It’s not like Grandma Johnston is a lush. Really. She isn’t. It’s just that she makes her own booze. She also played piano at church for years and years. She knits and works puzzles. She gets her hair “done.” Let’s not judge her or pigeonhole her. She is a fine, well-rounded person. And I have her recipes.
With the Coldness and the holidays around the corner, it’s good to have a little variety in the liquid diet. Every so often, November is a signal for me to check the stock of home-grown Kahlua. Last year cleaned us out. So time to get another batch in the works.
GRANDMA JOHNSTON’S KAHLUA
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup instant coffee
2 cups boiling water
1 pint brandy
1 vanilla bean, sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces.
I usually double this, as decanted into 16-ounce swingtops, it works well as a Christmas gift–but leaves enough for our own private stash. I’ve used it in a right yummy porter, mixed with coffee, and well, it’s good straight up.
Granny also makes good meatloaf and potato salad. And there’s nothing quite like frosting Christmas cookies with her. But there’s something awfully cool to have and use your grandma’s liquor recipes.
If you try this one, please make it a point to toast to my grandma’s health.