Here’s a treat for you, how to make homemade Kahlua coffee liqueur. I love coffee liqueur, it’s rich and aromatic, deep and strong, your favourite cuppa joe in a glass. The perfect tipple for the coffee addict.
The keen reader of this blog will be well aware that I just love making homemade liqueurs and hooch of all sorts. From my strawberry and lavender gin to homemade cassis, Kirsch, blackcurrant vodka and more.
There is something so super satisfying about making your own liqueurs. They make great gifts (especially at Christmas) and they are SO much cheaper than buying liqueurs in the shops.
What is Kahlua
Kahlua is a coffee liqueur that originates from Veracruz in Mexico. It was first produced in 1936 . It’s a heady mixture of coffee (obvs!) 100% arabica coffee, vodka, rum and sugar.
It’s used as a straight drink, mixed into all sorts of cocktails and in baking and desserts too where you want a really good coffee flavour.
Ingredients for Kahlua style homemade coffee liqueur
- Fresh coffee beans (not ground coffee and certainly not instant!)
- Rum (white or dark, whatever you have)
- Zest of a lemon
- Coffee syrup made from espresso and sugar
The complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this recipe can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make homemade coffee liqueur
First you want to crush those coffee beans. This will release their amazing flavour and the kitchen will smell amazing. You can either whazz them vet quickly in a grinder/food processor but only for seconds as you don’t want to grind them completely.
Pop the smashed coffee beans into a nice big jar and add the lemon zest and pour on the vodka and rum.
Now seal the jar and set it aside in a dark cupboard for a week. This will give the coffee beans plenty of time to release that amazing flavour into the vodka.
After a week you will want to strain the coffee mixture through a double layer of kitchen paper or muslin. Why a double layer? Well, the coffee beans will have left tiny bits of fibre and shell in the vodka, there will also be tiny bits of lemon lurking in there.
Any bits however small will make your finished coffee liqueur cloudy. It won’t affect the taste, just won’t look great. So just have a wee bit of patience and let it slowly drip through the two layers of paper/muslin.
Now make the fabulous coffee syrup. Basically you are heating up strong espresso with sugar to thicken it into a syrup.
Add this to the strained coffee vodka and shake well. Finally, pour the liqueur into a sterilised bottle (see how to sterilise jars and bottles). Voila, you now have your own homemade Kahlua style coffee liqueur.
How long will your homemade coffee liqueur last?
It will keep for up to a year in a cool cupboard. I very much doubt it will last anywhere like that long as this coffee liqueur is delicious.
How to serve homemade coffee liqueur
I like to serve this tasty liqueur in shot glasses with a cube of ice. I know, simple and basic but there you go. You can also pop the bottle in the freezer (and your glasses too) and go for the full out chilled coffee liqueur experience.
or why not try this cocktail
Espresso Martini Cocktail
- 40ml vodka
- 20ml homemade Kahlua coffee liqueur
- 20ml espresso
- ice cubes
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add all ingredients and pretend that you’re Tom Cruise in ‘Cocktail’ and shake it like mad. Pour into cocktail glass and enjoy.
Other uses for homemade coffee liqueur
I use this coffee liqueur a lot in baking and dessert recipes. It’s perfect for adding to a coffee ice cream recipe. For any coffee cake a good dash of Kahlua is a must! I use it in my delicious Coffee and Walnut Cake with Cardamom.
This recipe makes a great foodie gift, so why not check out my post on how to make Christmas hampers.
Looking for more fun and easy homemade liqueur recipes? Then check these out;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Homemade Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
- 100 g coffee beans
- 500 ml vodka
- 150 ml rum dark or white, I used white rum
- 1 lemon zest only
for the coffee syrup
- 1/2 cup espresso coffee
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Roughly smash the coffee beans with pestle and mortar. If using a grinder/food processor just pulse, you don't want to grind the coffee just break up the beans
- Place coffee beans in clean jar and add lemon zest, vodka and rum
- pop on the lid, shake well and set aside for a week in dark cupboard
- strain through 2 layers of muslin/kitchen roll
- make coffee syrup by boiling the espresso with the sugar for 5 mins till thickens, allow to cool then add to the coffee vodka
- pour the finished liqueur into a sterilised bottle and seal. It will keep for up to a year.
Does the syrup need to be strained? If not what about the “grit”?
Karon Grieve says
Strain the syrup through 2 layers of kitchen paper if you have grit in espresso
Karon Grieve says
Glad you like the recipe