Monday, January 13, 2014

Recipe: Homemade Kahlua


I am hopefully back in the saddle here. I am still taking down Christmas decorations, but seeing it has been below freezing here in Ohio, climbing into my attic which is over the garage to put decorations away has not been too appealing.  I have my big tree still up, and all the remaining d├ęcor is laying on my home office floor (the entire floor!!) and my small tree is laying in pieces in a loveseat. This week though Christmas is going bye-bye!

One thing I made on my December vacation was homemade Kahlua. My co-worker was telling me how she makes it as gifts every year. My eyes and ears perked up. I followed the same recipe as she did on (Best Homemade Kahlua) but I read every one of the 103 reviews and adapted my recipe.

Picture from Wikipedia (
This was not hard at all! The drive to Kentucky to get Everclear was the hardest part of making the Kahlua (1hr 30mins round trip driving). The recipe isn’t exact on cooking time. I cooked/boiled the sugar coffee mixture until the liquid was similar to cough syrup. I will be honest and tell ya I bought a bottle of Kahlua to compare. I believe I cooked the mixture between 1-2 hours to get that syrupy consistency.

Let the mixture cool COMPLETELY before adding the vanilla or the Everclear/vodka. If not you will just burn the alcohol out and you wasted time and moolah. I did an ice water bath in my sink and set the pot in that cold water and stirred to cool it down faster. Once it is cooled and you add the alcohol and vanilla you can store in bottles with good lids, store in a cool place. I bought my jars at the container store for $3.99 each (ouch). Next time I make Kahlua I will pre-plan and buy 12 oz bottles online for much less (See the bottle with a white lid - I had an old syrup bottle I was able to use, this is the perfect size and shape).

If you taste this right away the Everclear will be strong, you have to let this mellow out.  Usually with Everclear in a day or 2 it is much less noticeable. Everything I read said after 2 weeks the Kahlua would be mellowed and ready to drink but you can drink this immediately. I was going to give out as gifts but didn’t because I made it close to Christmas and didn’t have time to make cute labels and I only wanted to give out 12 oz bottles.  I may wait until Valentine’s Day to give to our friends so I can rebottle in 12 oz bottles and make cute labels.

Did I compare mine to the store bought? You know it! The store bought had a very sweet and chemical coffee flavor, the coffee flavor was mild due to the sweetness. Mine had a stronger real coffee flavor and a nice sweetness. Mine won hands down, I have always liked Kahlua and never noticed the chemical taste until I made mine.

See recipe below, my adaptions are in red.

Submitted by: Valerie Williams

1 12-cup pot very strong coffee (chocolate flavored is best)  (I used the entire bag of coffee and made 26 cups coffee)
2 lbs. light brown sugar
4-6 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 bottle 190 proof Clear Springs or Everclear  --
750ml or 3 cups Everclear (you can use Vodka if you cannot get Everclear)

Bring coffee to a boil in dutch oven or large pot. Gradually add 2 lbs. light brown sugar and return to boil stirring constantly. Let cool until room temperature. (I place pot in sink of cold water).
When completely cool, add the vanilla and 190 (I prefer the Clear Springs). It is ready to serve.

Add Vodka for Black or White Russians. Millstone Chocolate Velvet Coffee is what I like to make my Kahlua with, usually, but I have also made really good flavors with Hazelnut, French Vanilla and Chocolate Macadamia Nut. Sometimes, I like to add a little almond extract to give it an Amaretto flavor.

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