DIY Coffee Liqueur Recipe

a bottle of homemade coffee liqueur

Liz Clayman

DIY coffee liqueur tastes like like a fresh cup of coffee with added depth from rum and just enough sugar to make it great for sipping or mixing—or baking and dessert garnishing. The quick steeping time means no patience is required.

Notes: When hot coffee cools down, it loses some of its good qualities. Cold brewing the coffee keeps bitter and overly acidic flavors from taking over. Turbinado sugar is also known as raw sugar, and is available at most grocery stores. You can substitute other types of sugar if desired.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 96 hrs
Makes: 3 cups

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  • 1/4 cup fine ground espresso
  • 2 1/4 cup water (divided)
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 cups light rum


  1. Cold brew the coffee by combining the grounds and 1 1/4 cups of the water into a sealable glass jar, shaking it, then refrigerating the mixture for 12 hours. Strain through a coffee filter into another sealable glass jar.

    collage: a jar filled with coffee grounds and water, just shaken; mixture strained through coffee filter

    Liz Clayman

  2. Combine the sugar and 1 cup of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let this syrup cool to room temperature.

    turbinado sugar and water boiling on stovetop to make simple syrup

    Liz Clayman

  3. Add cooled syrup, vanilla bean, and rum to the glass jar that contains the coffee. Let that mixture steep for 3 days, then remove the vanilla bean and bottle the liqueur.

    removing vanilla bean from DIY coffee liqueur after steeping

    Liz Clayman

Special equipment

coffee filter

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