Homemade Kahlúa Made with Everclear

October 30, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes about 5 fifths. This recipe easily doubles.
Author Notes

This homemade Kahlúa is dense, syrupy and sweet; a distinct taste of Mexican espresso coffee with a mixture a grain alcohol, rum and brandy.

I literally stumbled onto this recipe, years ago, while visiting my in laws, wondered why I didn’t know about it and immediately copied it down, modifying the coffee flavoring to espresso and the vanilla to pure bourbon extract before even trying it; finding later that my “tweaking hunch” was a good one.

This makes a great hostess gift, is perfect for all the winter celebrations. I recycle old liquor bottles, strip the labels, wash thoroughly, fill them up, add a brightly colored bow, a gift card and…Cheers!

What You'll Need
  • 2-1/2 lb. superfine sugar
  • 5 cups water
  • 16 oz light corn syrup
  • 4 oz. instant espresso coffee = Medaglia D'Oro
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 oz pure bourbon vanilla extract
  • 12 oz pure grain alcohol (I use Everclear) NOTE: or 100 proof Vodka if you would rather use it
  • 12 oz Dark Rum
  • 12 oz Brandy
  1. Combine the sugar, syrup and water, heat until clear, take off heat.
  2. Combine the instant espresso and boiling water, add to the syrup and cool to 70 degrees.
  3. Add the vanilla to the syrup, stir.
  4. Add the grain alcohol, rum and brandy to the syrup.
  5. Stir let set 24 hours.
  6. Bottle.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • wssmom
  • lapadia
  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • inpatskitchen
  • Bevi

21 Reviews

wssmom November 10, 2011
I am getting going on this for the holidays! Thanks for posting!
lapadia November 10, 2011
Thanks, wssmom...Woo-hoo, I am thrilled you will be trying it, was sure you probably had a recipe of your own! Happy Holidays!
lapadia November 2, 2011
FYI update = I added a "special note" , additional information re: pure grain alcohol.
lapadia October 29, 2014
Scroll down for my note re: pure grain alcohol...
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 31, 2011
wow-thanks. this would make a festie, boozy holiday gift.
lapadia October 31, 2011
Your very welcome, SLC, Enjoy!
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 31, 2011
Everclear seems dangerous! What's it like?
lapadia October 31, 2011
Hi! Everclear is a brand of pure grain alcohol that can attracted controversy due to its high alcohol content. "Real" Everclear is 190 proof (95% alcohol) and is illegal in many states.
There is a lower alcohol version of Everclear = 151, that is 151 proof. If you're looking for a substitute for grain alcohol, your best bet would 100 proof vodkas. But, really Kahlua is usually never consumed in great quantities (well I have never seen anybody do that), so the pure grain mixed with all additional recipe ingredients really ends up being just a great combination of flavors, with the coffee flavor being foremost…oh and of course whatever you mix the Kahlua with, the drink will warm you up. I like it with a little cream on the rocks.
PS - speaking (not from personal experience) but watching peers in college - you would never want to just drink Everclear like you would me. Hope that helps :) Have a nice evening!
inpatskitchen October 31, 2011
My sister-in-law and I used to make kahlua, but nothing as glamorous as this one. I'm saving! Thanks for sharing!
lapadia October 31, 2011
Thanks and you are welcome, IPK! Cheers!
Bevi October 31, 2011
How long do you recommend that the kahlua sit before imbibing?
lapadia October 31, 2011
Hi Bevi, we have tasted as soon as a couple days later, although I like to give it a good month...enjoy!
Bevi October 31, 2011
This looks serious. How long do you recommend the kahlua sit before imbibing? A few months?
lapadia October 31, 2011
Thanks, Bevi :)
hardlikearmour October 31, 2011
Whoa! this is awesome. You could also package it in the swing-top bottles you can get at homebrew supply stores.
lapadia October 31, 2011
Thanks, hla! Yes, I have some of the bottles from the homebrew shop, too, but I use those for the Irish Cream recipe...posted on F52 last year.
boulangere October 30, 2011
Love it, love it! This would make lovely Christmas gifts. And there's our Medaglia d"Oro!
lapadia October 30, 2011
Thanks! Yes, excellent gifts, can't wait to be able to get a photos uploaded ;)
boulangere October 30, 2011
Ok, I've got it. I've been collecting some lovely small-ish bottles and corks, and I'll give your lovely Kahlua along with how to incorporate it into a couple of recipes: Brownies to the Power of 4 and Belle Foley's Chocolate Cake. Thank you, thank you! I love it when gifts just fold together!
lapadia October 31, 2011
Thrilled about your plans with this recipe...enjoy!
lapadia October 30, 2011
Had a photo to submit, but kept getting a server