Step 1: Basic Ingredients
Here are the important components to a great coffee liqueur:
Great, strong, whole bean coffee. I went to my local coffee shop (La Costa Coffee) and picked their French Roast. I bought a half-pound, but think you could manage with about a quarter pound. If you do not have a coffee grinder, buy the coffee right before you use it. Ground coffee only keeps about a day, whole bean only a week, so plan appropriately. It needs to be ground just a smidge more coarse than espresso grind, however, if you are wary, espresso grind will be just fine.
Everclear or other grain alcohol. Everclear is readily available in the U.S. Be sure to use the highest alcohol content you can find. Most people in the states will only be able to find 151, but if you are lucky, you may be able to get the 190. Both work just fine, the only difference is the alcohol content in the final product. You will need 1 cup of alcohol.
Turbinado sugar. I'd recommend any kind of raw sugar before white sugar. Turbinado sugar is just another name for raw cane sugar. It adds a great flavor to the final product. You will need a 1/2 cup.
Vanilla Extract. Add depending how much vanilla flavor you would like. Omit if you do not like vanilla. I added about 1 1/4 teaspoons. Some people add vanilla beans, other spices, or cinnamon sticks, but I have not tried these so cannot vouch for them.
Coffee grinder with adjustable grind setting (or have your coffee pre-ground).
Moka pot, espresso maker, or french press. Moka pot is recommended, with espresso maker as a second.
Small to medium sized saucepan.
Heat-resistant mixing bowl (I used a glass Pyrex container).