How to make delicious coffee liqueur

Picture of How to make delicious coffee liqueur
Sure you can get reasonable coffee liqueur (liquor) at vons for $30.00, but this instructable shows one way of making it for dubiously less cost and with much more personality! Making liqueurs takes patience and a devotion to the final product. There will be many opportunities to take short cuts, but if all you wanted to do is get drunk, then don't bother reading any further...Well read the part about Everclear

I should warn you that not only is the drink you're going to make extremely alcoholic (50-80 proof), but the base alcohol is so much more. Grain alcohol is also highly flammable, but I'm not going to get into that...

Edit*: Another instructable for some info
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Step 1: Ingredients and equipment

Picture of Ingredients and equipment
The following is sufficient to fill a 750 bottle.

Coffee, grounded just before making the coffee, enough to make 1 pint - Dark Roast
1 cup Grain Alcohol, 190 proof alcohol or 151 proof - typically goes by the name Everclear in the states. For our international friends this shouldn't be too hard to find as 190 proof, for Americans you typically will only get 151.
1/2- cup of raw Sugar or turbinado sugar, or if you want white boring sugar.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I will be using a Moka pot (Bialletti). Its typically an Italian coffee maker that makes something in between strong french coffee and espresso. Ideally you want your coffee as strong and as flavored as possible. Moka pots are fairly cheap ($20-$30) if you can find them. Bialletti makes sizes from 1 cup to 6. You'll be waiting awhile if you go with a 1 cup coffee maker, but a 6 cup coffee maker is tough to use for your morning shot.

You'll also need a large mixing pot, a pot for caramelizing sugar, and a coffee filter of some sort. Paper coffee filters don't seem to work well because the flow stops after awhile, so I found a reusable coffee filter that seems to work alright. The mesh may have been a bit too big though.
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hoobajoob2 months ago

I make a version of this but i don't brew the coffee with water, i just cold brew with 100 prof vodka, and i just mix the sugar in to the "vat of yummieness" (a 2 gallon mason jar) let sit for 30-60 days and shake it daily. it is wonderful with a decent Irish cream.

Do you need a moka pot or will regular brewed coffee work too? I have beans and I'm grinding at home but I don't have a moka pot.
JimP26 months ago

I'm tempted to try this, but this is the method I have always used to make my own. I'm pasting from the 17 year old coworker's email that I use to make it:

Put 1 quart of water (smart idea to use bottled or filtered) and 6 Cups of sugar in a pot. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Mix 1 quart of new water with 1 jar of Taster's Choice French Vanilla coffee. Warm it up to make sure it dissolves completely. Set aside.

Mix the water/sugar and coffee solutions in a 1 gallon pitcher with 2 oz of vanilla and 1 pint of grain alcohol (aka Everclear.)

Place the pitcher in the fridge for a while. Generally, letting it sit overnight sets it up nicely. Mix with coffee, half and half or whatever you like to do with Kahlua.

diegot3 years ago
I wonder how this recipe would come out using a "cold brew" coffee.
Cold brew coffee does not have the somewhat acidic aftertaste that some hot brewed coffee can have.
diegot3 years ago
I think the correct name for a 50/50 mixture of water and sugar (no matter what kind) is called simple syrup.
hoffmakd4 years ago
Caramelizing sugar and making actual caramels are two totally different things. That might be where you got tripped up. As far as I know, you're doing just fine with your method!
hixfixit5 years ago
You can also caramelise sugar in the microwave, be careful as the sugar holds a lot (A LOT!) of heat so will continue cooking for at least 30 seconds after removing from the microwave. 

