I have been in a funk this holiday season.  Every time I go to bake cookies I get de-railed.  I thought I would make a final push and get a few more done, but struck by the flu bug put the big kabash on my last minute plan ending all hope of any more scrumptious goodies.  I have the dough for these wonderful crescents from Rose’s Christmas Cookies and the dough for Mrs. Sugaya’s pecan tartlets.  Hands down the best ones imaginable which rightly deserves its own post. But it will have to wait until after Christmas.

But all is not loss.  I did manage to make some homemade goodies that I hope you will try.  Of course I made  Juli’s granola and my cousin Bonnie’s spicy pecans.  But cookies for me are little gems of love, peace and hope and I just couldn’t bring myself to bake many.  I wish everyone love and joy with family and friends during this holiday season despite many of us being on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

So, what did I make instead of cookies?  Who guessed booze?  You would be right!  I started a couple of weeks ago after perusing for a recipe for homemade Kahlua.  Big mistake, there must be a thousand recipes for something so simple!  So I came up with a concoction that I think is pretty darn good and very easy.  Couple of tips, you are using a boat load of sugar and coffee DO NOT break the bank on the vodka or rum.  I used the same vodka I made vanilla extract with last year, a brand from TJ’s, I picked it cause the bottle was cool looking.  I had some Meyer’s rum so I used that.

I started with 1/4 cup instant expresso (Medaglia D’Oror) and my first batch didn’t have enough coffee flavor so I made a second batch using 1/2 cup and mix the two batches.  So I leave it to you to decide how much coffee flavor you want.  I will keep you posted on the feedback!

Homemade Coffee Liqueur


    Adapted from Creative Culinary
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3-1/2 cup dried espresso
  • 500ml vodka
  • 250ml Rum
  • 2 vanilla beans, split
  • 2 shots of chocolate liqueur or 1 tablespoon cocoa nibs


  • Combine the water,sugars and dried espresso in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil; turn the heat to low and simmer for a minimum of 1 hour.to reduce the mixture and make a more syrupy consistency. I had a final volume of approximately 3 cups.
  • Watch constantly and stir occasionally. It will boil over if not watched!!!
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Add vodka, vanilla beans and chocolate liqueur or cocoa nibs
  • Pour everything into a clean storage container. I love these Ball Jars.
  • Age for 3-4 weeks in a cool, dark location; stirring once or twice a week. (
  • When ready to bottle, remove vanilla beans, bottle mixture and store. I strained the mixture into the bottle.
  • How easy is that?
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Thanks for reading, comments welcomed!