Kahlua is the liqueur I use most. It’s perfect for adding a subtle coffee taste to baked goods. And who doesn’t like a nice bottle of booze as a holiday gift? You can include a recipe for my Kahlua Cake, my Kahlua Brownies or even a Kahlua and Cream Cocktail. You need to start this one month ahead of gift giving for the best results…so get going now. Your friends will love this!
To make, you need a large pot to combine the sugar, freshly ground coffee beans and water. After it comes to a boil, remove from heat and add vanilla beans, vodka and brandy. Next is the waiting game…pour into a large container with a lid and be patient. I give it a swirl every few days…then in four weeks, your Kahlua is ready to strain. Be sure to use cheesecloth as you want every bit of the coffee grounds removed. Decant into individual bottles, each with a half a vanilla bean, to give as gifts…a cute label tied on with raffia would be perfect…especially if it contains a recipe for a delicious cocktail!
Note: mine had only been aged about a week when I took the photos. Just imagine how much darker and richer this liqueur will be when it reaches its one month maturation date.
Another simple gift I’ve made is Homemade Vanilla…but you need to allot 6 months for the best flavor development.
Homemade Kahlua…recipe courtesy of my friend, Diane Morrissey
1 cup ground coffee (fresh ground beans are best)
16 cups sugar
8 cups water
4 vanilla beans, split
1/2 gallon vodka
1 fifth of brandy (750 ml)
In a large stock pot, stir together coffee, sugar and water. Heat just till it comes to a boil. Turn off heat and add vanilla beans, vodka and brandy. Transfer mixture to a glass jar with a lid and let stand for one month to develop flavors.
After one month, strain mixture through cheesecloth till all the coffee grounds clear. Pour into glass jars and add a piece of vanilla bean to each. Add decorative label or hang tag if desired for gifts.