You’ve heard of it, you might even have tried it, but did you know that Kahlúa is a popular ingredient in a number of the best loved cocktails?

The flavoured liqueur brings a kick of coffee to liven up a wide variety of drinks. After all, why should the roasted bean just be resigned to a morning pick-me-up, when it blends so beautifully with a host of other combinations?

If you’re thinking what we’re thinking, then Kahlua is the mixer you need in your life!

What is Kahlúa

Let’s start with the basics. Kahlúa is a coffee-flavoured liqueur that adds an unmistakably sweet and strong taste to drinks. Hailing from Mexico, it contains rum, sugar, vanilla bean and of course the key ingredient – Arabica coffee. This also provides its caffeine boost, making it a trusted favourite with late-night revellers to bring you back to life if you feel like you’re lagging on a night out.

In the world of drinks, it’s a relatively established liqueur that dates back to 1936, originally produced by Pedro Domecq. It wasn’t until the drink was acquired by Pernod Ricard in the early 2000s that it enjoyed mass distribution and a lower alcohol content of 20%.

Although coffee-lovers enjoy drinking it neat on ice, it is most recognised and used in cocktails, and sometimes even desserts like Tiramisu. 

Owing to its familiar flavour and versatility, Kahlúa is ideal for mixing with milk, cocoa, cream and spirits.

Lively Cocktails

No self-respecting bar can be stocked without a bottle of Kahlúa, since it’s an essential ingredient in a wide array of drinks, from the Espresso Martini to a B-52.

Here’s a few of our favourite Kahlúa based drinks, to add to your repertoire: 

Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini

Effortlessly elegant, dark and rich, an Espresso Martini is a strong choice bursting with flavour. This London designed drink has been propping up customers since it was created in the 80s, known for its ability to revitalise and give you that boost you need.

Pour 50ml of your favourite vodka, along with 35ml of Kahlúa, a shot of espresso and ice into a shaker. To ease the bitter edge, you can add sugar, or syrup too.
Shake and pour into a Martini glass to serve. Add coffee beans for an instantly ‘instagram-able’ touch!

White Russian

White Russian

This creamy, sophisticated drink has stood the test of time and is perfect for any scenario, from stylish soirees to hotel bars the world over.
It’s deliciously rich but also very quick and easy to rustle up at home. Just mix 60ml vodka, 2 tbsp of Kahlúa and 1 tbsp of cream mix with ice and pour into a small tumbler for a very drinkable cocktail.


B52 Shooter

A firm favourite among students and cocktail bars everywhere, this triple-layered, potent shot is also mesmerising to watch being made.

All you need is half an ounce of the following three liqueurs; Kahlúa, Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys) and Grand Marnier orange liqueur.

The most efficient way to pour is from the bottle with a pouring tip affixed.

First take the Kahlúa and pour straight into the shot glass, to sit at the bottom. Using the back of a cocktail spoon, slowly pour the Irish cream liqueur so that sits firmly as a second layer without mixing with the Kahlúa. Using the same spoon technique, add the final layer of Grand Marnier, which adds an uplifting orange kick.

Kahlúa Cockroach

Not for the faint-hearted, this lively drink definitely packs a punch!

Simply combine one part Kahlúa with 1.5 parts Tequila, and if you’re adventurous you can set it on fire using a lighter (served with a non-plastic straw). It’s a winner as an after-dinner drink, for those who can handle their drink!

All clued up on Kahlúa? Want to know more about Irish Cream, Midori or Yukon Jack? Just click the links to read the articles. Otherwise we have tons more here to keep you busy.