Friday, November 22, 2013

Homemade Coffee Liqueur for #HandcraftedHolidays


Once upon a time...long, long ago (in a land not so far away)....during a time when I tried so hard to hang onto Santa Clause (well beyond the norm), I remember my aunt giving gifts to the adults that I wasn't allowed to enjoy. She made homemade coffee liqueur.

When no one was looking, I'd sneak a sip here and there....and then again. It tasted so good! My parents would save it for special occasions and that tempting bottle would be in the cupboard for months.

Thus started my love affair with Kahlua.

As an adult, I have always wanted to try my hand at making coffee liqueur. My aunt refused to share her recipe and has now lost it (the recipe, not her mind). I found myself on my own and a bit intimidated.

I was invited to participate in this fun little Handcrafted Holidays round-up, where I got to choose whatever kind of container I wanted and make whatever I wanted to go inside. This was the push I needed to get me feet wet in making coffee liqueur. The hardest part was choosing the container. Freund Container has some really beautiful bottles and jars and just about any kind of container you could possibly need. And they have a lot to choose from.

After searching and looking, you can see I made a beautiful choice. I fell in love with the Clear Glass Art Deco Bottle, Corked. It's festive, fun, and just the perfect size I needed.

Next came the recipe. There are a lot of them out there. Some use a vodka base. Some use a rum base, while others use Everclear. As I researched and compensated and altered...and finally produced, I discovered that coffee liqueur is flexible. The original recipe I had planned didn't quite do it for me. That's when I grabbed the bottle of Kahlua out of the cupboard and started sipping and comparing.

Maybe not such a good idea. For two reasons. One...replicating Kahlua is a high standard to reach, but it helps guide you in the right direction. Two...well, after so many sips back and forth, it's bound to affect you.

You can be the judge on whether or not it's a good idea.

Anyways, I added, altered and changed up as I went...all for the better in the end. And once the finished product was placed in my new beautiful jars...ooooh, I got so excited! I can't wait to hand these out as gifts.

Homemade Coffee Liqueur
Printable Version

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups water
6 cups espresso (I used instant)
4 TB instant espresso powder
3 cups vodka
3 cups dark rum
3 TB vanilla extract
8oz piloncillo (or brown sugar if you don't have access to piloncillo)

In a small saucepan, combine the white sugar and water. While stirring, bring to a boil. Continue to stir and boil until it begins to thicken and caramelize (this could take several minutes). Combine hot espresso, the espresso powder and the caramelized simple syrup. Stir.

If the espresso isn't hot, don't reheat it....just pour in the caramelized simple syrup anyway. It'll harden instantly


And will look all pretty in a weird sort of way...and it might concern you. But don't worry. Drop it back in and it will slowly dissolve.

Add in the remaining ingredients, including the solid hard mass of piloncillo. It too will melt. In time.



Just stir occasionally and check on it. Not because it needs to be checked on, but it goes through a pretty cool transformation.

Once everything has melted all together, pour your newly made coffee liqueur in your beautiful bottles. Tie a bow around the neck and you have yourself one impressive, sure to please holiday gift.

I mentioned that this is part of a Handcrafted Holiday round-up. Below are the links to several gift ideas for the upcoming season. With the holidays upon us, if you're looking for that special gift that speaks volumes because it was handmade by you....this is the perfect place to start!


Handcrafted Holiday ideas for making gifts from your kitchen using products from Freund Container:





  • Candy Cookies in a Jar from Alida's Kitchen 
  • Chai Tea Blend from Curious Cuisiniere 
  • Flavored Sea Salts {DIY} from girlichef 
  • Homemade Bailey's Irish Cream from That Skinny Chick Can Bake 
  • Homemade Coffee Liqueur from Cooking for My Peace of Mind 
  • Homemade Crunchy Granola from Magnolia Days 
  • Homemade Flavored Simple Syrups from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen 
  • Homemade Mexican Hot Sauce from Juanita's Cocina 
  • Homemade Steak Sauce from The View from Great Island 



  • And to make the gift making and giving season even better.....We are giving away gift certificates!!! Three....$100 GIFT CERTIFICATES to be exact! Tell me, in a comment, which Freund container you would love to use, and what you would make to put it in. Then take advantage of all the different ways you can enter more chances to win!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    This giveaway is for three $100 gift certificate to Freund Container & Supply. Gift certificate will expire on February 28, 2014. Gift certificate is a one-time use certificate and must be used in its entirety; any leftover monies on the gift certificate will be forfeited. This giveaway is open to both US and Canadian residents. However, it should be noted that due to current International shipping rates, any Canadian winners will pay higher shipping costs for orders. This giveaway will run from Friday November 22, 2013 through Saturday November 30, 2013 (11:59 pm ET).  Winner will be notified within 48 hours of the close of this contest, and given 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.


    Freund Container & Supply has been helping build businesses since 1938 as the largest distributor of glass bottles, containers and wholesale packaging supplies online. Freund offers over 5,000 items in stock every day, 98% same day shipping and low-price guarantees. Take a look at
    Freund’s wide selection of jars, tins, bottles and vials for all your crafting and food related needs!

    I was not compensated for this post, however Freund Container supplied me with a case of jars/bottles for making this project.  They are also supplying the gift certificates for the giveaway.  All opinions are my own.

    15 comments:

    1. I don't know, I think that comparative sipping is pretty valuable ;P. I think that the bottles you chose are just beautiful...and the perfect thing for giving the gift of homemade coffee liqueur. Did you need my address?

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    2. 16.9 oz. Clear Glass Art Deco Bottle-Corked would be beautiful with homemade vanilla.

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    3. I recently discovered piloncillo and love it. Now I have another recipe to use it. I see some coffee liqueur making happening real soon in my kitchen.

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    4. I could put these to good use. I saw so many things that I just loved. Great source, I think the first thing that I would love to try are these, .freundcontainer.com/gourmet-glass-jars-hexagon/p/v8022B47/

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    5. Personally, I love the Honey Pots... 7oz size to be exact. They are great for Homemade Mustards.

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    6. Wow, this process sounds so interesting, and I just love those cute bottles.

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    7. I adore the honey pots, I've already made homemade pumpkin spice syrup and filled the honey pot jars from Freund! I love Freund they have a great selection and great prices!

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    8. I made homemade Kahlua for holiday gifts last year...but now I need to try your recipe and get the COOL bottles you selected!

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    9. I would LOVE some of these bottles. I think I might want some large amber jugs for making vanilla and then some of the small bottles with droppers for dispensing.

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    10. OMGoosh...This Coffee Liqueur Looks and Sounds So Delicious!! Love these Amazing Flavors !! So wish I lived closer I love to be the official taste tester :-)

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    11. Totally cool- I think this makes a very creative holiday gift. Thanks for sharing the idea with us.

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    12. I love anything Kahlua, too. So thanks for the recipe and wouldn't it be grand to have those bottles. :)

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    13. Oh...I'd love some containers for gift giving...and what a great idea this is! Now, I have to look up piloncillo..never heard of it...:)

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    14. I would look for the perfect jar for my sriracha ~ especially since the judge ruled against the manufacturer!

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    15. I would choose the Ball Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars and fill them with home made hot cocoa mix.

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