In case you haven’t noticed, we like booze here at feed me kc. Most of the time, we leave everything but the drinking of booze up to the pros. But around the holidays, we get a little crafty. Last year, Jeff made homemade limoncello. This year, I decided to whip up a big batch of my homemade coffee liqueur.
It’s like Kahlúa, but so much better better. In fact, I compared it to the store-bought stuff (both over ice), and I had a hard time stomaching how syrupy and artificial the Kahlúa tasted after drinking my homemade version.
Before you get started, I should warn you this is a little messy, and takes quite a bit of patience (on which I am usually low) but it’s totally worth it. You’ll want to put it in your mouth again and again.
Here’s what you’ll need:
12 ounces of a quality dark roast, whole bean coffee
9 cups water
3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons vanilla extract (I prefer Madagascar bourbon vanilla)
64 ounces (8 cups) vodka
This is how we do it:
Fashion some sort of filter system over a french press or other tall container. I used a ceramic drip cone used for pour overs that I picked up at a thrift store for $2 (you can buy them online and at most quality coffee shops). These cones are meant to sit on top of a coffee mug and require paper a paper filter. Since we don’t use paper filters, and I didn’t want to go back to the store at 10 pm, I cut an unbleached flour sack towel, and used the pieces as my filter.
Grind the coffee (if you have the option to choose the grind, choose the coarsest possible). Add the coffee grounds and water to a large pot, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. As soon as the coffee begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture (the “coffee sludge”) simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, fashion some sort of filter system over a french press or other tall container. I used a ceramic drip cone used for pour overs that I picked up at a thrift store for $2 (you can buy them online and at many box stores and coffee shops). These cones are meant to sit on top of a coffee mug and require paper a paper filter. Since we don’t use paper filters, and I didn’t want to go back to the store at 10 pm, I cut an unbleached flour sack towel, and used the pieces as my filter.
Ladle the coffee sludge into the filter. Depending on what you use, it may take a while to filter through, and you’ll need to clear or replace your filter a few times before you get through the entire batch. (You should have muddy grounds stuck in your filter. If not, it’s probably getting into your mixture, and you don’t want that.)
Add the filtered coffee back to the (rinsed!) pot over low heat. Add the sugar and stir until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and stir well. At this point, you should have about 8 cups of coffee syrup. Let the syrup cool for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Now, you can do one of two things: 1. Add 8 cups of vodka and the syrup to a large jar or bottle. 2. If you’re adding this to individual bottles for gifts, go ahead and fill each bottle halfway with the coffee syrup, then fill the rest of the way with vodka. Either way, use a funnel.
Let your boozy concoction sit in a cool, dark place for 30 days. In the meantime, make tags or labels for your gifts. Give it a shake every few days, when you remember.
I know what you’re thinking: “Hey! There aren’t 30 days left until Christmas. Why didn’t you post this earlier?”
Well, I was busy. Also, no problem! Just write “Enjoy After ____” on your label or tag. Believe me, people will be happy to drink this on a cold, lonely night. Or when they want to get frisky; I didn’t use decaf.
See more pictures of this process at my personal blog, Pyrex & Pennies.