Homemade Liqueurs


The season of giving has arrived and I just love the idea of homemade gift’s. Homemade jams, pickles, infused vinegar and oils, jewelry, soaps and liqueurs. I love them all!

Homemade liqueur is so simple to make and is so delicious! My two favorites are Kahlua and Amaretto.

Both of these liqueurs are yummy on their own or you can use them to create a mixed drink, pour over vanilla ice cream or add to a cup of hot cocoa.


I like to search for pretty and unique bottles for my liqueurs that can be used for other things long after the contents have been enjoyed.

I came across these recipes in the local paper’s (The Oregonian) food section many years ago. Both are totally yum! Take some to your next holiday party to give to the host. Make some extra to have on hand for your own holiday events as well.


Cheers! and happy holiday giving.

Homemade Kahlua:

  • 1/4 vanilla bean
  • 1 fifth vodka (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/3 cup good quality instant powdered coffee ( I used espresso powder)
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups sugar

Split vanilla bean and add to vodka. Let stand 24 hours.

Add boiling water to coffee, cover and let stand 2-3 minutes. Add cocoa, sugar and corn syrup, stir until dissolved. Cool. combine with vodka. Place in bottle or jar with lid. Let mellow for at least a week. Yields 2 fifths (about 6 cups).

Homemade Amaretto:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 fifth vodka

Mix water, and sugars in a large saucepan. Boil 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and almond extracts and vodka. Pour into bottles. Yields 2 fifths.

Orange Liqueur:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups brandy
  • 2 fresh navel oranges

Place sugar in a large jar, add brandy.

Perforate orange and thread with string. Suspend orange from lid over brandy mixture for 5 days with lid on.

Remove orange. Stir sugar if necessary. Perforate and suspend second orange 5 days. Remove orange and store liqueur in an airtight container. Yields about a pint.



Summer Sangria

Summer is right around the corner. That means hot sunny days and cold sips. One of my favorite summer sips is Sangria.
I received this recipe many years ago from a friend who had just returned from a trip to Spain. She made this drink one sunny afternoon at a get together and I instantly fell in love with it. I just had to have the recipe!

I have since made this at many summer gatherings of my own and it is always a hit! Cheers to summer!


Summer Sangria

  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 orange, sliced
  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 bottle red wine, preferably Spanish red like Rioja or Tempranillo
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • club soda

In a large pitcher combine all ingredients except club soda. Chill for at least 1 hour. For maximum flavor a like to make this a day ahead and let the flavors mingle overnight. When ready to serve, pour chilled sangria into glass and top with a splash of club soda, stir to combine.