Basic recipe for homemade Kahlua on the Intertubes is lots of sugar, some coffee, high alcohol content something or other, and vanilla. Some minor variations on this theme is all I've found.

But real Kahlua is heavier than Irish Cream. The layered shot, "Duck Fart," is made of, from bottom to top, Kahlua, Irish Cream, and Whiskey. When I try to make this with homemade Kahlua though the cream sinks.

The amount of sugar in this stuff is huge, it's basically syrup. I doubt it needs more. I use brown sugar. What could be missing from the recipe that makes it heavier than cream?

  • You mean heavier than cream, right?
    – Aaronut
    Aug 29 '11 at 0:21
  • By "some coffee" you do mean coffee beans, right? Relative weight would likely be affected using beans as opposed to the liquid (i.e. grain alcohol leeches the coffee oils, as opposed to mixture with the beverage)
    – mfg
    Aug 29 '11 at 2:24
  • 1
    There is a shot called... 'duck fart'? I am almost positive that ducks can't fart since they don't have rectal sphincter muscles. Also that is a gross name for a drink.
    – Katey HW
    Aug 30 '11 at 14:45
  • @Katey - yes there is and it happens to be a really good one. Nobody knows why it's called that. The most reasonable theory I've heard is that it's named after the sound YOUR sphincter makes a day after drinking a bunch of them. QUACK QUACK Aug 31 '11 at 3:15

Adding more sugar to a small amount did fix the issue. I think that boiling down the coffee/sugar mix would go a long way toward increasing the SG without making it sickeningly sweet. Next time I make a batch it's what I'll do.

  • You're right. As a rule, the proof of the liquid will give you a measure of its density; the higher proof the liquid, the lower its density. You could reduce your kahlua down a bit to reduce it's alcohol (and water) content and make it more syrupy without requiring more sugar.
    – Ben
    Aug 30 '11 at 12:15
  • Grats on fixing it; did you start with a simple syrup the first time, or just dissolve the sugar directly?
    – mfg
    Aug 30 '11 at 13:26

I would imagine the problem could be with the bartending and not the recipe; there is an art to sliding a lighter liquid under a heavier one, or even to layering the lighter one on top.

Also, there are different variants to the so-called duck fart that may result in why it appears your drinks are coming out wrong. Perhaps the recipe for kahlua is not "wrong" exactly, but that the recipe for the cocktail is not what you think it is?

  • It's not much different from a B-52, which I've made more times than I can count; Irish cream definitely layers on top of good kahlua and does not sink.
    – Aaronut
    Aug 30 '11 at 14:02
  • I don't mean that Irish Cream was denser; rather the two could be mixing from poor pouring is all.
    – mfg
    Aug 30 '11 at 15:27
  • Of course; I was mainly referring to the last sentence here. I don't think the recipe is the problem, it looks right to me.
    – Aaronut
    Aug 30 '11 at 20:45

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