Nothing usually happens for the first  minute or two, then pow, it's burnt.  you have been warned.
I could have not said it better myself!
sonaps5 years ago
You said "grounded" sorry to be a grammar nazi but it's just "ground".
brawns214 (author)  sonaps5 years ago
Don't apologize for noting poor grammar, you are free to do so. You are also free to use poor grammar in commenting about poor grammar. Also please excuse me for ignoring your comment and leaving the typo in they're.
Did I miss a comma or something?..........I bet that I missed a comma.
You missed a comma or, more properly, a semicolon.
I've always had trouble with semicolons.
I always have trouble with 'affect/effect', though most people seem to not notice; the grammar that I am proud of and most recently learned is proper use of 'whose', 'who' and 'whom'.
brawns214 (author)  sonaps5 years ago
Don't worry about it. Its just the internets.
Nice touch with the adding of the homonym. <(_)>
Deerzeye sonaps5 years ago
Cool instructable
aryding5 years ago
Yes, you can get it in Oregon.
anthony415 years ago
Good stuff! Thanks for the informative thread. I made some and it turned out very nice.
brawns214 (author)  anthony415 years ago
anthony515 years ago
A friend of mine has a still that makes a nice clear booze, if I get him to brew up some it should work well with this recipe. We always dissolved the sugar and added glycerine to thicken. Your trick of caramelizing and adding vanilla sounds to me like it would make a veery smooothe drink( extra letters intentional for the spelling nazi's).Some of the filtering comments have shown me where I've been messing up. Distilling alcohol is lawful in Qld Australia so long as no sales are made, sell it & the law lands on you like a ton of bricks. But there is a large community of brewers & distillers here. Thanx fer the ible
brawns214 (author)  anthony515 years ago
You're welcome, and I'm curious how it will turn out with home-distilled alcohol. What sort of alcohol percentage can you get?
Not bad but all this...? There's plenty of quality coffee liquor for cheap. 8 bux and tasted delicious.
brawns214 (author)  illdoyourdrugs5 years ago
I had a much longer rant about this, but the little box below says be nice, so I had to erase it. Heh, not really. I just like doing things on my own. Making my own beverages certainly falls in that same pattern. Learning how to do something like this is half the fun, and the other half is refining the process until you can make something that is superior to what the industry makes. I guess another half is enjoying the homemade product.
i love coffee liquor but it just seemed like an expensive process and i thought i saw the word cheap in the title so thats why i commented. Why not sell your product if you feel its worthy?
brawns214 (author)  illdoyourdrugs5 years ago
Because I would have to go through all sorts issues getting permits to sell and distribute an alcoholic product. Really I just want to sit back, relax and enjoy a nice cup of liqueur with some whole milk made in my own kitchen. It does make great gifts though. Try it out, see how it compares to what you've got sitting at home.
Possibly i will my friend
This is the spirit of Instructables! You don't make it just to save money, you make it because you can! Because we take pride in what we make. Because a handmade gift is better than anything mass-produced. Because any extra cost is worth the looks on their faces when they receive. Kudos to you, now where do I find the chocolate liqueur recipe????
i misunderstood. I thought i saw the word cheap in the title so that was what my comment was about. You dont have to tell me about the spirit of instructables. i have been a member since 07 and have been on the site years before that. I love making things as we all do.
brawns214 (author)  scoochmaroo5 years ago
Thanks! You should be able to find it as the top listing in 'related' or under "How to make delicious chocolate liqueur".
Awesome! You could link to it directly from here in step 6!
brawns214 (author)  scoochmaroo5 years ago
Will do! Since this one has been featured and put in a newsletter, its has 15 times more views. However coffee liqueur is not (!) 15 times better than chocolate liqueur.
MRubenzahl5 years ago
Here's a good way to make the coffee. Better than most espresso makers, in my opinion:
I realy preverer the krups 889. i like its koffie.
brawns214 (author)  MRubenzahl5 years ago
Haven't tried the AeroPress, but I did randomly get that Aerolatte from my mother. It works surprisingly well. The aeropress sounds like a great way to get good espresso quality coffee for this liqueur.
MRubenzahl5 years ago
Regarding caramel, in step 3: What you are doing is caramel, and it is the right way. The wikihow is the same method (they're using less water, which makes little difference). You're doing it right. Just one hint: Watch it very carefully and use a light-colored pot (not dark non-stick). Once it starts to brown, it goes very quickly and burns quickly. Take it to a medium-dark color. Caramel candies are made by adding cream to the caramel.
brawns214 (author)  MRubenzahl5 years ago
Glad to know, it seemed to turn out alright. Though since I was using raw sugar it started out brown to begin with, so its hard to say when it was done.
weno5 years ago
is this some hacks pressure valve?
brawns214 (author)  weno5 years ago
No its a safety valve built in to just about every coffee maker of this type. If you were to pack the grounds to tight, it actually may be used. Otherwise, most people don't really notice it being used.
isaberg5 years ago
Great instructable! I can't wait to try it. One question: I can't find the quantity of water anywhere - it just says "fill up the bottom of the container with water," but you also say that this coffee pot comes in different sizes and don't specify the one you're using. Once I know how much water, I'm trying this right away! Thanks -
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