Granny’s Liquor Cabinet

Granny JohnstonIt’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.



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.

Kahlua in the jarProcess: Mix sugar and instant coffee. Stir in 2 cups boiling water and cool. Add brandy and vanilla bean. Pour into half-gallon jug. Let stand 30 days in a cool, dark place.

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.

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6 Responses to Granny’s Liquor Cabinet

  1. Matt says:

    That is one awesome Granny.
    So not knowing anything about brandy, does any old kind work or do you have to get some good stuff?

  2. Wilson says:

    I used to use Christian Bros., since that’s what my Gramps drank, but now I get something a little cheaper, but never the cheapest. I’ve seen recipes using vodka or Everclear, so there are lots of angles, but they’re all gonna get coffee and sugared up, so it may not make a huge difference. You get what you put into it, so don’t be too cheap.

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  4. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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