Somehow, I found a way to grumble a wee bit while making this. Office holiday gift exchange pressure!!! The rest of my mood was all smirky, caffeinated anticipation, with the buzz of Victrola beans from my Seattle adventure, clear grain alcohol, rich vanilla paste and a little fresh clementine zest, for good measure. I had sampled my friend Millie the mixtress’ homemade kahlua at a holiday cocktail party a couple of weeks ago, and it was totally a I have-to-make-this moment.
The internet seemed abundant with two varieties of recipes. One involved patient infusing (which is fine, because please), and the other was a matter of warming & mixing. Millie’s successful concoction followed the second route, and so did I, using the recipe posted last year on the Cupcake Project as a basis.
DIY Vanilla Kahlua
- 9 cups of strong brewed coffee (I used my french press)
- 3/4 liter single grain alcohol
- 1.5 lbs vegan brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons of vanilla paste
- 1 teaspoon of freshly grated orange zest (I used clementine)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- cocoa powder or melting chocolate, to taste > I did this with a small part of the batch.
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Whisk the brown sugar into the coffee in a very large sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
- Lower heat and whisk in the remainder of the ingredients.
- Let sit and cover if desired, for 15-20 minutes.
- Whisk a couple more times for good measure, and using a funnel, distribute into bottles or jars with tight lids.
- Coconut White Russians with vodka, kahlua, ice and So Delicious Coconut Creamer.
- Black Russians: straight up vodka and kahlua over ice.
- Equal parts kahlua & vegan bailey’s irish cream, served over ice.
- Mocha Float with vegan ice cream.
P.S. So. I drowned my camera over the weekend. Please forgive the smartphone pick, hence the decor.