Homemade Coffee Liqueur – Sugar-Free


Low Carb Mexican Coffee with Sugar-Free Coffee LiqueurApparently my kitchen has turned into a distillery, with the slow drip of alcohol through a filter, as it drains out of a silty, cloudy mixture.  Not to worry, I am not brewing up moonshine from corn cobs or anything illegal like that.  But I am making my own sugar-free homemade coffee liqueur and getting quite a kick out of myself in the process.  Really, this whole thing was remarkably fun and astonishingly easy, and now I have many ideas for other sugar-free liqueurs.  It’s going to be homemade liqueur madness here, so that I can indulge in some fun cocktails, like a low carb Mexican Coffee, without worrying about the added sugars.  And homemade liqueurs make wonderful gifts for friends and family.  I suspect that this will become the gift de jour in my house.  I should probably buy stock in one or two vodka distributors, since I will be using so much of it.

Homemade Low Carb Kahlua

I really am on something of a homemade everything kick.  I’ve already amazed and astonished my friends with homemade butter, homemade yogurt and homemade cream cheese.  I have been saying to my husband for ages that I want to try making my own sausages and he finally took me seriously enough to get the meat grinder and sausage stuffer attachments for my stand mixer.  When you grow up in our modern society with our modern conveniences, you tend to forget that people ever did make all these things on the homestead, as it were.  You believe that they simply can’t be made at home.  Or at least that they can’t be made easily at home.  I honestly credit blogging with opening my eyes to the wonders of the experimental homemade kitchen.  One of my very first blog posts was for homemade yogurt made in a crockpot…the idea coming, naturally, from someone else’s blog.

sugar free kahlua

The idea of making homemade sugar-free kahlua admittedly also came from someone else’s blog.  Or blogs.  I kept seeing it pop up in various places and thinking I needed to try it with some sort of alternative sweetener.  My only hesitation was that my favourite, Swerve, doesn’t always stay in solution in liquids.  But I found myself craving hot drinks made with yummy sweet liqueurs and decided it was worth a try.  And I used a combination of erythritol and xylitol, to see if I could counteract the re-crystallization.

I chose to follow a recipe I found on Creative Culinary, but I did change a few things.  I only made a half batch and I cut down on the amount of sweetener a little.  I didn’t want to add chocolate liqueur, but knowing that a little chocolate intensifies the flavour of coffee, I added a touch of cocoa powder to the mix.  I also took the whole distilling process a step further and strained it through a coffee filter to get all the little particles out and create a clear liquid.  This actually took several days and several changes of coffee filters because the silty particles were so fine, hence the feeling that I was operating a distillery out of my kitchen.  But the final product was more than worth it!  The perfect addition to an afternoon cocktail.

Homemade Coffee Liqueur

Sugar Free Coffee Liqueur

Yield: About 2 ½ cups of homemade coffee liqueur

Serving Size: 1 fluid ounce

Sugar Free Coffee Liqueur

Homemade sugar-free coffee liqueur and Mexican Coffee.


    Coffee Liqueur
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup xylitol
  • ¾ cup Swerve Sweetener or other granulated erythritol
  • ¼ cup ground coffee (I used decaf)
  • 1 ½ cup vodka
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Mexican Coffee:
  • 1 oz coffee liqueur
  • ½ oz tequila (if you're feeling bold. If not, feel free to add a touch more coffee liqueur or vodka)
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
  • 3 tablespoons whipped cream
  • sprinkle of cinnamon


  1. For the liqueur: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, xylitol, erythritol and coffee grounds.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for half an hour, until slightly reduced thickened. Let cool.
  3. Transfer mixture to a glass jar and add vodka, cocoa powder and vanilla extract
  4. Seal jar and place in a dark, cool spot and wait...and wait...and wait. At least 3 weeks, shaking the jar every few days.
  5. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Then strain again through a coffee filter (this will take several day and changes of coffee filter, but it's worth it to get all the coffee "silt" out of the mixture).
  6. For the Mexican Coffee, mix liqueur, tequila and coffee in a large coffee mug. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon.


About 20 servings of liqueur. Each serving has 3.6 g of carbs.

Each serving of Mexican Coffee also has 3.6 g of carbs.


