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WE ARE THE ORIGINAL Rum & Coffee liqueur

History

1936

 

LEGENDARY KAHLÚA WAS BORN IN MEXICO

We've all had those evenings when your friend Steve enthusiastically cries out 'let's open a bar!'. The day after though, you return to your day job. 

The story of Kahlúa begins in 1936 when four dudes, Senior Blanco, Montalvo Lara and the Alvarez brothers, decided to go with their gut feeling. One of the guys had a great idea, two of them forked out rich and tasteful Arabica coffee, the fourth was a chemist who turned the idea into reality. Kahlúa is crafted from the finest ingredients that grow side by side in rural Veracruz, Mexico. The actual word Kahlúa has ties to ancient Arabic languages and is said to be slang for coffee. Yes, there was already street lingo in the 30's. 

1940's

 

KAHLÚA GOES TO THE US

Four years after the launch, Kahlúa took a leap of faith by travelling to the US.

1949

 

THE BLACK RUSSIAN

We all know throwing parties is not as easy as it sounds. You’re basically running around like a maniac filling up drinks, entertaining – while trying not to look pissed when Susanne is spilling her drink all over your new couch... again. There seem to be just a few people out there who actually nail the whole ‘party throwing thing’ down while actually enjoying it themselves. If you nail it, a drink should be dedicated in your honor. That’s what happened in Brussels in 1948, where a famous hostess threw unforgettable parties for important people. In honor of the hostess with the mostess, keep the spirit alive with the Black Russian.

1950's

 

ANCIENT ADS BY KAHLÚA

In the 50's, a dude from the Kahlúa company called Jules Berman was an enthustiastic collector of Pre-Columbian figures. Similarly to our founding fathers, he believed in the rich Mexican heritage and included the quirky figures in every ad. It was a weird thing to do, but people loved it, so...

1955

 

THE WHITE RUSSIAN

A legend is born, when in 1955 the White Russian is invented in Oakland, California. One day, these milky cocktails with Kahlúa at their base were popping up all over town. A classic had been created. It was a strike of pure genius; cream paired with Black Russian spelled a cocktail senselessly delicious. Carefully stirred, it's the perfect storm. Thirsty already? So are we. Let’s get busy layering the White Russian.

1960's

 

THE KAHLÚA LADIES – A MEDIA SENSATION

In the 60's, Kahlúa received a different kind of attention, not from our ads, but rather the all female leadership. Apparently this was quite unique in the 60's...

1977

 

THE B-52 SHOT

The B-52 shot was first created in Calgary, Canada back in 1977. It soon became a booming success that spread throughout the world. The B-52 today is a well-established drink; it’s been loved by a shedload of partygoers and fired up by numberless lighters. Want to layer one yourself? Get groovy with the 70s and 80s classic, the B-52 shot.

1980's

 

WORLD NUMBER ONE COFFEE LIQUEUR

If you weren't drinking a liqueur cocktail in the 80's, you probably weren't there. In 1980, Kahlúa became the number one selling coffee liqueur in the world. While copycat brands were trying to figure out how we did it, our famous Kahlúa ladies were hosting coffee breaks with live music. Livin' it up. 

1990's

 

KAHLÚA APPEARS ON THE RED CARPET

Lights, camera... Kahlúa! In the 90’s Kahlúa became a popular drink to decorate movie scenes with. Kahlúa was featured in dozens of movies, series and songs. The White Russian might have played the biggest role; co-starring in movies that were unconvential for the 90’s. A cult classic was born.

2015

 

KAHLÚA TODAY

Kahlúa is a brand with a unique and exciting history. And that's because we keep on saying 'screw it and let's do it'. So... enjoy our great classic drinks. We all know that a good story never starts with a salad. Cheers!

Production

Yep, it takes 7 years to produce a bottle of Kahlúa. Here's why...

 

GROWING AND GROWING

What’s up with the 6 years of growing coffee?

It can take up to 6 years to get the perfect coffee beans for our coffee liqueur. That's a pretty long time for a drink. Why? The coffee cherries are grown in the shade, which simply takes a lot longer than growing them in the sun. Coffee cherries? Am I drinking fruit now? Nope – the cherries are simply the safeguard that protect our precious beans. After that, our coffee cherries grow into beautiful dark red cherries, and that's when they're ready to be opened up.

 

HARVESTING

The beauty and the bean

So now that our beautiful deep dark red cherries are ready, it's time to rip them apart to get the coffee bean out. Come on, we all know it's the inside that counts. 

 

DRYING AND RESTING

The beans RIP

That whole 'ripping apart thing' was pretty intense for our beans. So it's time to wait again, but this time in huge burlaps bags. This takes about 6 months. We know, waiting for something good is exhausting!

 

DISTILLING

Making the rum

So the whole coffee stuff is great, but what about the spirits in Kahlúa? Our Rum is made from sugarcane, from which the juice is extracted, boiled and mixed with water. Once we've got the alcohol, it's time for the distillation process. Kahlúa is distilled to perfection!

 

ROASTING AND BLENDING

The bean and spirits affair

After about 7 years the time has finally arrived: the beans and rum spirits meet in our distillery. The coffee that is perfectly roasted for the occasion, finally meets its spirits friend and they rest together for 4 weeks. After these weeks of catch-up, it's time to bottle and seal the goodness of Kahlúa. People say that good things come to those who wait. We couldn’t agree more.

Our new recipe

Fashion is temporary. Style is forever. Here at Kahlúa we like to stay updated.

 

Since 1936 we’ve been producing a rum & coffee liqueur that’s filled to the brim with a heady combo of rich heritage, diversity and color – all to make a drink that’s rather extraordinary.

We’ve decided to keep ourselves current making a small change to our recipe to keep it contemporary without compromising on quality or taste.

We don’t try to reinvent the wheel – we’ve always followed a unique process and we like sticking to it - we combine the finest Arabica coffee, and sugarcane rum, grown as neighbours and blended in Veracruz, Mexico.

We may have adapted but the classics haven’t and we’re the hero in some of cocktail culture’s most iconic drinks. From Blockbusters like the Espresso Martini to Cult Classic the White Russian – Kahlúa always gets the spotlight grabbing cameo.

If you have any questions about the change, don’t be a stranger – ask away on our customer service forum or on Facebook.