From veracruz with love: the Kahlúa story

The history of how Kahlúa came to be...


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 two 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 second 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.


Kahlúa goes to the U.S.A.

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


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.


Ancient ads by Kahlúa

In the 50's, a dude from the Kahlúa company called Jules Berman was an enthusiastic 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...


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.


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


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.


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.


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 unconventional for the 90’s. A cult classic was born.


Kahlúa today

Kahlúa is a brand with a unique and exciting history. We remain the #1 coffee liqueur worldwide 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!