Kahlua Recipe: Homemade Gift Idea

I know, I know…it’s not even Thanksgiving QUITE yet and I am already talking about Christmas gifts.  However! This gift is time sensitive so I need to share it now! However, you could also just become a closet alcoholic to get through the holidays so this would be perfect for you too!

I was thinking of a homemade gift beyond just a cookie tin to hand out this holiday.  There are so many people I deal with day to day that I want to show my gratitude with something made from scratch.  I feel that giving the extra time to make something for someone shows how important they are and that they are worth the time I took to make it for them.  I remembered that when I stayed with my uncle in Florida he showed me how to make his Kahlua.  I thought that a little bit of homemade liquor would be perfect for the stressed out boss, the over-tired moms, and disgruntled family members too!  The only catch with this recipe is the longer it sits the tastier it gets.  I would have preferred over a month to let it sit but I figured it will still be as tasty.  This is why I had to share it with you so soon!  It’s very simple to make and definitely worth the waiting time!

Homemade Kahlua

Yields 2 – 750ml bottles

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups vodka
  • 1-2 vanilla beans
  • 1/2 cup instant coffee

First combine water and sugar and let simmer to create a simple syrup

When mixture gets hot enough, add instant coffee and mix well

Cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise.  You can either add the whole bean unscraped or for a more vanilla flavor scrape vanilla ‘pods’

from the bean into mixture and mix well.

Set aside mixture and let cool.  A crust may form on top, skim that off with a small strainer and discard.

After cooling and skimming, add the magic! I mean..vodka!

A high grade vodka is not necessarily needed for this.  The flavor will be so covered up anyhow.  I just used what was on hand.

Next, fill your bottles to the neck of each bottle and leave half of a vanilla bean (or a full one depending on size) in each bottle.  Since I had so many bottles to fill I had a mish mash of different bottles.  I bought a case bulk from the internets, I found 5 fancy colored bottles from a resale shop, and 5 swing top bottles from the Container Store.  I hand made each label with creative festive beverage names.  The rubber bands around the bottles are to assure the glue binds to the bottle and my label doesnt keep coming unstuck.

Decorate your bottles however you like and they are ready to be given as gifts or to enjoy by yourself (and..family..i guess..)

The longer it sits the better it’ll be..1-2 months preferred.

Some names I came up with:

Bah Hum Booze

Yultide Toddy

Reindeer Drinking Games

Holiday Spirit

Jolly Juice

Santas Little Helper

Tasty Tidings

Let me know what creative names you come up with!

Have a happy Thanksgiving Everyone!