Monday, August 15, 2011

Coffee Liquor: Kaluha

Favorite Recipes from Caldwell, IdahoCheap vodka is cheap vodka, but cheap vodka artfully and easily infused with other stuff is sublime. Sometimes, it even resembles Things With Brand Names. Favorite Recipes from Caldwell, Idaho has a great Thing That Resembles A Thing With A Brand Name, and a near-miss spelling that winks at indiscretion.
Darlene Perry

Boil 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Dissolve 6 teaspoons Yuban instant coffee, 2 teaspoons vanilla. Then add to sugar water. After it has cooled for a while, add a fifth of vokda (any kind) and 2 teaspoons of glycerin (buy at drug store). Mix well. Pour in half-gallon jar and drink, drink, drink and be merry.
Oh, Darlene Perry. You're our kind of people (not to mention our kind of recipe writer/digressor). I love the brand specificity of the instant coffee. Apparently, they still make Yuban though I'm much more likely to stock Starbucks VIA
in my pantry. I should clarify here -- I love that the only brand specificity here is for the Yuban. The vodka is rail, and the drink, well...the drink can't spell.

I've had this. I've made this. This is tasty. Great in coffee or cocoa, great mixed into milk, great poured over ice cream, great on the rocks. Easy to make, cheap, and tasty. If you're a-okay with alcohol, give this one a try.

[E.T.A.: You can order glycerine through Amazon (and, I'm assuming, other online vendors) these days. Why do you want it in your liquor? It rounds out the mouth feel and takes off any harsh edges to your cheap booze).]

Biographical note time: I will have to check with Aunt Robbi, but I'm betting that Darlene Perry is really Joy Darlene Willmorth Perry, who died in 2008. This is from her obituary:
In 1983, she changed careers and became the Children's Librarian at Caldwell Public Library. Her next 15 years at the Library were the happiest of her working life. She retired from the library in 1998, but never ceased to think of libraries, especially Caldwell's, as magical places. This love of libraries and books has been passed on to her children and grandchildren.

Joy was an avid reader. Any conversation with her would inevitably include the question, "Read anything good lately?"
Yes, yes we have. And, if the Kaluha Ms. Perry is the Library Ms. Perry, well, then...I met her. I know that library; Aunt Robbi worked there. And, frankly, if I were running the summer reading program at the Caldwell Public Library in the mid-80s, I might be coming up with some nice concoctions to mark the end of a long, hard day, too. (The summer reading program is going on right now, folks -- there's still time.) If there is or was another Darlene Perry in Caldwell, with ties to my aunt, I'd love to give proper attribution -- but I'm not sorry I found out about Joy. I must have spoken with her several times, but now I know something about her.

Drink, drink, drink and be merry.


  1. Why the glycerine? What does it add to the end product?

  2. Glad you asked! It rounds out the mouth-feel, and takes the harshness off cheap booze.