Saturday, August 30, 2008


A retired friend and active riding buddy from the upstate passed along to us a bottle of his homemade Kahlúa. Tied to the neck of the bottle was this recipe:

[Jim’s] Kahlúa
  • 4 c. sugar
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 Tbls vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. Columbian dark roast instant coffee
  • 1/5 vodka (~750 ml. or 26 oz.)
1. Combine sugar and 3 c. water in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil; turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

2. Mix coffee with 1 c. boiling water. Let cool to room temperature.

3. Thoroughly mix sugar/water, coffee/water, vanilla, and vodka. Pour into bottles and let stand 2-3 weeks.

4. Drink and enjoy.

The only step I’ve followed so far is step 4., but I’m thinking it may be time to try the other steps. Not having instant coffee, I’ll have to sort out how much 2 oz. of instant usually makes so I can do the equivalent with whole-bean dark roast. Oh, and I’ll have to come up with some vodka. I’m more of a scotch man myself (Oban, if you must know).


Update: I’m giving the thing a try today, and decided that I wanted a more molassesque flavor and so would use brown sugar instead of white/granulated. So I went down to the store to pick up another bag of dark brown sugar and to try to sort out how many servings of coffee 2 oz. of instant makes.

It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at instant coffee. I don’t drink the stuff. Practically the only bit of modern Greek I know is a phrase that will get me Greek/Turkish style coffee at a café instead of the instant that American tourists are usually served in such places. So I was unprepared for the bewildering array of instant coffees on the shelves of my local grocer.

But I did learn two things. First, 2 oz. of instant makes 15-20 servings of coffee. Second, two purveyors of my daily-duty, pre-ground espresso (Medaglia d'Oro and Café Bustelo; nothing from illy on these shelves) sell instant espresso. Hmm. “Recipe calls for instant, I’ll use instant,” says I, grabbing a 2 oz. bottle of espresso crystals.

(As I typed the words above, my sugar & water mixture boiled over. I have to do some wiping up now.

Ah. All done. I guess I should work that interlude into my recipe.)

And when I got home, I discovered that a 32 oz. / 2 lb. bag of brown sugar presses down to four cups.

Having said all of that, here’s the procedure I followed today. I’m recording here because I’m willing to bet that I won’t remember in three weeks when the stuff is ready to try, and I know beyond certainty that I won’t remember when it’s time to make another batch.

  1. In a large saucepan, combine 32 oz. dark brown sugar (4 c.) and 3 c. boiling water.
  2. Stir until smooth and leave to simmer.
  3. Start updating a blog entry.
  4. Hear wife holler that something is boiling over on the stove.
  5. Take pan off burner and place it on a trivet.
  6. Clean up that sticky, syrupy mess.
  7. All of it.
  8. You missed a spot right over there.
  9. And under there.
  10. That’s better.
  11. Put the kettle on the newly cleaned & re-installed eye of the stovetop.
  12. Pour the syrup into a half-gallon container.
  13. In the saucepan, combine 1 c. boiling water and 2 oz. instant espresso.
  14. Stir until coffee is dissolved and a lot of that syrup mixture is off the sides of the pan.
  15. Add to the 1/2 gallon jug.
  16. Let the contents of the jug cool a bit, and then add 750 ml. vodka. and 2 Tbsp vanilla.
  17. Let stand three weeks.
I’ll know more later on.

1 comment:

psmith35 said...

Just wanted to put a link to pt 2 here. :) Can't wait to give it a try.