Homemade Coffee Liqueur

Homemade Coffee Liqueur

Whether for cooking, baking or cocktail making, coffee liqueur is a versatile ingredient any kitchen pantry or cocktail cabinet should not be without. However, instead of shelling out $30 or more for a bottle of the top-shelf stuff, you can make your own, in-house for pennies on the dollar.


  •  1 C - freshly brewed strong coffee (like our 6 Bean Espresso or Cowboy Blend), brewed to your preference (French, pour-over, drip)
  • 1 C - granulated sugar
    • NOTE: Try a 2/3 granulated sugar, 1/3 brown sugar mix for a more caramel/toffee flavor
  • 1 C - water (distilled if possible - if not available, boil 1 cup water first, for several minutes, than let cool)
  • 1 C - vodka (Costco's Kirkland brand is quite good and very inexpensive)
    • NOTE: You can also try rum (dark for more of a caramel/toffee flavor, clear for a touch of sweetness)
  • 1 vanilla bean (if unavailable, use 1 tsp vanilla extract or to taste)


  • 2 Tbs coca powder
  • 1/2 C - Cream


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine brewed coffee, sugar and water. Stir until all sugar is completely dissolved. This is now the core for your syrup.

If you have a vanilla bean, split it lengthwise and scrape the seeds over the pan. Chuck the whole bean in once done for more flavor. If you are using the cocoa powder (optional), now is the time to add it in and stir until well combined. Let mix cool. 

Once cooled mix in the vodka or rum and combine thoroughly. Pour everything into a clean, sterilized glass bottle or jar with a tight fitting lid. Those canning jars are perfect for this.

Store the coffee liqueur in a cool, dark place for a minimum of 10 days, shaking the jar or bottle every day. This allows the flavors to really meld. The longer you store it, the more the flavors grow. Keep shaking it.

After 10 days, taste and see if it's to your liking. If so, you're ready to enjoy your homemade coffee liqueur.

NOTE ON THE CREAM: Adding cream to a liqueur gives you a smooth, satiny pour that excels with most any cocktail. You would add the cream to the liqueur after it's been sitting for however long you want it to sit. Because of the cream, this mix needs to be kept in the fridge, and any unused portion should be poured out after 30 days or less, depending on how the cream is behaving.

NOTE ON STERILIZING BOTTLES: To sterilize a bottle or glass jars use very hot water and just a tiny bit of soap and clean everything and rinse well. Place on a cookie tray in an oven that has been preheated to 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let cool before using.

Check out our Drinks Recipe page for a growing collection of cocktails for which your coffee liqueur will be one of the ingredients.

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