Homemade Kahlua

Make your own homemade Kahlua (coffee liquor)

12 Ratings

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

If you research the ingredients in Kahlua, you’ll see that it’s loaded with sugar and corn syrup. Alcohol in general might not be considered by many to be part of a clean eating diet, but if you do indulge occasionally you’re better off avoiding that refined sugar.

The rest of the ingredients seem pretty manageable – it’s essentially a blend of coffee, rum, sweetener, and a bit of vanilla. Sounds like something you could brew up in your kitchen to me! This ended up being surprisingly quick and easy, and you know we’re all about quick and easy around here.

Start by boiling water for what is going to be a crazy strong batch of coffee. While you’re boiling the water you can add a vanilla bean to it to let it simmer in there. Remove the vanilla bean and set it aside for the moment while you make your coffee.

I used a french press and added about 3/4 cup of coffee grounds to 1 1/2 cups of boiling water (told you it was strong!) and let it brew for about 3-4 minutes. Strain it into a measuring cup and you’ll have maybe a cup of coffee – you’ll lose some water in all those grounds.

Now pop that vanilla bean back in there and add 1/4 cup agave nectar and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Stir to combine and then add a cup of rum (or vodka as an alternative). Blend it all together and taste – it should taste pretty similar to Kahlua (or Tia Maria or whatever coffee liqueur you normally drink).

It’s a bit less sweet than Kahlua, which I personally prefer, but you could always add more of the syrup to make it more sweet if you want to. Once it’s all blended together just pour it into a bottle (I used an empty vodka bottle)

Homemade Kahlua in an empty vodka bottle

You can drink it right away or you can let it sit for a few days – I imagine it keeps for at least a few weeks, probably longer.

And in my next post, I will also tell you how to make a vegan White Russian that’s fit for a deep-couch Big Lebowski viewing session. And remind you that the Dude abides!

Homemade White Russians with Kahlua

The authentic Kahlua brand does contain rum, so if you’re a purist you should use that. I personally made mine with vodka, and that suited me just fine.

Homemade Kahlua

Homemade Kahlua

Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Low Fat Make sure you use a GF vodka if you can't have gluten.
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
12 Ratings
Print Rate it Now Pin Recipe
Keyword: coffee liquer, kahlua, vodka drinks
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Author: Jessica Verma


  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ¾ cup ground dark coffee
  • 1 cup rum (or vodka)
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup


  • Add water and vanilla bean to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove vanilla bean and set aside. 
  • Using a french press, combine coffee grounds and boiling water and brew for 3-4 minutes. Pour brewed coffee into a measuring cup.
  • Add vanilla bean, vodka, agave nectar and maple syrup to coffee in measuring cup. Stir until well combined. 
  • Let cool and taste, adding more agave or maple syrup if desired. Transfer to a resealable bottle (you can leave the vanilla bean in the bottle or remove it, it's up to you.) You can serve immediately or let it sit for a few days.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

16 thoughts on “Homemade Kahlua”

  1. i love kahlua but not the price- made my own several years in a row- useing sugar-i love your alternatives a lot better!! one christmas i made it for gifts . brewed up about two gallons!!! of it and put it in empty GRosch beer bottles { the ones with the neat fliptop corks} i had made almond flavor and coconut as well!! tied lovely plaid ribbons around the necks-they were a hit!!! And the only real expense was the vodka-the cheap kind- and the beer bottles-which i had to empty! what a chore!!!lol!