Making Kahlua at Home (Coffee Liqueur)

By Sharmini Jayawardena 

Last night, (17th April 2023), I got into this feel of wanting to make something spirit wise. A spiritual incline that got me hankering after mixing yet another of my good spirits, to put me in high spirits. Alchemically speaking, an elixir of sorts. Something that would turn liquid into gold. In this case, black gold. And we all know what that means.

Kahlua is a coffee Liqueur that is versatile in the many drinks and desserts you can make with it. A number of cocktails come to mind when you think of Kahlua. 

The Colorado Bulldog, White Russian, Black Russian, Sombrero and Kahlua on the rocks are a few drinks that add to its versatility.

You can combine Baileys Irish Cream, vanilla ice cream and milk with Kahlua and with a drizzle of chocolate syrup in the glass, make a mudslide dessert drink. I’m going to try this and show you how it turns out, here.

There is also the Kahlua mudslide that requires Baileys Irish Cream, vodka, milk and of course, Kahlua. 

You can have spiked coffee with Baileys and Kahlua like this: Bailey’s Irish cream Liqueur, Kahlua, hot coffee, frothed milk or whipped cream.

There’s Mexican coffee with Gold Tequila, Kahlua Coffee Liqueur, brown sugar and hot coffee. 

Here’s more on how to serve Kahlua:

“Kahlua is a delicious liqueur that adds a dash of sweetness to anything you add it to. You can try this drink in a variety of classic cocktails, which includes everything I’ve mentioned above. Kahlua is also a key ingredient in many popular shooters, making it a great party staple. Adding Kahlua to other drinks can take them up a notch, particularly if you include whipped cream and chocolate in the mix!”

This delightful coffee liqueur can transform the ordinary into something special with the addition of a splash of sweetness to any drink. Most notably Kahlua  is black in color as in black coffee 😊 😋

For that Kahlua on the rocks, you simply pour Kahlua over an ice cube halfway into a rocks glass or a low ball glass or whiskey glass 🥃. Gently stir the ice to cool the Kahlua using a stir stick or spoon. Garnish with a peel of orange 🍊 and a sprig of lemon balm 🌿 

Cheers 🥂

Shelf Life of Kahlua:

If stored in an airtight bottle in a cool dark place, your homemade Kahlua will maintain its flavor and potency for about three to four years. Kahlua that has gone bad will have a stale smell and a watered-down taste.

 Here’s how you make it:


2 cups Water
1-1/2 cups granulated White Sugar
2 Tbl Instant Coffee
2 cups Vodka
1 Tbl Vanilla Extract

1 cup = 200 gms


  • Combine the water, sugar, and instant coffee in a medium saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a high simmer, but do not bring it all the way to a boil.  Reduce the heat a bit and let the mixture keep simmering, stirring occasionally, for about an hour.  This helps deepen the flavor of the sugar and the coffee.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool completely.  Once the mixture has cooled, mix in the vodka and the vanilla extract.  (If you add the vodka while the mixture is hot, the heat can cause too much of the alcohol to evaporate away).  Your final product will be a very rich and dark liquid.
  • Transfer the mixture to a glass bottle or other container with a tight fitting lid for storage.  If possible, let the mixture set for a few weeks to let the flavors meld together.

I started making Kahlua at home on the night of 17th April 2023. Finished the process on 18th April 2023.

Kept it to meld for 3 weeks until 10th May 2023.

Then that night I poured two glasses of Kahlua on the rocks 🥃 🥃 🧊🧊 and enjoyed a happy evening.

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