jolly if you overdo it.

My mom and I have been making this homemade Kahlua for years and she can't remember where the recipe came from so I can't even credit a source.  But it's cheap, easy, and so much more delicious than store bought Kahlua.  It's worth the effort if you like a sweet coffee liqueur like Kahlua, or if you are looking for a perfect homemade Christmas gift for the Dude.


You could use vodka in the recipe, but we make ours an especially high-octane version by adding a bottle of Everclear.  It's illegal to sell Everclear in Minnesota (because it's 95% alcohol, compared to most rum/vodkas which are about 60%).  My mom lives near North Dakota so she can get the good stuff and smuggle it across the border for our clandestine moonshine operation.


To make this tasty treat, all you do is boil some ground coffee with water down to a nice thick coffee syrup, boil some sugar water, add vanilla and Everclear, and presto: black gold.


This liqueur can be enjoyed on the rocks or in any of the sweet dessert cocktails listed below.  I'm on quite the White Russian kick lately, hence the Dude reference above.

Homemade Kahlua
Makes approx 5 bottles - I like to use colorful decorative bottles when giving this as a gift - hit the jackpot at a Pier 1 clearance shelf a few years ago and got several for only a couple bucks each.  However, wine bottles or mason jars work just as well, as do old real Kahlua bottles, including one shaped like a Buddha that I brought back from my first trip to Mexico in 1998 at age 19 for 133 pesos.

1 pound coarse ground coffee (I use French Roast)
8 cups sugar
16 cups water, divided
1/4 cup (2 oz) pure vanilla
1 liter Everclear or vodka

In one big pot, bring coffee and 6 cups water to a boil.  In another big pot, bring sugar and 10 cups water to a boil.  Cover and simmer both pots separately for 45 minutes, then cool both completely.

Strain coffee through cheesecloth or a kitchen towel to get the coffee liquid (should have about 1 1/4 cups), discard/compost the used grounds.

Mix together sugar water, coffee syrup, vanilla, and Everclear in a big pot or bowl.  Use a funnel and pour into bottles.  Will keep forever, stored at room temperature.


Kahlua Cocktail Recipes
Note:  Most Kahula drinks also typically call for vodka as another ingredient.  This is most certainly not needed if you made your Kahlua with Everclear.

White Russian
2 oz homemade Kahlua
splash of cream or half and half

Mix together and serve over ice.

Colorado Bulldog
2 oz homemade Kahlua
6 oz regular or diet cola
splash of cream or half and half

Pour Kahlua over ice.  Fill glass nearly to top with cola and add a splash of cream.  Stir and serve.  Optional to garnish with hazelnuts.

Mudslide
2 oz homemade Kahlua
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Blend together and serve in a small glass with a drizzle of chocolate syrup.  Optional to garnish with nuts.

ONE YEAR AGO:  Mixed Vegetable Hash
TWO YEARS AGO:  White Beans, Kale, and Tomatoes

12 comments:

  1. Yum - think I'm going to have to give this a try! I've made homemade Bailey's and found the same to be true, it's far better than what one purchases at the store. Hopefully the laws out here in OR are such that I'll be able to get my hands on some Everclear.

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    1. they have everclear and also something called clear springs or something like that here. (im in oregon too)

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  2. That looks delicious! What a great gift idea! I made the roasted veggie crepes for Christmas brunch and everyone LOVED them! Thank you so much for the idea!

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  3. You did the instructions for the bulldog wrong. Acording to mom it isn't 2oz, it's glug, glug, glug. I usually throw an extra glug for good measure...

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  4. Ha ha - yes Nick! You caught me, I totally made up the recipes above...I never measure stuff! Mom taught us well :)

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  5. Just tried it and ruined a half pound of coffee. Keeping the coffee on (set at 1) for 45 minutes yielded a mass of charred grounds.

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    1. Anonymous, so sorry the recipe didn't work for you! I don't understand how simmering ground coffee and 6 cups of water would yield charred grounds though? I think you'd have to cook it at a much higher heat for much longer to cook off 6 cups of water!

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  6. Making your recipe right now. I bought the wrong Everclear though. I have 151 so it won't be as strong, but I'm hoping it will still be just as yummy! Thanks for posting. I've been told that if you can find chocolate coffee it is extra yummy, so that is what I'm trying it with.

    Thank you for posting it!

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  7. I know you don't use the mason jars, but if you did, would you recommend sealing the mason jars? its all I could find. ;)

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    1. No need to seal the jars! Just screw on the lid and your kahlua will last forever! There's so much sugar and booze in there, it can't go bad!

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    2. This is almost the same as the recipe I have used for years. Delish!! The only things I do different are I use Expresso coffee and I cold water brew for 24 hours so it doesn't have the bitterness like hot brewed coffee does. I have seen recipes that use brown sugar. Have you ever tried this? I might try some to see what the difference is. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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  8. This recipe turned out great, thanks for sharing!

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