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Homemade Coffee Liqueur


An image of Homemade Coffee Liqueur served on the rocks.

Homemade Coffee Liqueur takes time to infuse, but the results are worth the wait.

Marko Goodwin
You can make a drink akin to Tia Maria or Kahlua at home. This coffee liqueur recipe is easily customized to personal tastes by varying the level of coffee, sugar or vanilla. It's also less expensive than store-bought coffee liqueurs.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: Ten two-ounce servings


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 two-inch piece of vanilla bean
  • 8 tablespoons quality instant coffee
  • 750 mL bottle (a "fifth") of rum (for a taste like Tia Maria) or vodka (for a taste like Kahlua)


  1. Combine the vanilla bean, sugar and water in a saucepan.
  2. Boil until the volume has been cut in half, or about 30 minutes.
  3. Add 8 tablespoons quality instant coffee and allow the mixture to cool.
  4. In a sealable glass jar or bottle, combine the simple syrup (sugar solution) and rum or vodka. Shake well and let sit in a cool, dark area for 10 days.
  5. After 10 days, strain the liqueur through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store in a sealed liquor bottle.

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