The Giving Guide: Homemade Kahlua

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Making home-made Kahlua can be very simple. There are lots of recipes around which require you to steep the alcohol with coffee beans, vanilla and such-like. Great if you’re uber- organised, but I find this instant recipe much easier.  And you still end up with a really delicious, deep tasting liqueur.

I give a bottle of this  away to friends every Christmas. Paired with some beautiful home baked biscotti, it makes a popular gift! It’s also a great bottle to bring along to any Christmas or New years parties you may be going to. White Russians all round?! ( If you’ve never tried a White Russian cocktail, I’ve added a recipe at the end!)


900ml water

75g instant coffee

1 litre 100 proof vodka

1.6kg sugar

2 tsp good quality vanilla bean extract


Mix the water, sugar and coffee crystals together. Heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Cool to room temperature. Add the vodka and stir to combine. Pour mixture into sterilized bottles. (Sometimes a foam can form on top of the syrup so I pour it through a tea strainer). Keeps for 2 months.

How to make a White Russian


2oz vodka 1oz Kahlua or other coffee liqueur Single cream


Pour the vodka and Kahlua into an old- fashioned glass filled with ice and stir. Top with cream. Enjoy!

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