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. It 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 for easy homemade kahlua 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 to make this easy homemade kahlua.

Easy 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?)

This easy 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 nuances of the alcohol are overpowered by the coffee and sugar. An inexpensive bottle is perfect.

Homemade Coffee Liqueur

Delicious over ice, in cocktails, or just poured over vanilla ice cream.

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade coffee liqueur, homemade kahlua
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 64 ounce bottle or jar
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.

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.

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