Somewhere in all this I realized that buying that junk at the booze-ahol store is expensive! I'm a cheap, money grubbing tightwad, so I embarked on a quest, a quest for a cheaper and better way to drink more White Russians.
During a trip to California in 2003 (you can buy hard A in the grocery stores there!), I discovered the most delicious coffee liqueur of them all, Kakatua. More chocolatey than Khalua and miles better than the bottom shelf stuff, Kakatua Coffee Liqueur became my mental template for the coffee liqueur I wanted to make.
I've not been able to find Kakatua since then so my memory of the taste has faded, but my home brewed liqueur still kicks the pants off of Khalua! It's got both a stronger coffee and stronger chocolate taste, without being as syrupy, which helps when you're trying to drink a White Russian on a hot day.
Here's a little video I made of the process, just for kicks:
Step 1: Ingredients and equipment
Here's what you need:
- Coffee - cheap stuff, don't waste your money on expensive grounds for this
- White sugar - get a big bag
- Brown sugar - you'll need two or three bags of the dark kind
- Pure grain alcohol - don't buy Everclear, go for the cheap brand (called Clear Springs around here). They both taste like rubbing alcohol smells, so it's not worth the extra quarter to buy a plaid label
- Baking cocoa - whatever's available, one tin should do
- Vanilla extract - I like to use a mix of imitation and the real stuff
- Cinnamon sticks - optional, and kind of expensive most of the time. There's a restaurant supply store near where I work, you can buy them in bulk there. If you're going to use them, try and find a place like that ***UPDATE 4/26/10 -- User SinAmos has pointed out that you can sometimes find a package of 5 sticks for a buck at the dollar store. That's an even better deal than I was getting from the restaurant supply store, so you might check that out!
- A big pot - really big
- A smaller pot - but not too small
- Several empty, clean jugs or pitchers
- A funnel
- A liquid measuring cup
- Many empty and clean alcohol bottles - the recipe is for standard 750ml (fifth gallon) bottles. Remember, reusing is better than recycling
- Cheesecloth - also optional, only needed if you're feeling ambitious
- A cat - not required, but he won't leave and is extremely interested in what you're doing. Make sure you pay attention to where you're going as he will insist on sprawling somewhere in your path