Have you ever tasted a coffee-based liqueur? Kahlua has been a staple bottle in any bar. Aside from bringing booze, some mix this liqueur to make cocktail drinks, which every adult can enjoy, or as a topping or ingredient in several dessert options. These include ice cream, cakes, and milkshakes. When bartenders were looking to sell a drink after hours or after dinner, an easy coffee-sweet drink hit the spot, making this coffee liqueur a popular mixer in a variety of cocktails.

What is Kahlua?


Created in 1936, the coffee liqueur is made with 100% Arabica coffee beans and the finest sugar canes from Veracruz, Mexico by Pedro Domecq. It is used in tasty coffee-based cocktails like Espresso Martini, White Russian and Mudslide.

It is a complex mixture of sweet toffee, butter rum and caramel, complemented with aromas of vanilla and dark chocolate, while the underlying light coffee connects every taste. Since this is coffee based, it contains about 100 ppm caffeine, about 100ml/liter of the product. Also, since it is a liqueur, it has an alcohol content of 20%.

It takes 7 years to create each Kahlua, from harvesting the coffee beans, growing sugar canes, and producing vanilla to bottling. The aging takes a longer period to produce the unique taste of this liqueur.

It’s very rare for liqueurs to go bad, due to the fact that both the alcohol and the sugar act as preservatives. It can be longer than that but the quality of the coffee fades and it will not give you the full flavor impact. Also, exposure to heat and/or sunlight has been known to cause entire bottles to go off - still drinkable, but the taste is completely off and different.

Classic Cocktails That Can Be Mixed with Kahlua

Black Russian

Traditionally, Black Russian is made by pouring the vodka over ice cubes or cracked ice in a glass, followed by the coffee liqueur then stirred gently. This two-part cocktail was created in the late 1940s by Gustave Tops in Brussels. The name of this cocktail has been inspired by the use of Vodka, a Russian spirit, and the blackness of Kahlua. This cocktail drink is easy to make, so you could try this at home. You may use two ounces of vodka and one ounce of Kahlua on a mixing glass with ice then strain into a glass over ice.

White Russian

While the Black Russian is named after vodka as the Russian spirit and blackness of the coffee liqueur, the White Russian cocktail is almost the same as Black Russian but it is served often with cream or milk – making it white. A recipe from California’s Oakland Tribune on November 21, 1965, White Russian’s official recipe includes 1oz. each of Kahlua, vodka, cream, and the cream is last added after mixing the vodka and Kahlua.

Espresso Martini

This cocktail has been famous since the ‘80s, but this drink is not actually a martini since it does not include gin. An ideal recipe for this cocktail drink is two ounces vodka, half ounce Kahlua, one ounce espresso – freshly brewed or a cold brew concentrate will do, and a half ounce simple syrup. These are mixed together on a shaker, then strained into a chilled cocktail glass without ice. To make it foamy, it has to be shaken hard as the natural oils of the coffee must combine with the air bubbles, tap and swirl the shaker to ensure a creamy foam on top.

B52 Shot

This shot is made from one part Kahlua, one part of Irish Cream (Baileys Irish Cream), and one part Orange Cognac (Grand Marnier). Given the three ingredients, these separate into three layers when prepared properly. This shot is served on a shot glass, undiluted and without ice. It’s such a delicious little drink and light alcohol content. Making this shot can be very tricky since the ingredients might mix up, use the back of a spoon for layering, and pour the ingredients slowly.

Modern Twist Cocktails

Kahlua Iced Coffee

Kahlua Iced Coffee

The Kahlua Iced Coffee was originally introduced as Kahloffee. This drink can be enjoyed at home since its ingredients are available anywhere. To make this cocktail, just fill a glass with ice and iced coffee, add one part Kahlua and mix. You can enjoy this drink while having brunch with friends or just hanging out.

Brave Bull

This drink is the tequila version of the Black Russian. This is simple and as enjoyable as the Black Russian. Ingredients only include two ounces of tequila and one ounce of Kahlua, served with ice. This is considered a strong drink, almost similar to drinking with scotch on the rocks.

