xmas in july :: gifts

Every year I make our friends and neighbors a little gift during the holiday season. Last year I made homemade Kahlua. It is really easy to make, just be warned it can get a little costly depending on how many you have to give. I made gallons of this stuff.  My house smelled so good while I was "cooking" it.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the finish product, but you can see the filled bottles below. I made a couple of cute little tags that I tied on with red and white baker's twine. One tag said "Homemade Kahlua Happy Holidays from the Powers Family". And the other tag was a cocktail recipe using the Kahlua.  To finish it off, I added a red origami ornament.  It really added to the presentation and made them look festive.

For those of you avid readers, do you recognize the bottles? They were left over from my daughter's milk and cookies party. I bought them at Ikea for a couple of bucks.

For any of you interested in making this, make sure you plan ahead. You have to make the Kahlua and then let is set for six weeks. I made mine in the middle of November, so they would be ready to give by Christmas and the recipients could have a drink right away.

Homemade Kahlua:
2 cups hot water
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups vodka
1/2 cup good brandy

In a pan on low to medium heat combine sugar, coffee, vanilla and water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside until completely cool then add vodka and brandy. Be sure it is completely cool or some of the alcohol WILL evaporate. Funnel into bottles and let set for six weeks.

**In other news, I am a guest blogger over at Become.com today!  Go check it out here.  I was given an "Editor's Pick Award" from them awhile back, which allowed me to guest blog today.  Thanks for the wonderful opportunity Emma and welcome to any new readers from Become's Baby Blog!


Brittanie said...

almost exactly the same recipe I use!! I did something similar a couple years ago.. I decorated the bottles with little rub ons!

Christie {Pepper Lynn} said...

I'm a big Kahlua fan and love the idea of making it for Christmas gifts. Question - do you think it would work to use brewed coffee in place of the water and omit the instant coffee? Thanks!

a. party style said...

Hi Christie.
Good question - I don't see why it wouldn't work?!? If you do it that way, let us all know how it turns out.

Anonymous said...

does this recipe just make one bottle or multiple?

Anonymous said...

What kind of "good brandy" do you use?

Anonymous said...

do you put it in the fridge or can it be left out??

Anonymous said...

What is the yield of this recipe? How much does it make?

Diane M said...

I would really like to know the answers to the last 4 questions as they are the same ones I had! I can't wait to try this!!!

Diane M said...

One more question: Where did you get the cute bottles?

Arie Porcheron said...

2 cups hot water
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups vodka
1/2 cup good brandy

There's really only 6 1/2 cups of liquid there, it would only make a little more than a litre bottle.

diaryofamadcrafter said...

Hello! I just made this....CAN NOT wait to give it as gifts this year for Christmas! Quick question...should I be letting them "sit" in the fridge or at room temp? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I believe she said the bottles came from Ikea.

Anonymous said...

I am letting mine sit at room temp in a cool dark place. I make vanilla as well so I am just keeping it where I keep my vanilla.

On a side not I got my bottles from Hobby Lobby and right now they are 50% off and they have some really pretty bottles for about the same price as the plain clear bottle!

Anonymous said...

I just made this recipe exact and for some reason mine has a lighter color than the picture shown. I thought Kahlua was a dark brown and mine came out a medium brown. Any thoughts as to why? Could it be the Brandy that I used? I followed this recipe exactly as you wrote it! I used E&J brandy...

Anonymous said...

Just made a batch and AWESOME!!!! I used brewed Starbucks Sumatra. I had almost a fifth of vanilla vodka (that I've had forever and don't care for) so I divided it evenly and mixed with regular vodka over the 10 bottles I made :) Thanks so much for posting this! Great Xmas idea.

Sarah @ SimplyScrumptiousbySarah said...

Why do you have to let it sit for so long? Will it work if you let it sit a little bit less???

a. party style said...

I used a recipe as a starting off point and that's what it called for so I just followed. I assumed it was to let all the flavors meld. Maybe it taste fine with a shorter waiting period. If you try it and succeed, please let us know! Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Wondering if I could make it over the summer and it be still good to give a Christmas. I love the idea of homemade gifts.

a. party style said...

It would be fine to make it during the summer and give later. I think the longer it sits the better.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming from the previous post that it doesn't go bad?

Rachel said...

Does anyone know what the measurement of the coffee would be if substituted for the instant coffee? would it still be only 1 Tbls?

Penny Spittle said...

My friend makes it with Everclear instead of Brandy & puts vanilla beans. She puts it in a dark room for a few months. The longer is sits the thicker and stronger it gets. Put the bottle in the freezer & drink up... awesome.

Anonymous said...

I bottles are from Ikea. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40227983/

Anonymous said...

So it has to sit before it can be consumed? Because I am not sure I can do that.. WAAAAY TOO TEMPTING!! :) And how long does it last for?

Anonymous said...

Right now Aldi has "Pumpkin Cider" which is sparkling apple cider with ginger, cinamon, and some pumpkin flavoring. It tastes great, costs only $2 per bottle,... AND the bottles it comes are brown glass with the same kind of clamp=on stopper shown on the Ikea bottles! I've been giving my empties to a home brewer, but I think I'll keep a few and fill them with Kaluah

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Really curious why the origional person that posted this, neglects to answer questions! Was going to follow. ... idk now

Anonymous said...

I too am very frustrated by questions not being answered!

Anonymous said...

almost a week later and still no answers........not good for blogging.

Anonymous said...

any instant coffee will work? and, can imitation vanilla will do or need to use real vanilla?!! thanks, can't wait to make it!!!.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the person who posted this but I've made this in the past and yes, you have to use real vanilla and a good quality one. It doesn't have to be refrigerated, also, you don't have to wait to use it unless you're using vanilla beans, in that case, it has to sit for about a month. Don't use brewed coffee, it's not strong enough. I would double the amount of instant coffee in this recipe and I've never added brandy, just the vodka, and use good quality vodka, like Abasolute.

Anonymous said...

How much will this recipe make? Thanks!

Betty Winn-King said...

Where are all the answers to the above questions? Need answers please!

Wendy Dameron said...

I just cracked open my first bottle and made a very nice White Russian with lo cal almond milk! Delicious!
FYI: i see a lot of frustration with the author not answering any questions but it appears she may not do the blog anymore. I googled her and it doesn't seem like she has blogged anything since 2014. Anyway....
I waited six weeks on mine and it is perfect. I made it exactly the way the recipe called for and I would say just follow it using the instant coffee. If not, there are plenty of other recipes on Pinterest if you want to try something different.

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Hobby lobby. $1.50 each. Use your coupon.

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