Home Brewed Espresso Kahlua Recipe

by Whole Latte Love Updated: December 3, 2020 2 min read
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It has been a pretty warm summer so far here in New York, so I thought it might be worth it to find myself a nice cold recipe of some sort. My first thought was to find a fun recipe that used coffee espresso so I could do some experimenting. As I searched online, one idea stuck out to me the most, homemade Kahlua!  

Most of the recipes I stumbled on called for instant coffee so I decided to substitute it with espresso instead. Unfortunately, the first recipe I tried needed to sit for 3-5 weeks before it would be ready to try. I am extremely impatient so I did a bit more reading online and found a different recipe that would be ready immediately. For the first recipe I decided to go with Filicori Zecchini Gran Crema Delicato, for the second I used Illy’s Monoarabica Single-Origin Brazil.

Homemade Kahlua Recipe Number 1 


  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/5 vodka
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 6 shots of Filicori Delicato (6oz)


  1. On the stove, combine the water and sugar in a small sauce pan.  
  2. Simmer the water on low heat while stirring gently to ensure the sugar is dissolved completely.  
  3. Transfer the sugar water along with the rest of the ingredients into a tinted container (a funnel made this clean and easy).  
  4. Let your mixture sit for 3-5 weeks, shaking occasionally.

Homemade Kahlua Recipe Number 2 


  • 4 or 5 double shots of Illy Brazil (48 oz)
  • 1 pound light brown sugar
  • 3.5 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • ½ liter of vodka


  1. Like the first recipe, start by combining the water and brown sugar in a small sauce pan.
  2. Pour all of your ingredients into a sealable container (like a jug) and shake vigorously.
  3. Chill to your liking and serve over ice.

Overall Outcome

I must say that these two recipes came out completely different from one another. The first recipe produced a thick and bold liqueur that was great for mixing into other recipes. The Gran Crema Delicato features chocolate and vanilla notes which really blend well with Kahlua. The second recipe called for vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean which is why there was no wait time between preparation and serving. I would recommend the first recipe for colder weather because of its thickness, heavier and bold flavor. The second recipe is great for the summertime because it has lighter flavor and served over ice makes for a delicous cold espresso beverage.