So what if you can’t fly away South of the Border for a tropical getaway now that winter has finally settled in? It is perfectly okay because you can always sip on homemade Kahlua blended with bananas and vodka while envisioning a sunny palm tree-d beach chair without spending cash on a plane ticket and time spent with TSA. Don’t want to think about sunnier spots? Try a little in your hot cocoa.
Next to Tequila, the liquor that’s best and cheapest to bring home from Mexico is Kahlua. This liqueur is renowned for its smooth taste and scent, both results from the infusion of Veracruz coffee beans and Mexican vanilla (another good duty-free purchase.) Like most things, a homemade version has qualities that a store packaged product can’t provide; individuality, resourcefulness and adventure.
Homemade liqueurs are some of the simplest cocktail ingredients to make, but are often brushed aside because they can involve steeping and fermenting over long periods of time. However, consider the end products of enjoyment, craftiness and the title of homemade beverage connoisseur that result from a specially-made bottle. It’s the kind of achievement even a scout could be proud of; if only they handed out badges for homemade booze.
To save a little time, here’s a recipe for homemade Kahlua that not only utilizes your favorite coffee but also has quick results.
Homemade Kahlua Recipe
Makes about 1.5 liters
6 cups brewed coffee (Use your favorite kind– my house is a La Colombe kind of house, but any coffee will do)
1 pound light brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 liter of vodka (something simple, Svedka or Smirnoff is recommended for affordability and quality)
- While the coffee is still hot, mix in the brown sugar. Let cool to room temperature.
- Mix in vanilla and vodka.
- Bottle for safe keeping or serve immediately.
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