Crafting: How to make Toddy Kahlua

I got this request off of Facebook –

Zoe wrote: “oh, dsavage.. you might be my new bff. I lost my aunt’s kahlua recipe, would you be willing to share? my inbox would love that sort of treat!!! :) ♥”

Well, for a new bff?  Sure, anything.

Believe it or not, I couldn’t find my original recipe, however, I know it’s the same as the one that came with the coffee toddy when I bought it, so I was able to look it up on the web with relative ease.

Toddy Cold Brewed Coffee Method

1 1/8    cups sugar
1 1/8    cups water
1 1/4    cups Toddy Cold Brewed Coffee Extract
1 3/4    cups 100-proof vodka
1           whole vanilla bean

Boil the sugar and water together for 10 minutes. Add the coffee extract and allow it to cool until lukewarm. Add the vodka. Pour the mixture into a sterilized bottle and insert the vanilla bean. Seal the bottle and allow to age for one month before serving.

Ok, that’s the basics.  Here’s a few tricks that I use to make it turn out better more consistently:

  1. Start to boil the water first, then add the sugar slowly, stirring the whole time to make sure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom and caramelize on you.
  2. The cheaper the vodka, the better.  Believe me, I don’t understand this one as well, but every time I use top shelf it turns out worse than if I use Popov or McCormick’s Vodka.
  3. I cut the vanilla bean and kind of pulverize it.  It seems to loosen up the flavors better.
  4. For the first week or so, I like to shake the bottle once or twice a day.
  5. I’ve been told that you can use brandy instead of vodka, however, I haven’t actually done it, though I bet a nice orange-flavored brandy would be nice.
  6. I’ve also been told that you should add the vanilla beans to the sugar water after boiling, but before adding the toddy coffee extract.

Well, those are my thoughts on how to make Kahlua… post any improvements/recipes of your own.

Until next time,



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