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5 from 1 vote

Coffee Liqueur

My dad was famous for his coffee liqueur! I used to help him make it growing up. It makes great zero waste gifts! Use the spent coffee grounds in your garden, compost, or worm bin.
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktails, Zero Waste
Keyword: Cocktail, Coffee Liqueur, Kahlua, Zero Waste
Author: Cindy Thompson, Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching


  • 1 pound ground coffee my dad insisted on Yuban, but use your favorite type and roast
  • 3 3/4 quarts water divided
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 2 oz vanilla extract
  • 750 ml grain alcohol, 190 proof or vodka, if you cannot buy grain alcohol in your state


Boil the Coffee

  • Boil the coffee in 1-3/4 quarts of water for 20 minutes. 
  • Strain 4-6 times through cotton flour sack towels, cheesecloth, wire mesh strainer, or French press. It's a great use for stained flour sack towels that you don't want to use in the kitchen anymore—just know they will be permanently stained brown and become your coffee liqueur straining towels from this point forward!

Make Sugar Syrup

  • Boil 7 cups of sugar in 2 quarts of water for 45 minutes.

Make Liqueur

  • Combine coffee, sugar syrup, vanilla, and grain alcohol and mix well. Don't forget the vanilla! The liqueur won't taste right without it (speaking from experience)!
  • Bottle and enjoy!


Makes 4 fifths.