Home » Kahlua Coffee Recipe: How to Make This Drink At Home

Kahlua Coffee Recipe: How to Make This Drink At Home

I’m always looking for ways to make my Sunday brunch and afternoon coffee breaks more decadent. So after reading about Kahlua coffee and its variations, I found my weekend brunch coffee. Read on to learn more about what it is and how to make it.

  • 60 ml Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • 120 ml fresh-brewed coffee
  • Whipped cream and chocolate curls for garnish
  • A 180 ml, heat-safe coffee mug for serving

At a Glance

Brew Time:

5-10 minutes


One 180 ml mug

How to Make Kahlua Coffee (recipe)

You can make Kahlua coffee in under ten minutes from start to finish. These are easy coffee cocktails to accompany a nice dinner or as a delicious complement for brunch. For a more indulgent drink, garnish your Kahlua coffee with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

Step 1: Grind and Brew Your Coffee

Whichever coffee brewing method you’ve chosen to use, grind your beans just before brewing. Any roast will work, but we recommend using a light to medium roast.

Step 2: Pour Your Kahlua Liqueur Into a Heat-Safe Mug

As your coffee is brewing, pour a full shot of Kahlua coffee liqueur into your favourite heat-safe coffee mug. To ensure your drink stays warm, you can preheat your mug, too.

Step 3: Pour Brewed Coffee into Your Kahlua

Once your coffee is done, pour the freshly brewed coffee into the mug with the Kahlua liqueur. While you can leave it as is, we prefer to give it a light swirl to ensure all the flavours meld.

Step 4: Add Milk or Whipped Cream

If you’re in the mood for something lighter, add a splash of milk to finish the Kahlua coffee off. Otherwise, feel free to add whipped cream.

Pro Tip: If you’ve made your own whipped cream, remember to whisk it for a few seconds for maximum creaminess before using (1). Get creative with the whipped cream recipe, too.. For even more indulgence, try adding chocolate syrup or a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder to the whipped cream base.

Step 5: Garnish with Chocolate Curls

If you’re looking to make your drink extra indulgent, top off your Kahlua coffee recipe with some homemade chocolate curls. You’ll need a microwave, some butter, semi-sweet chocolate, a sheet pan, and some spatulas (2).

Pro Tip: You can make these chocolate curls ahead of time. After curling the chocolate with your spatula, simply put it back in the fridge until you’re ready to garnish your coffee cocktail.

Step 6: Enjoy

Pair it with pistachio gelato or coffee cake to make this coffee cocktail even more of an occasion.

Kahlua Coffee

What Is Kahlua Coffee?

Kahlua coffee is one part Kahlua and two parts freshly brewed coffee. Though that’s the basic recipe, we believe in making every coffee experience memorable. So our coffee cocktail isn’t complete until we’ve added a splash of milk, whipped cream, and chocolate curls.

Speaking of wonderful coffee experiences, we highly recommend taking a tour around the coffee world with our massive list of coffee drinks.

While the Home Grounds team prefers to make their coffee liqueurs, we understand the need to use shortcuts for convenience’s sake. For this Kahlua coffee recipe, the store-bought liqueur will work just as well, too.

Where Did Kahlua Come From?

First brewed in 1936 in Veracruz, Mexico, Kahlua liqueur was born when coffee growers and a chemist decided to marry the sweet and complex flavour of high-quality arabica coffee beans with distilled rum. And for the past eighty-plus years, it’s served as the base for a bevy of delicious coffee cocktails, including the classic White Russian and Canadian B52.

How Is Kahlua Made?

Kahlua coffee liqueur combines fresh, shade-grown coffee with distilled rum made with sugar cane juice. After the coffee cherries have been harvested, they are processed and then left to dry for up to six months in large burlap bags. While they rest, workers extract the juice from freshly harvested sugarcane, and this juice is combined with water and then distilled.

Finally, the coffee beans are roasted and placed in distilled spirits. The freshly brewed coffee and sugarcane rum will rest for four weeks, creating that iconic coffee liqueur we all know and love.

Kahlua Liqueur

Our homemade Kahlua Liqueur Recipe

Kahlua liqueur is the base for a whole world of weird and wonderful coffee drinks. While the Kahlua liqueur above takes years to make, our recipe takes far less time. We combine boiling water, white sugar, brown sugar, instant coffee, whole vanilla bean, and vodka to create a quick coffee-flavoured liqueur. This caramel-vanilla coffee liqueur is a great base for many of our other coffee cocktails, too.

While it’s more convenient to use the store-bought coffee liqueur, we find that our homemade recipe is cheaper, preservative-free, and definitely more delicious.

Like coffee cocktails? Here are some more recipes to try.

What Kinds of Black Coffee Can You Use?

You can use any coffee brewing method like the Aeropress or Moka pot to make black coffee. But for best results, Home Grounds recommends medium to dark roast coffees, as they’ll have the requisite sweetness and boldness to complement your Kahlua coffee-flavoured liqueur.

And for a twist on the traditional Kahlua coffee, we recommend pairing your homemade caramel Kahlua with the citrusy, cinnamony notes of our Mexican coffee recipe.

What Is the Ideal Kahlua to Coffee Ratio?

You’ll want one part Kahlua coffee liqueur to two parts fresh-brewed coffee for the most balanced coffee cocktail. But, as always, follow your palate and what you like best.

Also, if you’re making this into cold brew coffee cocktails, you may need to increase the ratio of cold brew coffee to Kahlua.

Final Thoughts

Home Grounds has given you a basic recipe to set you off to an amazing day. As with any coffee drink, feel free to make this your own and indulge responsibly.

Have you tried it? Tell us about your Kahlua coffee experience in the comments below.


No, Kahlua coffee is not a liqueur. But Kahlua on its own is. This is because Kahlua is made by combining brewed coffee with distilled alcohol, like rum or vodka. This alcoholic mixture is then rested and finally bottled.

Yes, Kahlua coffee liqueur does have caffeine. Since one of the major components of Kahlua is freshly brewed coffee, the caffeine from the brew ends up in the liqueur. However, if you’re making your own Kahlua, feel free to use decaf instant or fresh-brewed coffee.

Kahlua coffee is the standard name for this drink. But if you add a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream, Jameson Whiskey, and a pinch of nutmeg, this drink then becomes Irish coffee (3).

  1. Best Whipped Cream recipes. (2018). Foodnetwork.com. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/whipped-cream-recipe-1957526
  2. How to Make Chocolate Curls. (2015, July 15). Spend with Pennies. https://www.spendwithpennies.com/how-to-make-chocolate-curls/
  3. Irish Coffee Drink Recipe. (n.d.). Kahlua. https://www.kahlua.com/en-ca/drinks/irish-coffee/
Iris M. Pang
One of my first childhood memories of coffee was in Montreal, Quebec. Every time my family and I walked through the mall, the aroma of fresh, brewed coffee and Belgian waffles permeated all the stores. Whatever that delicious smell was, I had to have it. And the rest is history. When I'm not writing or touring local coffee shops, you'll find me on social media, trying out different ethnic cuisine at local restaurants, and having deep discussions over coffee and pastries.

Leave a Comment

Homegrounds is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.