Can You Drink Kahlua Straight?

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If you’re a liqueur connoisseur or a coffee drinker, you must be familiar with Kahlúa, the thick, sweet, delicious alcoholic beverage. But many people seem to wonder: Can you drink Kahlua straight?

The answer to that is “Absolutely.” 

Kahlua is a liqueur with a delicious coffee flavor. It can be enjoyed straight up, with ice, and blended into cocktails and a wide range of drinks.

Keep reading to learn about the countless combinations.

Introduction to Kahlua

Kahlua is made of rum, sugar, vanilla bean and Arabica coffee. Whether you decide to drink it straight or mix it with other drinks, it’s distinctly sweet, which is what makes it a party staple.

As it's made with coffee beans, it’s worth noting that it contains caffeine, roughly 10 mg per 100 mL (4.85 mg in every 1.5 oz.) drink. It's significantly less than in a cup of coffee. For reference, an 8 oz. cup of coffee has around 200 mg of caffeine.

can you drink kahlua straight

Kahlua blends well with many beverages and can seamlessly be included in everything from martinis to shakes, and there’s no limit to the exotic mixes you can come up with.

This beverage is native to Mexico and was first produced in the 1930s. Jules Berman was the first person to import Kahlua into the United States.

can you drink kahlua straight

Popular Kahlua cocktails

While you can definitely drink Kahlua straight, the beauty of this liqueur is that it blends seamlessly into wonderfully delicious drink recipes; seriously, there’s no shortage of amazing combinations you can make. Kahlua has a lot of personality and will add a lot of flavor to your cocktail.

Tootsie Roll: Take a glass filled with ice and add 1 ½ ounces of Kahlua, 1 ounce of orange juice and 1 ounce vodka. This is a unique mix of flavors that you’ll love.

Black Russian: Put ice cubes into a glass to the brim, pour two ounces of both Kahlua and vodka into the glass, and mix well. Easy to make and very delicious.

White Russian: Fill up a glass with ice cubes and add 2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of Kahlua and 1 ounce of heavy cream, and mix well. There are many variations of this recipe but this is a one option.

Mind Eraser: To make this refreshing cocktail, fill up a glass with ice cubes, and then add a equal parts Kahlua, vodka and club soda. 

Espresso Martini: This delicious martini is made with 1 1/3 oz vodka, 2/3 oz of Kahlua, 2/3 oz of espresso, ice cubes and coffee beans.

can you drink kahlua straight

Moose Milk: This is a unique cocktail made with 3/4 oz of Canadian whiskey, 1 teaspoon of Kahlua, 2 1/2 oz. of half and half, 1/8 teaspoon of sugar, 1 egg yolk, and 3/4 oz. rum.

Spanish Coffee: It's unclear is Spaniards know about this, but "Spanish" coffee is a delightful concoction made with 3 oz of hot coffee, 1 1/2 oz. of Kahlua, 1/2 oz. of triple sec, and 3/4 oz. of 151-proof rum. The rim of the glass is lined with sugar and you can top this drink off with whipped cream and nutmeg.

Colorado Bulldog: This is an easy-to-make drink which contains 1 oz. of vodka, 1 oz. of Kahlua, 2 oz. of cream or milk and 2 oz. of cola.

Baby Guinness: This layered cocktail is served in a shot glass and made with 1 shot of Kahlua and 1/2 shot of Irish cream liqueur.

Are there alternatives to Kahlua?

Kahlua may be the most well-known coffee-flavored liqueur, but it’s certainly not the only one. 

There’s also Tia Maria and Patrón XO Café, both of which have a higher alcohol content than Kahlua. 

Kahlua – 20% alcohol content
Tia Maria – 27% alcohol content
Patron Xo Café – 35% alcohol content

Another less well-known option is Mexican coffee liquor. 

Homemade coffee liqueur

Of course, you can always make your own coffee-flavored liqueur.

You don’t need to be a professional bartender to do it; you just need a few simple ingredients: sugar, water, vanilla beans, coffee, and a base liqueur.

While your homemade creation may not taste as good as the store-bought version, it should be fun to make and also less expensive.

Here’s one way to do it.


Put a saucepan over medium heat and throw in the vanilla bean, sugar, and water, and stir well to create a syrup.

As the syrup boils, add more sugar, making sure to stir the mixture well.

Reduce the heat, and as the mixture starts to shrink, add eight spoons of coffee, and take away the pan from the heat, to allow the mixture to cool.

Empty the syrup into a glass jar and pour rum and vodka into the glass jar and mix well. Put the jar in a cool and dark area for at least 10 days (make sure to shake the mixture well every two days).

Sieve off the granules by pouring the mixture over a fine mesh into a fresh jar and seal it.

Serving Kahlua drinks

Whether your coffee liqueur is homemade or store-bought, you can drink it straight, mix it into sophisticated cocktails, and or even enjoy a more simpler version.

You can enjoy any of the following drinks or garnishes with Kahlúa:

- Whipped cream
- Milk
- Chocolate syrup
- Ice cream
- Hot chocolate
- Iced coffee

Now, when anyone asks you, can you drink Kahlua straight, we trust that your answer will be something like "heck yeah!" Keep in mind that alone won’t get you drunk as fast as most high alcohol-content beverages but regardless, this unique drink is meant to be slowly sipped and savored.

Rory Constantine

Rory used to spend his days tinkering with airplane engines in a Raytheon hangar. But on a junket overseas, a fellow grease monkey talked him into visiting a British distillery that offered tastings. Now he chases the scent, potency, and promise of spirits up mountains, through jungles, and over wide deserts in search of the next transformative mouthful.