The star ingredient of numerous cocktails, the slight sweetness and classic coffee flavor of Kahlúa make it the perfect addition to drinks made with milk or cream. Hailing from Veracruz, Mexico, Kahlúa coffee liqueur is lovingly crafted using only the finest ingredients, such as 100 percent Arabica coffee beans (which are light-bodied and smooth thanks to the Veracruz climate) and real sugarcane, giving it the mouthwatering flavor and slight kick loved by many. Beloved cocktails such as the sophisticated White Russian, the refreshing Mind Eraser, or the edgy Espresso Martini simply wouldn't be the same without the world's best-selling coffee liqueur, while the delicate notes of vanilla bean and caramel also make for an easy-drinking, smooth liqueur to enjoy over ice.
Silly question — of course, you can drink Kahlua straight; with an ingredient list that consists of Arabica coffee, rum, vanilla bean, and sugar, it almost seems a shame not to drink Kahlua by itself. Of course, Kahlua is a featured flavor in some of the best-known cocktails as well, such as the White (or Black) Russian and the espresso martini. Nonetheless, Kahlua is exceptionally tasty to drink neat, on the rocks, or slightly warmed for some cozy sipping on a cold night (Drizly pro tip: why not add a splash to your coffee?).
While there’s really no wrong way to drink Kahlua, there are some tried and true techniques for enjoying the brand. By far, one of the most popular Kahlua cocktails is the White Russian, an easily made combination of vodka, Kahlua, and cream (for a Black Russian, simply skip the dairy). There are undoubtedly dozens of appealing Kahlua-inspired recipes for you to explore — but honestly, Kahlua is best when splashed in your cup of evening (or morning?) coffee - we recommend a healthy one-ounce pour.
At just 20% ABV, Kahlua isn’t particularly high in alcohol content. In fact, it’s on par with most flavored liqueurs. Interestingly, Kahlua’s proof has evolved throughout the years. First released in the United States in the 1940s, the original Kahlua was actually a slightly higher proof (at 26.5% ABV); in 2004, the company reduced the ABV to the standard 20% you find today (though in some countries, Kahlua’s alcohol content is as low as 16% ABV). The brand explains that the reduced ABV is in response to consumers preferring beverages with lower alcohol content, though Kahlua insists the flavor remains the same despite the changes.
For coffee lovers, The Big Lebowski fans, or a budding mixologist, a bottle of Kahlua makes a fine gift. It’s affordable (a standard, 750-mL bottle should cost you less than $30) and versatile; the recipient can use it for everything from mudslides to espresso martinis; they can drink it on the rocks or warmed up in some coffee. A little goes a long way, so a bottle of Kahlua can last for quite a while (Kahlua doesn’t need to be refrigerated once opened, and the bottle has a shelf life of up to four years).