Liqueurs are sweetened alcoholic spirits that are flavored with herbs, seeds, flowers, barks, and other natural substances. Many ancient liqueurs were developed by monks experimenting with the medicinal qualities of herbs. Traditionally served after dinner or with dessert, liqueurs are said to aid in digestion when sipped slowly from a small glass.
Kahlua is the most well-known coffee liqueur, sweet and heavy with the distinct taste of Arabica. You can make your own delicious coffee liqueur with this recipe that a friend shared with me many years ago. Use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor.
Home Made Coffee Liqueur
2 quarts of water
5 cups sugar
1/3 cup instant coffee (not freeze-dried)
5 cups vodka
6 teaspoons vanilla extract
Bring the water, sugar, and instant coffee to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn the heat down. Let the mixture simmer without stirring for about three hours, until it becomes a thick syrup.
Keep a close eye on it toward the end so it doesn’t scorch! Let the syrup cool completely, then stir in the vodka and vanilla. It’s important that the mixture is cooled before adding the vodka, so the heat doesn’t evaporate the alcohol. Store in bottles.
We enjoy our Kahlua in coffee or milk, but many standard cocktail recipes can be adapted to coffee liqueur. Your home made Kahlua can add flavor to many recipes. Add it to chocolate desserts like brownies or drizzle it over ice cream sundaes. Home made Kahlua adds fabulous flavor to meat glazes and candied sweet potatoes. Home made coffee liqueur also makes a great gift!
For each serving you need one large scoop of chocolate ice cream, two ounces of bittersweet chocolate shavings, one ounce of your home made Kahlua liqueur, and a bit of milk (the amount is up to you, however thick or thin you like your shakes). Put the ice cream, liqueur, and shaved chocolate in a blender and process until it is all well mixed. Add milk gradually until the shake is the consistency you desire.
For a more sophisticated Kahlua milkshake omit the milk and add an ounce of dark rum. Pour the ice cream mixture into a glass and top it off with a few ounces of seltzer water.
White Russian Cocktail
3/4 ounce Kahlua
1-1/2 ounces vodka
Pour the Kahlua and vodka over ice in a rocks glass. Top with cream and stir.
Kahlua Barbecued Ribs
Bring ribs to a boil in a large pot, and reduce the heat to simmer until they are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the ribs and place them on a baking sheet.
Add Kahlua to your favorite bottled or home made barbecue sauce, in a ratio of one-half cup Kahlua to one cup of BBQ sauce. Brush the ribs with the sauce/Kahlua and bake them at 325 degrees F for 50 minutes, turning and basting them every ten minutes.