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  1. says

    This is amazing. I never thought about a sugar free liqueur, but all I can say it’s 9:30 in the morning, and you’re making me want to drink hah!

  2. tractor wife says

    Oh how I miss my White Russians since changing to a low carb lifestyle. Question…my body cannot handle xylitol. Is there something else I could substitute? I really want to try this!!!

    • Carolyn says

      You could go all erythritol. Your only problem here is that I suspect you will end up with some that recrystallizes out. But after it’s filtered, if it’s no longer sweet enough, you could add a bit of stevia to sweeten it more.

  3. arlene says

    I love the sound of your recipe! It looks much more authentic than some of the other recipes I’ve seen around. I can’t wait to see you make other liquors!!! I tried an ammeretto recipe and it was just…meh. I’d love a good one if you can figure out how to get that taste down.

    • Carolyn says

      Arlene, Amaretto is definitely on my list. My next attempt, which is already in the dark cool place, doing its thang, is Frangelico. I have vodka and brandy steeping with chopped hazelnuts. We shall see! And in my opinion, this coffee liqueur was spot on for Kahlua. Sweet, intensely coffeeish, and with a kick of alcohol.

  4. says

    That’s very interesting about the recrystallisation problem with erythritol. I’m in australia and have been using Natvia – a sweetener that is a combination of erythritol and stevia. I used it to make some raspberry vinegar and was surprised when I got to the bottom of the bottle that there were sweetener crystals in the bottom. I thought that maybe I hadn’t dissolved it enough in the making process, but now I realise it is just a property of the sweetener. It didn’t seem to be a problem in the taste of the product. Thanks for the tip

    • Carolyn says

      Yes, it is a common problem with erythritol, although I would still prefer to use it over any other. It’s the lowest on my blood sugar!

      • Renee says

        Yes. I strain ice cream base as well. Will definately try this Kaluah recipe! I made Apricot Brandy once and it was excellent! Cant wait for more fun Carolyn. Keep up the great job. :)

  5. Katharine says

    YUM!! I used to LOVE coffee with a little bit of bailey’s and a little frangelico…but this kahlua version sounds great!

  6. Shellie says

    Awesome recipe, I did use a vanilla bean in mine! Strained it through a french press and then used the filter. mmmmmmmm…..

  7. Arturo says

    I love your blog, i check it every other day for the wonderful recipes, even though i don’t always try them all. But, as a Chemical engineer and home-distiller I was deeply disturbed by your use of the term distilling and distillery. 😛 You were merely filtering, not distilling. Distilling, simply put, is separating 2 miscible liquids with different boiling points by means of evaporation and then condensation. I just had to take this out of my chest, sorry. Have a great day!

    • Carolyn says

      LOL, but it was far more fun to write up the post as if I was distilling moonshine in my kitchen! 😉

      • Debbie says

        My friends teased me about being a moonshiner too, lol, but I am pretty sure they are very jealous right now. They’re waiting to hear how it turns out. Tonight mine is ready and I’m enjoying every delicious drop!

  8. Deborah says

    After a few weeks of steeping, I am straining this now. Tip – if you don’t have coffee filters, kitchen paper placed in a funnel works just as well. Delicious!

  9. says

    How about Cointreau? Then we could have my favorite cocktail: a Sidecar w/o the sugared rim. A real margarita would also be possible :-) I love your website.

      • Cathi G. says

        Ok, I am requesting. :-) My husband and I love Bailey’s & Creme. It has been sad not to be able to set around a warm fire enjoying a glass this time of year. So Yes, please I am requesting. Thank you :) Please Please Please. . . AND . . .Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Years!!!!

  10. Debbie says

    It’s ready! I made my sugar free kahlua and tonight am having my “white russian” – woohooo! It is fantastic! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  11. Andi says

    I so want to try this! But, I can’t have erythritol or xylitol. Ever tried with all stevia, or honey? Those and maple syrup are all I can have…

  12. Caroline Gamble says

    Hi Carolyn,
    Is the combination of erythritol and xylitol necessary to counter re-crystalization, or do you think I could use xylitol only? (It’s cheaper, after all!)

    • Carolyn says

      You could use xylitol only…it’s just higher in carbs, I find. Or at least, it affects my blood glucose more.


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