What Does Kahlua Taste Like? Your Helpful Guide to the Taste

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If you like your coffee Irish, then you’ll probably like Kahlua, if you don’t already have a bottle of it at home! While the person who thought of coffee and liqueur must have been crazy, they’re someone we look up to! Who knew how delicious the caffeine and boozy kick is when mixed together?

For those virgins to Kahlua, you’re probably wondering, “what does Kahlua taste like?”

While it depends on the variety of Kahlua you’re getting, you’ll definitely get the full-bodied, rich, and sweet flavors. Obviously, you’ll sense the coffee, followed by a bit of the alcohol, then caramel and vanilla notes on the finish.

We delve even deeper into what Kahlua tastes below, so keep on reading!

About Kahlua

What’s Kahlua in the first place?

For those unfamiliar with this popular coffee liqueur, it’s made in Veracruz, Mexico, using rum, real Arabica coffee beans, sugar, and vanilla bean. Pedro Domecq created Kahlua in 1936, and interestingly enough, Kahlua has no dairy.

While Kahlua has a dark brown color, it isn’t creamy at all. That’s why you find popular cocktails including Kahlua and cream.

Fun fact: While Kahlua has no dairy, it isn’t vegan. One of Kahlua's suppliers uses a non-vegan-friendly sugar refining process.

When the Black Russian came to be in 1948, Kahlua rose in popularity. Its popularity rose further upon the introduction of the White Russian in 1955. These classic cocktails put Kahlua on the map of the liqueur world from the 1960s to the 1970s, and by the time of 1980 cane, Kahlua was the number one selling coffee liqueur all around the world.

What Does Kahlua Taste Like?

The moment you take a sip, you’ll taste the rich flavor, adding depth and complexity to cocktails or mixers. It’s amazingly sweet and bitter at the same time, heading towards the sweeter side. Think of it as drinking dark chocolate with hints of hazelnut, orange peel, and of course, alcohol.

While Kahlua’s coffee flavor is quite strong, you’ll also get hints of vanilla, making it feel like you’re having dessert than a liqueur.

You can choose among many other flavors under Kahlua’s coffee liqueurs, including Hazelnut, Peppermint Mocha, and French Vanilla!

While we love sweet liqueur, there’s a fine line. Kahlua can get too sweet, so you don’t want to add too much of it to cocktails.

You can enjoy Kahlua on its own and on the rocks after dinner, or you can mix it into popular cocktails like:

  • Black Russian
  • White Russian
  • Mudslide
  • Espresso Martini
  • B-52 Cocktail

Whether you’re drinking Kahlua on its own or as a cocktail, we recommend pairing it with sweet desserts like chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. You can even include Kahlua in your favorite dessert recipes like brownies, cakes, cheesecake balls, chocolate mousse, and the like!

Now that you know the answer to “what does Kahlua taste like?”, the next question is: “does Kahlua taste good?”

Our answer: Straight-up YES! We’re a huge fan of this popular coffee and liqueur combination, especially when enjoyed on the rocks after a sumptuous dinner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you left with more questions about the amazing Kahlua? Read on as we answer your questions below!

1. What’s the difference between Bailey’s and Kahlua coffee liqueur?

Bailey’s is a cream liqueur made of cream, sugar, and Irish whisky, mixed with other ingredients like coffee beans and cinnamon. As for Kahlua, it’s made of rum, roasted coffee beans, and sugar. Kahlua tastes sweeter than Bailey’s, while Bailey’s tastes richer and creamier than the smooth and velvety Kahlua.

2. How much alcohol does Kahlua contain?

Kahlua contains 20% ABV, making it reasonably low in alcohol content. It has similar content to fortified wines.

3. What substitutes can I use for Kahlua?

We tackled substitutes for coffee liqueurs like Tia Maria in a previous article, which you can access here! You can always substitute Kahlua with other coffee liqueurs like Sheridan’s or Tia Maria. If you want to go the non-alcoholic route, a shot of espresso or coffee extract works excellently.

Wrapping It Up

Coffee liqueurs have taken the world by storm; you can clearly see their popularity with the many people owning a bottle of Kahlua at home. Furthermore, it’s a mainstay in many bars, and we can see why! With its rich flavors and awesome coffee and vanilla notes, it goes well on its own or with famous cocktails.

If we were you, we’d try our Kahlua this instant if you haven’t yet! We hope we answered your question, “what does Kahlua taste like?” Don’t wait and find a bottle in your local liqueur store, costing about $20 a bottle. Let us know what you thought of Kahlua in the comments section below!

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