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Make your own Kahlua and Amarretto at home, very easy.

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    Make your own Kahlua and Amarretto at home, very easy.

    So I was really craving a Toasted Almond one evening (essentially a White Russian with Amaretto), the only problem was that I didn't have Amaretto... or Kahlua. I don't know why, but I decided to Google how these were made and found them not only surprisingly easy to make, they were very good and could be made with what I had at home.

    Depending on the quality of your ingredients these 2 bottles will cost you about $20, which would probably save you $100 or more. To me, the quality was much better, maybe due to freshness or quality of coffee. Plus it's really cool to make your own.

    • I didn't have instant coffee, so I made a pot of drip using the 4 cups in the recipe.
    • As this was a last minute thing, I did not put in the vanilla bean and wait 2-3 weeks.
    I am linking the recipe's I used, but in case the links go away I will also post the recipe.

    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 2 cups vodka
    • 2 tablespoons almond extract
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1. Combine water and sugars in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the mixture is boiling, and all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.
    2. Stir vodka, almond extract and vanilla extract into the mixture. Store in a sealed bottle.
    • 4 cups water
    • 1 1/2 cups instant coffee
    • 4 1/2 cups 100 proof vodka
    • 8 cups sugar
    • 2 vanilla beans
    Mix water, sugar and coffee crystals. Heat and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Add vodka. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into 6, 12.5 oz. bottles. Cut each vanilla bean into thirds and drop bean into each bottle. Cap. After 2-3 weeks strain, remove beans and rebottle.
    Last edited by _John_; September 4, 2014, 02:52 PM. Reason: Forgot Vodka in Kahlua

    neat stuff....


      My wife has made Kahlua for Christmas gifts for 10+ years. She collects Grolsch bottles all year (and gets bottles from previous years back) and uses them because of the way they close. She adds some green and red ribbon. People look forward to our Christmas open house every year for the BBQ and Kahlua (in that order) .


      • JCGrill
        JCGrill commented
        Editing a comment
        Grolsch? You have a keeper there.

      That's a good idea, and a reason to pick up some more beer!



        how much vodka in the kahlua?


        • _John_
          _John_ commented
          Editing a comment
          Sorry will edit, 4.5 cups 100 proof the article says, I used a little extra of 80

        We used to make a similar version of Kahlua when we were in the Peace Corps. Start with a bottle of vodka, drink some off of the top and then add the Nescafe, a packet of vanilla powder, some sweetened condensed milk and then shake the bejesus out of the bottle. I think that's the recipe. I'll go look in my PC cookbook.


          Wife wanted a boozy hot cocoa tonight, tried it with the Amaretto and it was great! Few drops of peppermint schnapps made it even better. I think that mix would be amazing on ice cream.


            Big homemade kahlua fan here too. I used to use instant coffee, but now use freshly brewed coffee using Colombian beans and brown sugar, which get cooked down into a thin syrup before the vodka and vanilla is added. My go to recipe these days

            Homemade Kahlua:
            6 cups fresh brewed coffee (used freshly ground Colombian beans)
            1 lb brown sugar
            3 tbsp vanilla extract
            In a pot combine coffee and brown sugar, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 90-120 minutes. (Don’t let coffee get that burned smell when heating) Cool mixture, add one liter (about 32 oz) vodka and vanilla extract, mix.
            Makes about 1.75 liters
            It’s drinkable right away, but the more it sits, at room temperature, the better the flavors blend.


            Makes the best Black Russians!

            2 parts vodka
            1 part kahlua
            pour over ice in rocks glass.

            This weekend I intend to make homemade akvavit using potato vodka and spices. Have done a few different other vodka infusions with great success also.
            Last edited by Steve Navarre; November 5, 2014, 10:27 AM.


              Our neighbor makes a large batch of Khalua every Christmas. We trade him in glugg


                Thank you John, we'll give it a go. Let you know how we do.


                  Who would have thunk?


                    That's awesome, gonna have to try this! The wife loves her Kahlua, and we've started buying some of the "off" brands which are nearly as good, since Kahlua is frigging expensive - I can't be cutting back or budgeting on my single malt, so we've gotta find other means of trimming the monthly alcohol expenditures!


                      Funny, I just looked up the real deal Kahlua and it says it is made with coffee, corn syrup and rum. Why vodka in these recipes? I would think the flavor difference would be notable, but then, decent vodka is pretty cheap (all hail Tito's and Dripping Springs!) and I imagine the coffee flavor is far more important than any small amount the rum brings to the table. Maybe I answered my own question. lol

                      Has anyone tried it with rum?


                        YMMV, but I find vodka to taste really nasty (even "good" vodka). A good rum takes the Kahlua recipe over the top. Get one aged over 10 years. Matusalem 15 is a good example. For a quick fix, I've added rum to good strong coffee that's gone cold, add half and half, agave syrup, and maybe a few drops of vanilla to taste, pour over ice.


                        • EdF
                          EdF commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I find good vodka tasty, but only for sipping. For this kind of thing I second the good rum.

                        I get what you're saying about the taste of vodka... I've never been a fan. Even higher-end ones people seem to rave about, or the "upper crust" folks seem to buy. I don't like Goose, Chopin, Belvedere, etc. So when I tried Tito's I was amazed that for such an inexpensive option, it was much better. Then someone I know recommended Dripping Springs, and it was even better than Tito's! It is the closest I've found to flavorless that won't color whatever you mix it with. Vodka, to me, is mainly a mixer, not a solo drink.

                        I can imagine rum would add more to the mix, but just can't figure why most of the recipes call for vodka instead. Oh well...



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