Homemade rum and coffee liqueur, better known as Kahlua, is so much better than the original. The main reason, it’s way less expensive than buying it from the store. One liter bottle of rum, some very strong coffee, sugar and vanilla will yield a little more than three liters of this rich, delightful, coffee spirit.
I usually use Bacardi rum, but if you like a little more kick, 100 proof vodka or even Everclear grain alcohol (if you can get it) works just as well. Your wallet and your taste buds will thank you. In total, homemade Kahlua costs between $23.00 and $30.00 for three liters of the liqueur ($7.67 – $10.00 per bottle). Whereas, one liter of the original will cost you about $30.00.
A breakdown of your costs are simple. $15.00 (liter of Bacardi Rum) – $22.00 (liter of 100 proof Smirnoff Vodka or Everclear). $2.00 for a 2 pound bag of light brown sugar (I know that sounds like a lot of sugar, but we’re using a lot of liquid that needs to be sweetened. Plus, if you measure out and firmly pack the brown sugar, it’s only about 5 cups). Approximately $1.00 for a strong brewed pot of coffee. This recipe would be an even better bargain if vanilla weren’t so expensive. If you can get an 8 oz bottle of vanilla for $20, using 2 oz (1/4 cup) will add $5.00 to your total.
Don’t use a bunch of your individual coffee pods for this recipe, as it will make your cost even more expensive than the original. Well, maybe not. I haven’t actually done a cost analysis on it, but I drink way too much coffee for those to be cost effective for me on a daily basis, so I don’t imagine it would be economical in this recipe either.
Vanilla has always been on the expensive side, but the last few years, it has really skyrocketed. A higher demand for pure vanilla as opposed to imitation has caused a shortage and driven up the price. It might be fun to experiment with hazelnut extract or almond extract instead of vanilla to see if we can make this recipe even more economical. Plus it would be some fun flavors to add to your favorite cocktail.
After you’ve made the recipe, you should pour the liqueur into glass bottles that have been sterilized then store in a cool, dark place for about 2 or 3 weeks. This product tastes much better after a few weeks, but if you absolutely can’t wait to try it, it is perfectly good to sample it today. I like to make a double batch and make gift bottles for friends and still have an ample supply for me.
- 1 liter rum (or vodka)
- 1 pot strong coffee use 1 cup ground coffee
- 2 lbs light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pure vanilla extract
Using a 12 cup coffee maker, brew one cup of coffee grounds with one full pot of water.
Pour brown sugar into a large heat resistant bowl or pot. Pour hot coffee over the sugar and stir until well dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature. (About 1 hour)
Add rum (or vodka) and vanilla. Stir until well blended.
Store in a cool, dark location for 2-3 weeks.
Have you tried this recipe or experimented with other extract flavors? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.