Make your own Kahlua with simple ingredients - perfect for mixing in cocktails or for gift giving.
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.