{Homemade} Kahlua

{Homemade} Kahlua - {i love} my disorganized life #kahlua

Have you ever had a recipe or an idea for a project that you’ve been meaning to make but never get around to it? That’s what this Kahlua is for me. I am ashamed to say that I have had this recipe for over 20 years, and am just now getting to it.

I know what you’re thinking, because I’ve been thinking the same thing, why did I wait so long? Truth? I may have sort of forgotten I had it. Yes, it’s sad, isn’t it?

Here’s what I suggest, DON”T WAIT. MAKE IT NOW. This recipe takes a min of 30 days to age before it’s ready to drink.

Reasons to make your own Kahlua:

  • it’s a perfect gift
  • it tastes fabulous
  • it makes delicious recipes taste even better
  • it’s easy to make {and I’m all about easy}
  • your friends & family will think you’re a genius &
  • they’ll want to come to your house more often {this could actually be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it}


OK, enough chitchat, let’s get to it!

{Homemade} Kahlua
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  • 4 C water
  • 6 C white sugar
  • 1 1/3 C instant coffee granules
  • 1.75 Liters of vodka
  • 1/4 C pure vanilla {NOT imitation!}


  1. Boil water
  2. When at a rolling boil, remove from heat and add instant coffee & sugar; stir until dissolved
  3. While stirring, add vodka in a slow, steady stream
  4. Stir in vanilla
  5. Let stand one hour before putting into bottles
  6. Allow to age 30-45 days before drinking
Recipe Type: Cocktails


This recipe makes enough to fill 6- 18 oz bottles with 10 oz left over



{this recipe made enough for me to fill 5- 18 oz bottles for gifts and 1 28 oz mason jar for myself – hey, you didn’t think I was going to give it all away, did you?}

*The average price per bottle {6 bottles + 6 oz left over} is about $3. This is based on a 1.75 Ltr bottle of vodka at Costco for $15. The price of your vodka will affect the cost per bottle

I’d love to know if you made it and what you thought of it, so be sure to come back and leave me a comment!



    • mydisorganizedlife@gmail.com says

      You’re so very welcome Tammy!

  1. Ronda RS says

    Awesome! I will definitely be making this for my Mom and Sister for Christmas this year. Where did you get those pretty bottles?

    • mydisorganizedlife@gmail.com says

      Glad you like it Ronda! I picked them up at Hobby Lobby. No luck with JoAnn’s or Michael’s. You could also use Grolsch beer bottles.

      • Ronda says

        Thanks! I go to hobby lobby often!

        • mydisorganizedlife@gmail.com says

          You’re very welcome Ronda!

  2. says

    Girl, what other 20 year old recipes are you sitting on??!! If they’re anything like this then you better get to making them!! This is awesome and I’m totally gonna try it. But I wont give it as a gift… it’s all for me! 🙂

    • mydisorganizedlife@gmail.com says

      Haha, I’m keeping a large bottle for myself as well LOL Mine is just about ready to drink, I’m so excited! And I’ll be sure and get on looking for those old recipes ASAP!

  3. Ann says

    Love it since I love Kahlua……can you tell me if it is ok to use a cork top bottle or does it have to be the type you are showing in your beautiful photo? Thanks for this great receipe!

    • mydisorganizedlife@gmail.com says

      Ann, a cork top bottle should be just fine. I went a little fancier because I am giving these as lone Christmas gifts, but next year I will be using different ones, as these were a little pricey!

    • mydisorganizedlife@gmail.com says

      Thanks for the compliment on my new site, Raquel! I am so happy to finally be on WP! So sweet of you to share this recipe on your FB page, too! Have a great day!

  4. says

    By instant coffee, do you mean the kind you stir in and dissolves in hot water or the kind you make in a coffee maker? And by 1 1/3 C do you mean already made in water or the powdered stuff? Sorry if this is obvious, I just want to make sure!

    • mydisorganizedlife@gmail.com says

      Breenah, yes, by instant I mean the kind in a jar {like Taster’s Choice} that is in crystal-like form. You use 1 1/3 C of the crystals {right out of the jar} for this recipe. I hope that clears it up for you 🙂

  5. Caron says

    WOWZA this looks good!!!!! Sorry if this is obvious, by pure vanilla do you mean vanilla essence?? I have that and pods?? Thanks hunni xx

    • Rachel says

      Good question! I used extract- not sure if that’s the same as essence? Pods could work, I’m just not sure how many. You just need to make sure you use REAL vanilla and not imitation. I used liquid extract, so maybe essence is the same thing? And you will LOVE this! Tastes just like the famous brand.

  6. Sandy Burns says

    You say to let them age 30-45 days, so if I am making these up ahead of time for Christmas gift how do you store them? Does it need to be refrigerated?

    • Rachel says

      No need to refrigerate, Sandy. Simply store in air-tight bottles, similar to the ones I used {they have a rubber seal}. You can find them at most craft/hobby stores and online. I even put some in a large mason jar.

  7. Carl Burton says

    Making my second batch as the first one was such a hit. I use TJ’s bourbon vanilla and their instant coffee. Your recipe gets a fist full of stars. thank you

    • Rachel says

      So glad you are enjoying your homemade Kahlua, Carl! I’ll have to check out that bourbon vanilla for sure.

  8. Melissa says

    I might have overlooked this somewhere else, but how long do these normally keep?

    • Rachel says

      Melissa, I still have some that I made last year, and it’s still tastes great! It will last a very long time- years 🙂

  9. Karen Majors says

    This sounds so good. Could the instant coffee crystals be replaced with espresso powder? I’m wondering if that would enhance the flavor or completely ruin it.

    • Rachel says

      The espresso powder should work just fine, provided you prefer a stronger flavor! I say it’s worth a try!

  10. Karen says

    This looks really good. Can the instant coffee crystals be substituted with espresso powder or would that ruin the taste rather than enhancing it?

  11. says

    I’ve never tried kahlua. But it can be homemade with easy to find ingredient I must give it a try 😀 Thank you for sharing.

    • Rachel says

      You’ll love it Jasmine!

  12. Tim says

    I have used this recipe for several years now and have made lots of little changes along the way. A good Madagascar vanilla makes a big difference over a cheaper vanilla. I tried vanilla beans and felt that it really wasn’t worth the extra work. I have tried several different vodkas and have found no benefit to using more expensive vodka. I usually use a cheaper 100 proof vodka now. I have tried several different brands of instant coffee and have found that the choice of coffee can really make a big difference. My favorite one so far has been Nescafe Clasico Dark Roast.

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