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Homemade Kahlua featured image

Homemade Kahlua

This Homemade Kahlua is a fabulous copycat recipe for the classic Coffee Liqueur. A terrific holiday or hostess gift that’s easy to make! Just attach a recipe for your favorite Kahlua cocktail.

If you’re looking for a special gift that doesn’t take much effort, this Coffee Flavored Liqueur made with freshly ground coffee beans and vanilla beans will be a hit!

Homemade Kahlua in a cordial glass

Homemade Kahlua Recipe

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 homemade Kahlua one month ahead of gift-giving for the best results. So get going now. Your friends will love this!

Homemade Kahlua in a glass with a decanter and coffee beans

Tips for How to Make Kahlua

Note: mine had only been aged about a week when I took the photos. Just imagine how much darker and richer this coffee liqueur will be when it reaches its one-month maturation date.

Another simple gift I’ve made is Homemade Vanilla, but you need to allow 6 months for the best flavor development.

  • To make this Homemade Kahlua, 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 and in four weeks, your Homemade Kahlua is ready to strain.
  • Be sure to use cheesecloth to strain as you want every bit of the coffee grounds removed.
  • Decant into individual bottles, each with half a vanilla bean, to give as gifts. Add a cute label tied on with raffia plus a recipe for a delicious cocktail!

I have more ideas for Gifts From the Kitchen from some blogger friends. Perfect for holiday gifts, hostess gifts, or even something you might want to make for yourself!

What’s in Homemade Kahlua?

There are only 5 ingredients in this Kahlua from scratch plus water. Just mix and wait a month for the flavors to infuse into the alcohol!

  • Ground coffee 
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla beans
  • Liquor (both vodka and brandy)

More Homemade Holiday Gifts!

All-in-One Beer Bread Kit – girlichef
Homemade Vanilla Extract – Flour on my Face
Maple Nut Granola – Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Maple Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars – Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Turtle Pretzels – The Messy Baker
M&M Cookies in a Jar – Damn Delicious
Cookie Cutter Fudge – Chocolate Moosey
Holiday Tree Cake – Noshing with the Nolands
Homemade Kahlua aging in a glass jar

Homemade Kahlua | An easy, homemade holiday gift!

The Recipe: Homemade Kahlua

A homemade version of the classic coffee liqueur

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 19 cups


  • 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)


  1. 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. (You may want to let mixture cool a bit before adding liquor to avoid evaporation of the alcohol). Transfer mixture to a glass jar with a lid and let stand for one month to develop flavors.
  2. 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.


Total time does not include resting time.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/4 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 0gSugar: 42gProtein: 0g


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12 comments on “Homemade Kahlua”

  1. I love that I can now make this at home! It’s so easy!

  2. I had no idea that I make my own kahlua! This is so easy and it’s wonderful!

  3. I really loved it!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! So easy to make, too!

  4. What kind of brandy

    • Hi, Michelle,

      Your brandy does not need to be top of the line, but just a decent brand. I’d watch for what’s on sale and ask at the liquor store/retailer for advice. There is enough flavor from the coffee and vanilla to mask the flavor, but a “smooth” brandy will give the best results. Hope you enjoy!

  5. Am I reading this right? 16 cups of sugar to 8 cups of water?

  6. Should you let the hot liquid cool before adding the liquor? Seems like adding it right after boiling would cause quite a bit of the alcohol to evaporate away. Just curious.

  7. I made this recipe last year and LOVED it so much that I’m coming back for round two! It’s the best recipe out there, the instant ones are not as sweet/coffee flavored. Definitely worth the time! The recipe makes a LOT of Kahlua. Last year I had two large bottles for myself, and gave out about 15 mini bottles as gifts. Everyone loved it!

    • Aren’t you sweet for letting me know! I’m going to make homemade Bailey’s Irish cream for my friends this year…fingers crossed it will be just as successful!

  8. Today was bottling day for my batch of Kahlua.
    I used 375ml (1/2 wine bottles) & Zork closure. I filled 17 bottles, enough for holiday gifts!

    I ran it thru cheese cloth 2X’s and added a couple of shots of espresso to enhance the coffee flavors . The vanilla is very prominent, this is going to be great on vanilla ice cream!

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