Three years ago,  hubby received a homemade beer kit for his birthday. It was one of those gifts where the intention was good, (hubby likes his micro beers), but maybe not practical.

You see, when hubby wants to relax with a cold brew, that means he reaches in the refrigerator for one.  Not brew it up himself.  But, with a little coaxing, (okay, after two years, I forced him!  I had to, that dang kit was an eyesore sitting in our back porch!)  hubby finally decided to brew up a batch.

I learned a lot that day.  #1 Hubby can’t follow a recipe.  #2 Hubby doesn’t have any patience. #3  Hubby can’t follow a recipe. (I know I said that already, but, it bears repeating.) #4 Hubby should stick to ‘buying’ beer.

But, there was one ‘good’ thing that came out of that day!  I was inspired! (No, not to make beer!)

I was thinking of that wonderful elixir with coffee and chocolate undertones.  Kahlua!

Was it possible?  Could I actually make this coffee liqueur, and save the  $20-$30 it costs to buy the name brand stuff?

Well, according to a Google search, I could.

The only problem was- what recipe, out of the hundred or so that came up, should I use?

In the end- I didn’t use any ‘one’ recipe. Instead, I experimented with several, made some tweaks, and finally, came up with the exact flavor I was looking for.  (I later did a taste test with friends, using homemade versus the real thing.  Guess which one they chose?)

You got it!  Homemade Kahlua won!

Here is the recipe:

12 cups of  your favorite brewed coffee  (After several experiments using different coffee’s, I chose Eight o’clock Dark Italian Espresso. It has a rich, chocolaty flavor that really enhanced the other ingredients.)
2 lbs of light brown sugar
6 1/2 tablespoons of real vanilla extract
1 liter of vodka  (You can use whatever kind you like, but I liked Svedka.  (It’s not the most expensive-around $15, but it’s been distilled 5 times!!!  It has to be good!) *** Some recipes call for Everclear.  I did experiment and used this in one of my batches.  My recommendation?- Save it for Apple Pie (I’ll share that recipe in another post.)

Once coffee is brewed, pour it into a large pot.  (I used my 8 quart stock pot).  Add sugar.  Bring mixture to low boil.  Lower heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Let cool completely!

Add vanilla and vodka and mix thoroughly.  

Hubby had some really cool beer bottles that he saved, so I decided to recycle them.  Once sterilized, I used a funnel and poured in the Kahlua.   (Each bottle was 12 oz, and I still ahead enough for a 64 ounce mason jar!)

You can drink the Kahlua immediately, but I found if it sits in a cool, dry location, for about two weeks, it tastes a WHOLE lot smoother.  This worked out perfectly, because I made this batch a few weeks before Christmas.  Since our family was doing the ‘homemade’ gift theme, this yummy liqueur made the perfect addition to my gift basket.  (To make it more festive, I tied some colorful raffia around the neck of each bottle and added a tag with some cocktail recipes.)

Of course- my favorite cocktail using Kahlua is the Colorado Bulldog!  I’m adding this to the menu for Superbowl Sunday!

2 oz Kahlua

2 oz milk or half and half
Splash of cola
Pour over ice.
(Drink responsibly)-I will  be doing just that-because I’m not going anywhere except the sofa in our living room!   Enjoy!

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