Diy Homemade Kahlua Recipe Featured

Homemade Kahlua Coffee Liqueur Recipe

The Kahlua coffee liqueur is a main part of loads of cocktails. The company has a huge following, and all bars have it on stock.

The drink is so popular, the company that makes it even has Salma Hayek in their adverts!

But what if you don’t have any Kahlua at home?

Fear not, I will show you how to make it right now.

What is a Kahlua Coffee Liqueur?

Hailing from Mexico, Kahlua gained worldwide fame with its rich blend of rum and coffee. You can enjoy it on its own, mix it into a cocktail, and use it as an ingredient for desserts.

Loads of cocktails use it, including:

As you know, I love coffee in all shapes and forms, so it won’t surprise you that I have a coffee based cocktail every now and then. And while I could just buy Kahlua, it is much more fun making it at home. I also gift it during the Holidays (instead of egg nog).

Anyhow, here is the recipe that has worked well for me, it is pretty much like the real thing.

Homemade Cofee.liqueur Recipe Card

Equipment and Ingredients for our Copycat Kahlua Coffee Liqueur

Here are the things you need for your Kahlua coffee:

  • 4 cups water – Provides liquid for dissolving sugar and instant coffee.
  • 2 cups sugar – Adds sweetness to the Kahlua.
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee – Adds a strong coffee flavor to mimic the taste of real Kahlua.
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup – Gives a slight syrupy texture similar to authentic Kahlua. I know many people don’t like to use corn syrup, but it gives a viscosity that is hard to emulate otherwise. If you leave it out, you will need even more sugar, perhaps even caramelized.
  • 2 and 1/4 cups of rum (white or dark) – Serves as an alcohol base for the homemade Kahlua, achieving a 20% alcohol content like real Kahlua.
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract – Enhances the overall flavor profile of the homemade Kahlua.

Now that you’ve got what you need, it’s time to make your DIY Kahlua.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Kahlua Coffee Liqueur

Making a Kahlua coffee liqueur is not that complicated. Just follow these steps:

1. Combine the water, sugar, and coffee and heat to a boil.

  • In a pot, combine water, sugar, and instant coffee. Granulated sugar is what I find to be the best choice to pull off a smooth caramelization.
  • Place on medium to medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.

2. Let simmer and stir occasionally for an hour.

  • After the mixture boils, reduce it to a simmer.
  • Stir it occasionally for exactly an hour.

3. Remove from heat and add the light corn syrup.

  • Remove the pot from the stove.
  • While hot, add the light corn syrup and stir gently.

4. Cool down until room temperature and add the vanilla extract.

  • Let the mixture cool down completely for about 15-20 minutes until room temperature.
  • Add the vanilla extract and give it another stir.

5. Add the rum and mix.

  • Now it’s time to add the rum and mix to complete your Kahlua.
  • Remember never to add the rum while the mixture is hot so the alcohol will not cook out.

6. Transfer into bottles and serve.

  • Transfer it to your bottles. I recommend using a funnel to make this step easier.
  • Pour yourself a glass, and enjoy.

How to serve a Kahlua coffee liqueur?

The Kahlua liqueur is best when used as part of a cocktail, so you’ll want to store it in a bottle you can seal tightly. Just like the real stuff, only home made 😉

Tips to Making a Kahlua Coffee Liqueur

Here are some extra tips you can try to enjoy more of your Kahlua:

  • Brewed coffee also works: While instant coffee works great and is convenient for this recipe, you can also use brewed coffee if you want to choose your own coffee beans. I don’t have any recommendations on this though, I’ve only used the instant coffee version.
  • Add vodka to make a White Russian: With a Kahlua, you can then make the popular cocktail White Russian. Combine equal parts of Kahlua, vodka, and heavy cream then add ice and enjoy. You can also use this for my Espresso Martini recipe.
  • Turn it into desserts: You can also infuse this alcoholic coffee drink into desserts. You can combine strong coffee and Kahlua into a boxed cake mix to make Kahlua Fudge. Another must-try treat is a White Russian mixed with ice and Bailey’s Irish cream thrown into the blender and drizzled with chocolate syrup for a mudslide.
Diy Homemade Kahlua Recipe Featured

Homemade Kahlua Coffee Liqueur Recipe – Craft This Cocktail with Caffeine Kick

Mexican blend of rum and coffee that can be enjoyed on its own or used for coffee cocktails.
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Coffee Smarts
Servings 7 servings
Calories 390 kcal


  • 946 ml Water
  • 473 g Sugar
  • 16 g Instant coffee
  • 118 ml Light corn syrup
  • 532 ml Rum
  • 15 ml Vanilla extract


  • Mix water, sugar, and instant coffee in a pot and put it on medium to medium-high heat.
  • When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and stir occasionally for an hour.
  • Remove from heat and add light corn syrup while stirring.
  • Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture cools down to room temperature.
  • Add the vanilla extract and rum and stir.
  • Transfer into bottles and serve into a wine glass.



  • You can use brewed coffee instead of instant coffee.
  • Combine equal parts of your Kahlua with vodka and heavy cream to make a White Russian cocktail.

Kahlua is a delectable drink with its smooth texture and a combo of coffee, vanilla, and caramel flavors fused into one booze. Try out this recipe and enjoy both the caffeine and alcohol combined.

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  1. I just followed your recipe, and the result is divine. Last time I bought Kahlua, I remember thinking it couldn’t be too hard to replicate, and your recipe proved me right. Sharing homemade liqueurs for the holidays is now my new tradition 😉

  2. Tom, your step-by-step guide is golden – thank you. One tiny insight from my experience: try using a dark roasted coffee. It really mimics the depth of flavor you find in commercial Kahlua.

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