Morning Coffee with a Kicker - Kahlua

     Here I sit at my desk - seeking inspiration for the day.  Ah, to write about liquor and spirits for a living - I am truly blessed!

     Today, it just isn't "hitt'in me," inspiration that is, so I reach for  my morning cup of Joe.  WHAM-O! It hits me!  WRITE ABOUT A COFFEE BASED SPIRIT!

Everyone knows the most famous of these is KAHLUA.  But do you REALLY know Kahlua?

Kahlua is a rich, dark brown coffee liqueur made from the finest Mexican coffee, with fine cane spirits and a hint of vanilla. It also contains sugar,
corn syrup and vodka, and has a thicker body than most other alcoholic beverages.

Kahlua is the 2nd largest single liqueur brand worldwide. Although it wasn't introduced to America until 1962, it's history dates to pre-WWII.

History of Kahlua

1936 marks the year chemist Senor Bianco adds the Arabic beans from two brothers named Alvarez to his liqueur recipe. This was the beginning of the recipe used today by the Kahlua brand. In 1962 chemist Montalvo Lara modifed and refined the original recipe. By 1964 the beverage had been imported into the United States and quickly became the number one coffee liqueur. 1984 marked the rise of the Kahlua brand to be the number one liqueur brand in the world. 

The vibrant state of Veracruz, Mexico is home to KAHLÚA and a culture rich with blended traditions. Known not only for its agricultural crops, like the premium 100% Arabica coffee and sugarcane that come together in a bottle of KAHLÚA, but also for the diverse people who over the years have come together to form this unified region unique unto itself.
KAHLÚA is crafted from the finest ingredients that grow side by side in rural Veracruz, Mexico—shade grown, hand-selected 100% Arabica coffee beans and sugarcane.  High in the mountains of Veracruz, the coffee is handpicked during the October to March harvest season.

The red coffee cherries are then pulped and processed to extract what we know as the coffee bean.  Beans are air-dried and the papery external layer called the husk is removed. The dried coffee is aged for at least six months in 50-kilogram burlap bags to develop the ideal taste profile.

The beans are now ready for roasting.  Stalks are crushed, juice is collected and boiled into a molasses, then yeast and water are mixed and left to ferment.

Once sugar is converted into alcohol, the spirit undergoes a distillation process until it reaches proof, then stored in barrels. After seven years the coffee and sugarcane meet again in our KAHLÚA distillery. The coffee is roasted in micro-lots, ground to extract the perfect flavor. The extract is combined with our fine sugarcane spirit, vanilla and caramel, then rested for eight weeks before being filtered and bottled.

FLAVORS:  Of course, the original Kahlua still remains a worldwide favorite - but there are other flavors to try.

French Vanilla

The velvety taste of vanilla complements the savory intensity of coffee and cane in this liqueur. Try a Kahlúa French Vanilla served over ice.


Made with a rich blend of 100% Arabica coffee, natural vanilla, real dark chocolate and sugarcane spirit, Kahlúa Mocha offers a bittersweet way to enjoy your favorite coffee liqueur. This caramel colored beverage can be served over ice, in a contemporary cocktail or added to other Kahlúa recipes for a chocolaty twist.


Introduced in 2007, this dark mahogany liqueur is smooth and satiny with a creamy, nutty finish.  Though hazelnut is the first flavor you taste it’s immediately followed by an intense burst of coffee—the perfect choice for a hot or chilled coffee drink. 


Launched in 2002, Kahlúa Especial boasts a richer coffee taste and extra kick. This intensely flavored dark espresso liqueur is made from the purest Arabica coffee beans and is deliciously served on-the-rocks or in a martini.


Peppermint Mocha

A limited edition flavor just in time for the holidays. The luxurious blend of cool peppermint and dark chocolate complement the rich flavors of Kahlúa, made from 100% Arabica coffee beans and sugarcane spirit, grown side by side in the mountains of Veracruz. Serve on the rocks or with hot chocolate. Availability may vary by country and state.

Whether you drink any of the flavors neat or on the rocks - they are always just a bit mysterious and so refreshing.

Many, many drink recipes can be found online - tempt yourself tonight and do some experimentation!

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