Thursday, January 13, 2011

Homemade Coffee Liqueur

Love Kahlua or other types of coffee liqueurs?  Hate spending $20 for a bottle?  

Problem Solved with this tasty substitute.

Homemade Coffee Liqueur:
  • 4 cups brown sugar (or 2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups white sugar)
  • 3.5 cups of water
  • 1/2 instant coffee granules
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 750 mL of vodka. 

In a saucepan, combine sugars, water and instant coffee.  Bring to a low boil and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.  

Remove from  heat, let cool completely.  Once it is cooled, stir in vanilla and vodka.  Pour into dark bottles and store in cool, dark place.

A few things about this recipe:
  • for a more Kahlua type taste (chocolate), add 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup to the sugar, coffee, water mixture
  • I struggled to find bottles that were appropriate for this - I bought vinegar from the grocery store (in various glass bottle shapes - 12 to 18 ounces) for approximately $1.50 each.  I drained, washed and sanitized.  
  • Then, I came across the genius idea to use wine bottles with twist off tops.  I thought this was a better option since I clearly love white wine - the bottles are definitely around my house.  Less wasting of the vinegar.
  • To remove labels, soak the bottles in extremely hot, soapy water for about 15 minutes.  Immediately start scrapping labels off using your fingers or the back of a butter knife.  The glue on the labels needs to be hot.  If it starts to get harder, just submerge in the hot water again.
  • The better the vodka, the better then liqueur.  With that being said, in my test batch, I used the most bottom shelf, cheapest stuff I could find and I still thought it was good.  For gifts this season, I used something mid range.
  • This recipe will make two wine bottles worth of coffee liqueur.  
  • You can use this to make White Russians - 1 ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of coffee liqueur, add while milk or cream as you prefer.

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