Frozen Mudslide

This booze milkshake is easy to make – no need to wait for special occasions. Add slightly softened vanilla ice cream to a blender with a shot of Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Vodka. Since this includes vanilla ice cream, this is one of the cocktails that has the most calories. Aside from being a drink, Frozen Mudslide can also be made as a cake.

Mexican Coffee

A different version of the Frozen Mudslide, this cocktail drink is very Mexican. Instead of using vodka, a half ounce of tequila and one ounce of Kahlua is added to a cup of hot coffee and whipped cream on top. Kahlua and the tequila give this drink a little kick. This is also delicious as an after dinner drink.

Pensacola Bushwacker

This is a seriously rich, thick, sweet cocktail. The Pensacola Bushwacker makes use of coconut cream. Blending it with two ounces Kahlua, one ounce Bacardi Black Rum, one ounce dark creme de cacao, four ounce mixture of milk and cream, two cups of ice, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes it one of the most delicious cocktail drinks in the world.

How to Make Kahlua Coffee

How to Make Kahlua Coffee

Just when you need a dose of caffeine, Kahlua Coffee has never been this easy to make. Just add one part Kahlua and fill with freshly brewed hot coffee, then add milk, depending on your preference. This will make your simple coffee extra special.

Here Are Some Other Kahlua Coffee Recipes:

Irish Coffee with Baileys and Kahlua

Normally, Irish Coffees consist of Irish whiskey, hot coffee, sugar, and topped with cream. There is another recipe where you do not include the whiskey. Instead, you pour Bailey’s Irish Cream and Kahlua for a creamier hot coffee.

Chocolate Chip Kahlua Milkshake

This is not just your normal chocolate milkshake. Aside from chunks of chocolate chips, one and a half ounce of creamy Kahlua blended with coffee ice cream, and milk, topped with sprinkles make this milkshake exceptional.

Kicked-up Coffee Granita with Baileys and Kahlua

This recipe takes time to finish but waiting will be worth it. The coffee granita needs to be stirred occasionally while freezing, so it will be slushy. Coffee for the bottom is mixed with Kahlua, while the cream for the top is mixed with Baileys, making it a kicked-up coffee.

Pumpkin Spice Kahlua Coffee Recipe

This recipe will use a flavored Kahlua, the pumpkin spiced one. All you need to do is stir in the coffee, Kahlua Pumpkin Spice Liqueur, vodka, and milk in a coffee cup. When done, top with whipped cream and ground cinnamon.

Boozy Coffee Milkshake

These milkshakes will satisfy both your caffeine and alcohol cravings. The base of this drink is the softened coffee ice cream blended with a cold espresso coffee and Kahlua then add an Irish Cream and milk to give creaminess, depending on your taste. To make it even sweeter, replace the coffee ice cream with vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

Sweet Kahlua Coffee

This recipe has a long brewing time since you have to cook the water, Kahlua, creme de cacao, and coffee granules for three hours. You and your guests can enjoy this warm drink with sugar or vanilla, and topped with whipped cream and semisweet chocolate during the holidays.

High Octane Hot Chocolate

This high octane hot chocolate drink is perfect for a fan of sweeter drinks. Combining coffee, cocoa, Kahlua, and vodka and then topping that with a generous handful of marshmallows makes this warm drink chocolatey mocha with a splash of booze. Just add more marshmallows if you want it to be sweeter.

Hot Buttered Latte with Kahlua

This special latte is perfect for the Christmas Season. You can prepare this awesome recipe with softened vanilla ice cream, butter, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, mixed and stored in freezer. When ready to use, place 2 tablespoons (depending on your taste), Kahlua, and freshly brewed hot coffee. You can enjoy the drink when the butter mixture melts.


Kahlua has been a staple ingredient on coffee based drinks, whether served on the rocks, on milkshakes, or even on warm drinks. Easily made recipes are available when you need an instant dose of booze. It is not only served while drinking on bars but can also be prepared at home while relaxing.

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