Did you know you can make your own version of Kahlúa at home? It takes three weeks for the coffee beans to infuse the vodka and rum mixture, so you'll want to prepare this ahead of time if you plan to use or give it as a gift.
What most don't realize is that the best bartenders are busy mixing up everything from homemade Baileys to fresh grenadine. The techniques they use to make these superior mixers are easily adaptable for the home.
A few weeks ago when I decided to make this, I spoke with San Francisco star bartender Scott Baird. Although most recipes call for simply a clear spirit like vodka or light rum, Baird insists on a mixture of vodka and dark rum for a rich flavor and thick syrup-like liquid.