Saturday, November 23, 2013

DIY Homemade Kahlua ~ 3 Versions

DIY Homemade Kahlua

Spirits of the alcoholic sort are not usually my thing... however a 2008 Christmas gift of a homemade bottle Kahlua became a treasure I savored for years.  Rich, sweet and bursting with mocha flavors, this coffee liquor is a fabulous treat over crushed ice, or for me, it's become a holiday baking ingredient I can't live without. 

I'll admit I had never tasted the liquor before my girlfriend gave me a bottle, but polishing off the bottle in a matter of months I begged for another the following Christmas.  Now out of Kahlua again, it's time I learned to make this necessity myself.  And who knew it was so easy?  With only 5 ingredients (including water), Kahlua mixes together in less than 20 minutes and then needs a just few weeks to infuse with the heavenly aromas of vanilla to bring it to its full potential.


DIY Homemade Kahlua
A simple internet search brings a plethora of recipes, each bringing its own variance to the table, or shall we say, to the bottle.  White vs. brown sugar, rum vs. vodka, and brewed vs. instant coffee, each variation allows one to bring ones own touch to the concoction be it traditional or not.

For our first experiment, we decided to keep to the basics - coffee, vodka, granulated sugar and vanilla beans.  My quandary though, became brewed or instant coffee.  Unable to decide, I made batches of both.

Advice from a facebook post on DIY Kahlua brought agreement on one thing in particular... good coffee.   Most responders recommended using the best coffee available, and let me just note here that knowledge of making a good, strong cups of brewed coffee is a plus (and perhaps not my forte...).  As for the alcohol, the general consensus had me using a nice medium grade vodka, not too cheap, but definitely not the top shelf stuff.  And vanilla beans?  I like to use the best, and for me, my one stop shop is Beanilla.  Having used their beans and bottles for our general baking as well as DIY gifts for the last few years, I wouldn't think of using anything else.

DIY Homemade Kahlua
Being somewhat of a traditionalist, my first batch included freshly brewed coffee.  Might I just mention here that my husband is the coffee maker in the house, and my "strong" freshly brewed coffee left much to be desired.  Hence, I found my first batch of Kahlua to be somewhat weak.

My second batch however, following the Beanilla recipe with instant coffee (we used  Medaglia D'Oro Instant Espresso Coffee), proved to be more traditional and brought a rich, dark coffee liquor immediately begging to be tasted.

Our conclusion to the DIY Kahlua experiment recommends using very strong coffee if you use freshly brewed, or better yet, stick with the majority of the recipes out there and use a premium instant brand for an even stronger result.

Agreeing with our facebook poll we suggest:

~  Good coffee ~
~  Decent Vodka ~
~  Excellent Vanilla ~

DIY Homemade Kahlua


Beanilla's DIY Homemade Kahlua
Fabulous and better than store bought!  This version is perfect for gift giving.  Recipe may be halved, doubled, etc.
Recipe from Beanilla 
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2 cups water
3/4 cups instant coffee crystals
2 1/4 cups good quality vodka
4 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean - cut into 1/3's

Mix water, sugar and coffee crystals into a large pot.  Heat and stir until dissolved.  Cool to room temperature.  Add the vodka and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into three 12.5 oz. bottles.  Cut each vanilla bean into 1/3's and drop 1/3 into each bottle.  Cap.  Store in a cool, dry place for 2-3 weeks.  Strain, remove the beans and then re-bottle.

Freshly Brewed Coffee Kahlua
Strong, freshly brewed coffee is the key here... my somewhat weak coffee skills didn't bring the best results.
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2 1/2 cups very strong, freshly brewed coffee
4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups good quality vodka
1 vanilla bean cut into 1/3's

Add sugar to hot coffee and stir until dissolved.  Cool freshly brewed coffee mixtures to room temperature.  Add the vodka and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into three 12.5 oz. bottles.  Cut each vanilla bean into 1/3's and drop 1/3 into each bottle.  Cap.  Store in a cool, dry place for 2-3 weeks.  Strain, remove the beans and then re-bottle.

