Homemade Kahlua

Give the gift of booze this holiday season, and whip up a batch of this homemade coffee liqueur, also known as easy homemade kahlua or DIY kahlua. Homemade kahlua makes a killer White Russian, and it’s dynamite poured over vanilla bean ice cream. Friends of my father used to gift us a bottle of their homemade recipe, and it was absolutely delicious. I researched several recipes to make this, but I bypassed the ones calling for instant coffee. I wanted a more authentic coffee flavor. In the end, I really had to improvise and combine elements of a few recipes.

How do you make DIY Kahlua?

Homemade kahlua couldn’t be more simple to make: you brew a strooooong pot of your favorite coffee, add brown sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add a cup each of vodka and rum and a split vanilla bean. Store in the fridge or a cool, dark place for four weeks, shaking every so often. Serve over ice, in cocktails, or in desserts (boozy coffee milkshakes, anyone?)

What does DIY Kahlua taste like?

This DIY homemade kahlua is much less sweet than traditional Kahlua and incredibly coffee-forward. It is definitely not a recipe to make with a fantastic sipping vodka; the coffee and sugar overpowers the nuances a high quality alcohol. An inexpensive bottle is perfect.

What drinks can you make with homemade coffee liqueur?

Need some drink inspiration after your Kahlua is finished steeping? Visit Taste of Home for these 10 Delicious Kahlua Drink Recipes.

Homemade Kahlua
3.1 from 11 votes

Homemade Kahlua Coffee Liqueur

Homemade Kahlua Coffee Liqueur is delicious over ice, in cocktails, or just poured over vanilla ice cream.

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword diy kahlua, homemade coffee liqueur, homemade kahlua
Prep Time 20 minutes
Curing time 30 days
Total Time 30 days 20 minutes
Servings 64 ounces
Calories 44 kcal
Author Amanda


  • 15 tablespoons ground coffee
  • 2 cups brown sugar packed
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup rum
  • 1 vanilla bean split horizontally


  1. Brew a strong pot of 6 cups of coffee with water and ground coffee (I filled my 12-cup capacity coffee maker up to 6 cups and used 15 tablespoons of coffee).
  2. Add brown sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add vodka and rum and vanilla bean.
  4. Pour into a 64 ounce jar and let sit in a dark, cool place (cabinet is fine) for 4 weeks, shaking every so often. Can store at room temperature or the fridge for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
Amount Per Serving (1 oz)
Calories 44 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 9mg0%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 1g2%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Want some more ideas for DIY homemade boozy gifts? Gift a friend a jar of these homemade cocktail cherries or a bottle of earl grey-infused bourbon.