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Coffee liqueur is fairly self-explanatory: it’s coffee and alcohol mixed together! However, people have come to expect certain things from coffee liqueur, including a somewhat sweet flavor to balance out the sharp tang of the alcohol and coffee. Commercial brands of coffee liqueur include Kahlua and Tia Maria.
To make your own coffee liqueur, start by cold brewing ¼ cup of fine-ground espresso with 1-¼ cups of water in a glass jar. Combine 1 cup of turbinado sugar with 1 cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Finally, add this cooled syrup to your cold coffee, along with 1 vanilla bean (don’t worry, you’ll remove it at the end) and 1-½ cups of light rum, letting the mixture sit for 3 days. Or, save the headache and order it on Drizly.
Yes, Kahlúa is a coffee liqueur that originated in Mexico in the year 1936. Kahlúa has become one of the most popular coffee liqueurs on earth and sports a caramel color and a rich, deep flavor. It is made with real black coffee, sweet butter and roasted chestnuts.
Technically, Baileys is an Irish cream liqueur. The brand does offer a coffee-flavored version of their liqueur that hits the spot for many coffee liqueur lovers, but it is still technically not a coffee liqueur. Baileys sports its characteristic taste thanks to flavorings of cocoa, Irish whiskey and real Irish milk cream.