by Caitlin Saniga
There's all sorts of ways to dress up Kahlua — pour it over ice cream, serve it with ice, etc. — but this mocha will keep you warm and buzzy. And homemade Kahlua makes a great gift. My mom saves glass bottles throughout the year, and then fills them with Kahlua to pass out.
To make your own Kahlua, or coffee-flavored liquor, you’ll need:
- 1 quart water
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup instant coffee
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups vodka
- small glass bottles
In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the sugar and coffee, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer down for one hour with the lid cracked partway. Remove the liquid from the heat, and let cool completely. (Mom usually sets the pot on the snowy porch for an hour or so.)
Add the vanilla and vodka, and stir to combine. Use a funnel to pour the Kahlua into the bottles to store. The alcohol should keep in the bottles for a long time.
Makes about 5 cups.
Recipe adapted from: my mom’s recipe
To make the frothy Kahlua mocha, you’ll need:
- 1 cup milk
- chocolate syrup
- 1 cup Kahlua (If you don’t want to make your own, you can buy this stuff at the liquor store.)
- chocolate shavings
Back when I was a barista, I learned that milk begins to burn beyond 160 degrees. The best temperature to froth the milk to is between 140 and 160. I've found that 150 and higher tends to burn my tastebuds, though.
If you have an espresso machine (like me), use the milk steamer attachment to froth and heat the milk to a maximum temperature of 160 degree (about 145 is best, though). If you plan to froth the milk sans machine, pour the milk into a jar. Be sure to fill the jar only halfway to reserve room for the foam. Tightly screw on the lid, and shake the jar of milk about 30 seconds, or until the milk had doubled in size and become frothy. Remove the lid and place the jar in the microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat this process until you have enough milk for your drink. Set aside.
Pour enough chocolate syrup into a serving glass to cover the bottom of the glass. Fill the glass halfway with Kahlua. Microwave for 30 to 40 seconds, or until the Kahlua is hot.
Using a spoon to hold back the froth, pour the milk over the Kahlua, and then stir the mixture. Spoon the froth on top of the drink, and top with chocolate shavings.
Makes 1 drink.
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