I love flavoured liqueurs...Baileys, Tia Maria and Kahlua are all among my favourites. The only thing I don't like about these creamy, tipsy, girly drinks is their price - they're all about £14 a bottle now. Five years ago I wouldn't have batted an eyelid as I popped them into my trolley and swished my way over to the till. But times have changed and sometimes if I want to enjoy a bit of luxury without feeling guilty then I have to figure out how to make it myself - and on a budget.
What I've found out is that most food and drink can be made easily, cheaply and a heck of a lot more wholesome than anything you can find in the shops. Now I'm not going to proclaim that a boozy treat like Kahlua could ever be wholesome but it is so easy to make that a five year old...err 18 year old...could do it. And by varying the ingredients slightly, you can customise it to suit your own taste - more or less sugary, alcoholic, vanilla or even coffee flavoured.
Once prepared, Kahula can be mixed with milk and ice for a delicious and boozy kind of iced latte - I'm currently enjoying the one pictured above so please excuse me for any spelling mistakes ;) You could even go the full mile and make your own Kahlua, Baileys and Grand Marnier and layer them for probably the best B-52 you've ever MADE. Or why not plan on preparing a few bottles in time for a party? In any case you'll be saving quite a bit of money while having a load of fun!
Makes almost 3 - 75cl bottles
4 cups Boiling Water
2 cups Dark Brown Sugar
2 cups White Sugar
1/2 cup Instant Coffee - Regular or Decaf depending on your preference
1 Vanilla Bean
3 cups Vodka - this is about an entire 70cl bottle
3 clean and sterilised bottles - old wine bottles with screw tops are perfect
1. But your sugars into a heat-proof bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Stir the mixture until all the sugar is dissolved then add your coffee. Stir again until this is dissolved then cover your bowl and allow to cool until it reaches room temperature.
2. Once cooled, slice your vanilla pod and scrape the gooey insides out with a knife and place it in the bowl. Pop the rest of the beans into your bottles.
3. Pour the vodka into the mix and stir gently. Then, using a funnel, pour the coffee liquor into the bottles and seal. If any of the black vanilla is stuck to the bottom of the bowl just spoon it out and into the bottles as well. Store your homemade Kahlua in a dark place and ideally you'll want to wait about two to three weeks before drinking it. This is to give the flavours, especially the vanilla, time to meld before drinking it. But if you absolutely can't wait that long it's fine to drink immediately ;)
PS - Remember how I mentioned that a bottle of Kahlua costs about £14 at the shop? If you make it at home you end up spending about £4.50 per bottle.