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 glass next to a carafe of Kahlua.

Why You Must Make 

  • Kahlua is the liqueur I use most. It’s very versatile.
  • It’s perfect for adding a subtle coffee taste to baked goods. Anything with a coffee flavor will enhance a chocolate dessert!
  • 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.

Expert Tips

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. If you’re in the mood for a coffee-flavored cocktail, these Espresso Martinis are winners!

  • 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! They’re listed at the bottom of this post.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Makes Kahlua Brand Coffee Liqueur?

In 1936, the Pernod Ricard Company started making Kahlua liqueur in Veracruz, Mexico. It contains rum, sugar, and Arabica coffee.

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 
Vanilla beans
Liquor (both vodka and brandy)

How Long Does Homemade Kahlua Last?

Kahlua can last 3-4 years. Just make sure to toss it if the aroma changes or if it tastes watered down. Those are clues it is past its prime.

How Should You Store Homemade Kahlua?

Keep the liqueur in a container with a tight lid in a cool, dry location. It does not need to be refrigerated.

You May Also Like:

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Homemade Kahlua | An easy, homemade holiday gift!

Homemade Kahlua

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

A homemade version of the classic coffee liqueur


  • 1 cup ground coffee (fresh ground beans are best)
  • 16 cups sugar
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 vanilla beans, split
  • ½ gallon vodka
  • 1 fifth of brandy (750 ml)


  1. In a large stockpot, stir together coffee, sugar, and water.
  2. Heat just till it comes to a boil.
  3. Turn off the heat and add vanilla beans, vodka, and brandy. (You may want to let the mixture cool a bit before adding liquor to avoid evaporation of the alcohol).
  4. Transfer the mixture to a glass jar with a lid and let stand for one month to develop flavors.
  5. After one month, strain the mixture through a few layers of cheesecloth until all the coffee grounds clear.
  6. Pour into glass jars and add a piece of vanilla bean to each.
  7. Add a decorative label or hang a tag if desired for gifts.


Total time does not include resting/steeping 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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