(Warning! This post discusses alcohol and is intended for adults over the legal drinking age in their area)
I started getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas today by making one of Ma’am’s best, most asked for recipes – Kahlua. It is a simple thing to make but you need to make it early and let it sit at least one month before serving. It is even better if you wait longer, as in YEARS!
I am going for 6 months. But, since I doubled the recipe I may keep half of it longer. As it “ages” the water evaporates and it consequently thickens and becomes sweeter. For now it is in these ugly bottles to age, and I will put it in some pretty bottles for gift giving and serving in November.
Homemade Kahlua, coffee flavored liqueur, perfect for gift giving.
4 cups granulated sugar
2oz instant coffee or espresso powder (not crystals)
2 cups boiling water
1 bottle 750ml vodka
1 vanilla bean
Suggestions for bottling and storing:
Bottle kahlua in dark colored beer bottles. Wash bottles well and remove labels by soaking in hot water--some labels remove better than other, so experiment. Also interestingly shaped bottles or decanters make attractive gifts. If you do not have them, shop thrift or import stores to find them. I suggest that if you want to uses these for gift, 12 ounce bottles make a nice size. Buy corks from the hardware store. Make personalized labels on your computer and glue on or use small gift enclosure cards and tie on with a ribbon.
To seal bottle tops and make an attractive presentation for gift giving:
Melt paraffin, to which you might want to add broken pieces of crayon for color--take off the paper wrapping before melting! To avoid over heating of paraffin, melt in a discarded 16 ounce can half submerged in a pan of boiling water. The can should be about ¾ full of melted paraffin for proper dipping. Stir paraffin and crayon during heating to mix color evenly. A bamboo skewer is good for stirring. Dip corked bottle tops in melted paraffin to seal. Repeated dipping will be required to adequately coat cork and bottle. After each dipping let paraffin cool and on on bottle. Don't worry if the paraffin drips and slithers unevenly over they bottle. You want the homemade touch.
Mix sugar and coffee well. Add boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add vodka. Pour into bottles. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Put half bean in each bottle and cork. Let stand in a dark place for 30 days or longer.