Kahlua and White Russian

On February 27th, we raise our glasses high in celebration of National Kahlua Day.

Kahlua, the world-renowned coffee liqueur, has carved a special place in our hearts. Crafted in Veracruz, Mexico since 1936, this flavorful elixir boasts a fascinating history. Founded by Pedro Domecq and now under the banner of the Pernod Ricard company, the name “Kahlua” finds its roots in the Veracruz Nahuatl language, meaning “House of the Acolhua people.” Its formula is simplicity itself: a harmonious blend of rum, sugar, and aromatic Arabica coffee.

The universe of Kahlua now unfolds with diverse and enticing variants, each offering a unique flavor experience. The traditionalKahlua is the quintessential choice with an alcohol content of 20% ABV. Yet, your palate can also delight in:

Kahlúa Especial: Stronger at 35% ABV, it offers a more robust espresso character.
Kahlúa Vanilla: A dance of vanilla-infused sweetness.
Kahlúa Mint Mocha: A tantalizing rendezvous of mint and chocolate.
Kahlúa Blonde Roast Style: Bright and vibrant, like a sunny morning.
Kahlúa Chili Chocolate: A fiery tango of chili pepper and silky milk chocolate.
Kahlúa Salted Caramel: A delightful balance of salty and sweet.

Kahlua is a versatile companion, serving as the star in a multitude of culinary and beverage endeavors. Savor it neat, preferably chilled or over ice. Elevate your coffee or tea with a touch of this enchanting liqueur. Drizzle it over ice cream or infuse it into delectable pastries and desserts.

Yet, Kahlua truly shines in the realm of cocktails. Its very label beckons – “Created for cocktails.” So, why not celebrate this Kahlua Day with a cocktail that pays homage to this iconic liqueur?

My recommendation for the occasion is the classic White Russian, a cherished coffee liqueur cocktail whose origins are veiled in mystery. It’s believed to be a sibling of the Black Russian, a creation of Belgian bartender Gustave Tops in 1947 in honor of Perle Mesta, the US Ambassador in Luxembourg. The “Russian” in the name refers to vodka, and “Black” to coffee liqueur. Both of these core ingredients are typically served over ice. The White Russian distinguishes itself by the addition of cream. Its first documented mention graced the pages of the Oakland Tribune in California in 1965. The popularity of the White Russian enjoyed an additional boost thanks to its central role in the film “The Big Lebowski,” where it became the beloved libation of the main character.

Of course, like all classics, the White Russian has seen a few intriguing variations, including:

Blind Russian or Blond Russian: Replacing cream with Irish Cream liqueur, earning the “blind” moniker due to its entirely alcoholic composition.
Colorado Russian: Equal parts cream and cola, creating a fizzy delight.
Dirty Russian: Enriched with chocolate-flavored milk.
Anna Kournikova: Named after the blonde tennis sensation, this version swaps cream for skimmed milk.
White Canadian: Embarking on a journey with goat milk as its creamy companion.
White Belgian: Featuring cacao liqueur in place of the traditional coffee liqueur.
White Cuban: Dancing to a different tune with rum instead of vodka.

The Recipe

-2 oz / 60 ml Vodka
-1 oz / 30 ml Kahlua (or your coffee liqueur of choice)
-1 oz / 30 ml Fresh Cream

The vodka-to-coffee liqueur proportion can be tailored to your preferred level of sweetness. The cream’s texture can be adjusted to your liking; a lightly whipped cream works well.

Mix vodka and coffee liqueur together and pour the blend into a glass filled with ice cubes. Delicately pour the cream over the top.

Old fashion glass

So, here’s to Kahlua and the classic White Russian, a harmonious blend of flavors and a splendid choice for commemorating National Kahlua Day!

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