Need it Now Homemade Kahlua
Adding vanilla extract at the time of brewing makes the Kahlua ready for immediate use.  I found this version to be quite tasty, but not quite a good as the infused version above.
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DIY Homemade Kahlua
2 cups water
3/4 cups instant coffee crystals
2 1/4 cups good quality vodka
4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix water, sugar and coffee crystals into a large pot.  Heat and stir until dissolved.  Cool to room temperature.  Add the vodka and and vanilla extract and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into three 12.5 oz. bottles. Enjoy immediately.

Liv Life Note:  My internet research turned up numerous Kahlua variations... first off, my next batch will include a teaspoon or two of cocoa nibs for a chocolaty touch.  Also of interest, rum may be used in place of the vodka for a somewhat different combination.  I've yet to try, but this also sounds enticing.

Note... all of our bottles are can be found at Beanilla


coffee beans


ix water, sugar and coffee crystals. Heat and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Add vodka. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into 6, 12.5 oz. bottles. Cut each vanilla bean into thirds and drop bean into each bottle. Cap. After 2-3 weeks strain, remove beans and rebottle. - See more at: http://www.beanilla.com/blog/homemade-kahlua-recipe#sthash.l2FXOtb7.dpuf
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups instant coffee crystals
  • 4 1/2 cups 100 proof vodka
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans

Directions:

Mix water, sugar and coffee crystals. Heat and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Add vodka. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into 6, 12.5 oz. bottles. Cut each vanilla bean into thirds and drop bean into each bottle. Cap. After 2-3 weeks strain, remove beans and rebottle.
Makes the perfect gift!
- See more at: http://www.beanilla.com/blog/homemade-kahlua-recipe#sthash.l2FXOtb7.dpu

19 comments:

  1. I love that you gave us three versions. I so want to make this now. I needed a good homemade gift for the B-I-L.

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    1. These are my answer to holiday gifts this year... being that it was one of the best things I ever received I figured it was also good to give!

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  2. I am a pretty big kahlua fan, which, I guess is no surprise. I'm loving your doing all the work of figuring out what works best for us. Thanks for doing that. I especially love the bottles you used. So cute. I'm headed over to look at them now!

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    1. I'm loving the bottles too!! Almost don't want to give them away...!!

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  3. Who would have thought this could be so easy? I'm so glad you've done all the research too! I know it was tough .......... :)

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    1. Someone's got to do it, Chris... I'm here for you guys...!!! :)

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  4. Had no idea you could make this at home, what a fantastic recipe! Thanks for sharing :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

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    Replies
    1. I had no idea how easy it was either! Wish I hadn't waited to so long to figure it out..!!

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  5. Wowie, never knew we could make it at home. Love Kahlua, especially during the holidays.
    Great one.

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  6. We used to make this with instant coffee about 25 years ago! Thanks for reminding me. We used grain alcohol, which really gets you looked on as hard core in the liquor store! Now I want to find one with stevia....

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    Replies
    1. I used the grain alcohol last year but I think it's overkill.

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  7. I am having a devil of a time finding vanilla beans. I made your 1st reciepe and it is day 3 of the 2-3 week process. Can I use vanilla extract in lieu of? If so, how much?

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  8. I would definitely try the version with a fresh vanilla bean :)!

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  9. Where did you get your bottles from?

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  10. I'm assuming the sugar goes in on the second one while the coffee is cooling?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Damon!! I didn't make that very clear, did I? Will make changes to recipe above. I appreciate you asking!!

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  11. Kim,
    Thank you for your gift of Kahlua. It's wonderful and the bottle is so cute. Cheers!

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  12. Great post, I am a coffee lover and agree with your way of thinking.Nice Post with information regarding great use! The ways you have illustrated the information is impressive. Thanks!

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  13. The recipe you describe is more like Karsk not Kaluah. Both are wonderful but Kaluah is made with Rum. I made this recipe with Vodka and some moonshine I had around. Its in the refrigerator waiting for the end of the 30 days. I am excited. Thanks for the recipe

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