December 22, 2011

Holiday Gift: Homemade Kahlua


This year some of my colleagues / clients are getting homemade kahlua for the holidays.  I freely admit that I stole this entire idea from my wonderful friend Jen, who has given us this treat for the last couple years.

I found several recipes online, and I was surprised that each recipe was unique.  Measurements and ingredients varied a lot.  Some used brown sugar, while others used white sugar.  Some used just vodka, while others used vodka and brandy or just everclear.  Some used vanilla beans, and others used vanilla extract.  Many used instant coffee, but I preferred to use good quality brewed coffee.  I started narrowing down the recipes to just those with brewed coffee, and I ended up mixing a few of these, along with Jen's advice, to come up with my own.


Here's my recipe:
(Makes ±7 Liters)

  • 24 cups brewed coffee, using freshly ground espresso beans roasted locally by Rimini.
  • 1 - 5-lb. bag of sugar (approx 10 cups)
  • 1 - 1.75 L bottle of Skyy Vodka
  • 1 - 750mL bottle of E&J Brandy
  • 8 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

Brew coffee.  Add sugar & stir until it dissolves.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Add vodka, brandy, and vanilla.  Bottle, label, and if possible allow it to sit for at least 2 weeks in a cool dark place.  (I didn't plan ahead enough, so unfortunately the recipients are being advised to wait a bit before opening.)

For my bottles, I used these SLOM bottles from Ikea.  And for the labels, I downloaded a template from Avery for their 2"x4" shipping labels (#5263), and I created my own using this fun (and free) pattern from Sprik Space as the background.


Have you all made your own kahlua before?  What's your experience, and what recipe have you used?  I'd love to hear about it!