You know what I’m talking about, right? It starts with Kah and ends with lúa. And it’s really good. In your coffee. In a cake (I was talking with a friend today and we decided it would be a great addition to my Mema’s Cherry Chocolate Cake). In a glass with half and half. Over ice cubes. In just about anything (well, maybe not in scrambled eggs. I mean, it’s not bacon. Wait. Bacon and Kahlúa. Now there’s a combo!). Well, a few years ago, I was at a family reunion and folks were passing out photocopied recipes attributed to various family members. I’m not sure that I know who the person is that came up with the “coffee flavored liquor” recipe (thanks Sara Sangster Wardell), but I’m guessing she’s likely a cousin of some sort. Because I have approximately one zillion cousins.
Anyway, in the stacks of individual photocopied recipes I found this one. And I made it. And it’s off the charts yummy. Better than the store-bought stuff. For reals. I even gave it away as Christmas gifts one year. Boy was I popular the next year. I should stick with the give booze as a gift idea. <she drifts off into daydreams of being popular> But I digress. Even though Christmas is in our rear view mirrors, I’m going to give you the recipe. Don’t say I never got you anything. I’m just late. As usual.
- 6 cups of white sugar (I’m sure you could use brown sugar too, for an even richer, deeper flavor)
- 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
- 1 qt of 100 proof vodka (Smirnoff and Absolut both have 100 proof options – my vote would be Absolut)
- 1 cup instant coffee (you know how I love my Mount Hagen Instant Organic Coffee and you can use decaf if you want to)
- 4 cups of boiling water
Step 1: Mix the 4 cups of boiling water, 1 cup of instant coffee and 6 cups of sugar in a large pot. Make sure to mix it well, so the sugar is diluted all the way through. Let it cool.
Step 2: Pour the cooled mixture into a gallon milk jug or a glass jug like this one. Add the two sliced vanilla beans. Cap tightly.
Step 3: Lay the jug on its side in a cool, dark-ish place, and turn the jug 1/2 turn every day for 30 days.
Step 4: Open jug after 30 days and pour the golden brown liquid into your mouth. Or your coffee cup. Either one.
Or if you’re in a sharing mood, you can poor some of the magical goodness into a bottle like this one or this one or this one (they even call this last one a pocket flask) and share with friends. Really good friends. Super good friends. And then you too can be popular.
I expect to hear back from all of you in 32 days (I’ll give you two extra days to get to the store for supplies, realizing not everyone has two vanilla beans just hanging out in their pantry), as you send me drunken emails about how good this stuff is and offering your sincere thanks. I’ll get ahead of all of the hubbub now and just say . . . you’re welcome.