This is such an easy and fun gift to give at holiday time! I've made it a few times over the years because it lasts for a good while ... unless you are a lover of coffee and Kahlua with whipped cream or Black and White Russians! We go for only an occasional souped up coffee as a post dinner dessert drink. Black Russians lost their allure for me after one particular night of severe overindulgence. Hence, I use Kahlua in a few dessert and ice cream recipes. A bottle of this stuff lasts a long time in our house, but when you need a special zing ... it does the trick!
Usually, I make it to give as Christmas gifts. Half the fun is finding fun bottles to pour it into and corks for topping. The surge in making homemade liqueurs and ciders has increased the number of places you can find cool bottling supplies and the Web has really helped out too! I actually found neat bottles with the metal and rubber ringed swing topping at a local hardware store. Easy and tightly sealed ...
I used plain old shopping bags to cut tags and printed out my own little labels ... because I am cheap and since this is a homemade gift I felt like going all out. I have pretty little calico cloth gift bags that I made to slip the bottles into for giving ... a hostess gift for friends and a treat for my brother, the Coffee Fiend.
So Merry Christmas ... make some Kahlua and enjoy a nice hot dessert coffee during the next snow storm!
Ingredients and Supplies:
1 quart good quality Vodka
4 oz. expresso powder (instant coffee powder)
8 c. sugar
2 vanilla beans, sliced open length-wise, but left in one piece
1 quart boiling water
a large very clean covered glass jar
smaller bottles with corks for bottling
gift tags and ribbons for bottle necks or cool labels
Making the 'Kahlua':
1. Bring the water to a boil in a large very clean stock pot.
2. Add the sugar and the expresso powder and stir to dissolve the sugar and return to a boil. Turn the heat off, continue stirring to stir down the coffee foam.
3. Cover and allow the mixture to cool completely.
4. Pour the mixture into a very large and very clean jar, add the vodka and the vanilla beans, stirring to combine.
5. Cover the jar and place it in a cool place for 2 weeks to a month. Swirl the jar every few days to keep the vanilla essense moving through the liqueuer.
6. When you wish to bottle the liqueuer, stir it really well, remove the vanilla beans and cut them into as many pieces as you have bottles.
7. Place one piece of vanilla bean in each bottle and funnel the 'Kahlua' into the bottles, top with a cork, and attach your tags or labels.
Note: This drink lasts indefinitely, but does get stronger in flavour the longer you have it. It is wonderful added to chocolate cake batters, in cocktails and dessert coffees, as a flavour kick to ice cream recipes, and in trifle recipes. Enjoy!