Each year for Christmas I try to come up with a theme for the recipes I share during the month of December.
And this year? Well this year in the spirit of Christmas, we’ll be making some homemade spirits! I know alcohol may not appeal to everyone, but for me it’s a festive indulgence to make these sweet liqueurs that I don’t treat myself to otherwise during the year. So for the next few weeks I’ll be sharing a few homemade liqueur recipes that can be used for entertaining or for gift giving, along with printable tags and cocktail serving suggestions.
First up – we’re making our homemade version of Kahlua. Kahlua is a coffee liqueur that’s a favorite to serve in drinks using milk or cream. The recipe is a simple base of sugar, water, and instant coffee heated together. You then let that base mixture cool and finish off by adding vodka and vanilla. If possible, it’s best to let the mixture set for a couple weeks to let the flavors mingle.
I’ve been happy using an inexpensive brand of vodka in this recipe but of course you are free to splurge on a pricier brand if you’d like.
Once your mixture is finished, you can transfer the mixture to a bottle or to a jar for storage. I did both! I was so happy to find one of those cute glass swing top bottles on one of my thrift store shopping trips and it worked great for storing my Kahlua. (You can find Glass Swing Bottles on Amazon). But I still had a little more than would fit in my bottle so I put the remainder in a glass canning jar.
For optimum flavor, store the mixture in a cool dark place for a couple weeks before using to let the flavors meld.
Here’s how to do it:
Make your own Kahlua with simple ingredients - perfect for mixing in cocktails or for gift giving.
- 2 cups Water
- 1-1/2 cups Sugar
- 2 Tbl Instant Coffee
- 2 cups Vodka
- 1 Tbl Vanilla Extract
Combine the water, sugar, and instant coffee in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a high simmer, but do not bring it all the way to a boil. Reduce the heat a bit and let the mixture keep simmering, stirring occasionally, for about an hour. This helps deepen the flavor of the sugar and the coffee.
Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool completely. Once the mixture has cooled, mix in the vodka and the vanilla extract. (If you add the vodka while the mixture is hot, the heat can cause too much of the alcohol to evaporate away). Your final product will be a very rich and dark liquid.
Transfer the mixture to a glass bottle or other container with a tight fitting lid for storage. If possible, let the mixture set for a few weeks to let the flavors meld together.
I’ve also got three easy recipes for cocktails to make with Kahlua so you (or the person receiving the gift) can put the Kahlua to good use, as well as a printable tag that includes the recipes.
For more Christmas inspiration, check out these series from other years: