When I was chatting with my mom before I headed out for the holidays she told me that she was making homemade Kahlua for my visit. I mentioned this to several friends and they were really curious how one does that. So here it goes, here is how one makes their own Kahlua.
4 cups of sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1 2 oz jar instant coffee
1 fifth (750 ml or 25 oz or about 3 cups) of 80 proof vodka
4 cups water
Mix 3 cups water and sugar in saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes; remove from heat. Add vanilla bean halves; let stand until cold. Mix 1 cup boiling water with coffee and vodka. Place all ingredients in 1/2 gallon container, cover well. Let stand for 2 weeks. Remove vanilla bean halves. Pour into decanters to serve.
Clearly this isn’t nearly as convenient as just buying your own Kahlua but it seems like a good idea if you want to have control over how much vanilla or coffee flavor you want. Mom let it stand for a month. It tasted pretty awesome. I enjoyed it in coffee during my entire visit. Thanks mom!