Kira’s Coffee Liqueur

  • Serves

    makes 10 8-OZ JARS


This recipe for homemade coffee liqueur was developed by longtime Cafe Grumpy employee Kira Birney, who makes the drink each year around the holidays to share with friends and family. Owner Caroline Bell recommends drizzling the liqueur over vanilla ice cream or using in a White Russian. Time will temper the intense sweetness, so be sure to allow to sit for a month or more.


  • 1 lb. Café Grumpy Heartbreaker Espresso (available online or substitute your favorite espresso blend)
  • 6 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 cups vodka
  • 8 cups urbinado sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • Pinch of salt


Step 1

In a large glass bottle tightly covered with cheesecloth, steep the coffee beans and vanilla in the vodka, unrefrigerated, for one month in a cool dark place.

Step 2

Strain the liquid into a large stock pot and add the sugar, water, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and let simmer for an hour, until the mixture begins to thicken but not caramelize. Stir occasionally to prevent the sugar from burning.

Step 3

Let cool. Decant into Mason jars and seal tightly. The liqueur will be ready to drink immediately, but it will be very sweet. The sweetness will mellow over time, and the liqueur can be stored for up to a year, unrefrigerated, before serving.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook (C) 2011 by Edible Brooklyn, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. The Edible Brooklyn cookbook is available for free with a subscription to the Edible magazine.

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