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Homemade Kahlua Recipe

The Secret to Making Kahlúa Coffee Liqueur at Home

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. But the extra time is absolutely worth it. I spoke with San Francisco star bartender Scott Baird for help when I decided to make this and although most recipes call for 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.

Homemade Kahlúa

From Scott Baird of 15 Romolo

Kahlua Recipe


  1. 1 (750 ml) bottle vodka or white rum
    1 1/4 cups dark rum, like Pampero
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3/4 pound whole coffee beans
    1 vanilla bean
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 tablespoon cocoa nibs, optional
    1 slice of orange peel, optional


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a sealable container. Shake hard to combine.
  2. Label with the date and let sit in a cool, dark place for three weeks. Shake or stir the mixture several times of week.
  3. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer into a clean vessel. Use like you would Kahlua or any other coffee liquor.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts
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