Chances are with the passing of the holidays, you have found yourself with at least one half-full handle of vodka still sitting around. And while you could spend the year not touching this vile liquid, wondering how it could possibly cost less than a dollar per cup, and wait until the next large party to unload it on an unsuspecting group of guests in a large bowl of mixed drink, I have a significantly better proposition for you.
Kahlua. I bet you didn’t know you could make this amazing liqueur at home with just five ingredients, in about as many minutes. And one of those ingredients is water. What’s best is that any lowest-of-the-low quality vodka will do for this recipe. It is magically transformed into a delicious sauce to drizzle on ice cream or into after-dinner drinks as it sits for a few weeks–just in time to serve as a nifty, homemade gift for the next big holiday: Valentine’s Day. I promise your sweetheart will be intoxicated with it.
Adapted from Food in Jars
3 cup white sugar
2 cups water
3/4 cup instant espresso
2 vanilla beans
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (you can also opt for an additional vanilla bean instead)
3 cups vodka
Put the sugar and water in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir with a whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add the instant espresso and whisk constantly until all of the instant express dissolves–this may take a few minutes.
Once the instant espresso has dissolved, remove the pot from the heat. Split and scrape the vanilla beans. Place the vanilla bean innards in the mixture, and whisk to combine. Finally, add the 3 cups of vodka and whisk to combine.
Prepare the jars/containers you will be storing the Kahlua in. Cut the vanilla bean husks so that you have enough to put a piece of husk in each container. Put a piece in each container, and then pour the liquid into the container(s).
Let sit for 4 or more weeks. I hear 6 weeks is the real sweet (alcoholic) spot.