National Kahlua Day: What Is Kahlua, What to Make With It & More

If you’re a fan of sweet coffees, Kahlua might just be one of your new favorite mixed drink ingredients. What’s more, there’s a whole day dedicated to celebrating the utility of this liqueur. But first, let’s jump in and chat about how National Kahlua Day started, and what it’s all about, then get into some delicious Kahlua drinks that you can mix up in celebration of this fun holiday.

What Is National Kahlua Day?

Like other spirits-based holidays we’ve covered here at Distillery Nearby, National Kahlua Day is a holiday that celebrates the single beverage and cocktail ingredient: Kahlua. On this day, you might see bars or local restaurants offering discounts on beverages made with Kahlua. However, even if your local pub doesn’t have a discount going, it’s still the perfect day to partake in various Kahlua drinks.

What’s the History Behind National Kahlua Day?

No one is exactly sure when National Kahlua day started or who founded it, but it’s an officially-recognized holiday on Kahlua’s website! You’ll probably see popular hashtags like #NationalKahluaDay and #KahluaDay on social media around the actual holiday.

When Is National Kahlua Day?

National Kahlua Day is on February 27th, every year. This holiday doesn’t move around at all like Fat Tuesday and some other national holidays do. In 2023, National Kahlua Day falls on a Monday. In 2024, National Kahlua Day will fall on a Tuesday, and in 2025, it will fall on a Thursday. You may also notice that National Kahlua Day shares a day with National Polar Bear Day and National Retro Day.

What Is Kahlua?

Many people enjoy Kahlua but don’t really know what’s in it or where it came from – but you might be surprised to find out what this delicious cocktail ingredient is made out of. Traditional, branded Kahlua (not just general coffee liqueur) is made from Mexican 100% Arabica coffee, vanilla, rum, and sugar. Kahlua is a very sweet cocktail ingredient, and it has a viscous consistency. It is packed with flavor though, and a little goes a long way.

What’s the Alcohol Content of Kahlua?

Kahlua is 32 proof or 16% ABV. It’s not incredibly strong, like you’ll find in vodka or whiskey, but that’s simply because so much flavoring is packed into it. The alcohol content in Kahlua comes from the rum that is mixed in. Kahlua does make a stronger version, called Kahlua Especial – this rings in at 35% ABV or 70 proof. Since Kahlua is mainly used for mixed drinks, these numbers don’t get considered that often.

Fun Fact: The ABV of Kahlua has decreased over the years. It used to be 26.5% until 2004, decreased to 20% until 2021, and is now the 16% we know today.

What’s the History Behind Kahlua?

Kahlua is a unique, Mexican coffee liqueur brand. It was originally made by Pedro Domecq – who was also known for his brandies and sherries. Kahlua itself was first mixed up in Veracruz, Mexico in 1936. However, it remained largely unknown and unpopular until it made its way across the border into the United States. Shortly after this, in the 50s, Jules Berman, who was (oddly enough) a real estate developer, popularized Kahlua and helped it become the sensation it is today.

Now, Kahlua has a real following and can be found in bars across America. You’d be hard-pressed to find an American pub, restaurant, or bar that doesn’t have Kahlua on its liqueur shelves.

What Kind of Drinks Can Be Made With Kahlua?

While some people love Kahlua enough to drink it straight or on the rocks, most people find it too sweet for this application. If you ask for one of the following drinks, Kahlua (or a similar coffee liqueur) will be used to shake yours up:

  • Espresso Martini
  • Black Russian
  • White Russian
  • Baby Guinness
  • B-52
  • Moose Milk
  • Mudslide
  • And much more…

What Else Can Kahlua Be Used For?

Kahlua is actually a pretty versatile ingredient, too. Many people like to pour a bit into their vanilla ice cream, while others make Kahlua-flavored cheesecakes and pies. Here at Distillery Nearby, we love the creativity and following that this beloved drink mix has gained. It really has taken the world by storm since the 1950s!

Kahlua Drinks Recipes for You to Try on National Kahlua Day:

If you’re looking for Kahlua drinks to mix up at home in celebration of National Kahlua Day, we have several options for you! You’ll find that these drinks were listed above, but feel free to splash some Kahlua into any other beverage (like hot chocolate or coffee) and see if it’s as good as we think it will be! Plus, you can always find new drink ideas on Kahlua’s website.

The Kahlua Mudslide

“Pretty much a liquid dessert (we’re not complaining)” – Kahlua

This is, perhaps, one of the most popular Kahlua drinks. It’s basically a dessert in a glass, so get ready to have your world changed. Coffee notes mix with creamy notes and a delicious vodka kick to bring you a world-class sip. Most people garnish with chocolate syrup to really top things off.



1 oz Kahlua

1 oz Vodka

1 ½ oz Irish cream liqueur

Optional: a splash of milk

Garnish: chocolate syrup or flakes


In a cocktail shaker, combine Kahlua, vodka, and irish cream liqueur. Shake until frosty with ice, then strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with chocolate syrup or chocolate flakes. Add a splash of milk if the drink is a bit too strong for you.

The Frozen Kahlua Muslide

The mudslide’s frozen cousin is even more delectable and delicious than the regular version. You might find that you like the frozen mudslide more if you found the regular mudslide too sweet or too strong for your tastes. The added ice helps cut down on the sweetness.


1 cup of ice

1 oz Kahlua

1 oz vodka

1 ½ oz Irish cream liqueur

Garnish: chocolate syrup or flakes


Combine all ingredients in a small blender (or increase the recipe for a larger blender) and blend until combined. Garnish with chocolate syrup or chocolate flakes.

The White Russian

“Where Kahlúa meets Hollywood…”– Kahlua

If you’re looking for a delicious, simple drink, the White Russian is definitely for you. This is a creamy, smooth drink with tons of flavor.



1 oz Kahlua

1 oz vodka

1 oz heavy cream (use half and half or milk if you prefer a lower fat content)


This drink is easy to make: simply pour the Kahlua and vodka into a glass with ice, then slowly pour cream over the top. Do not mix.

The Black Russian

“The White Russian’s big brother” – Kahlua

This drink is even simpler than the White Russian, having only two ingredients. The Black Russian simply loses the cream. In a Black Russian, you will use 1 oz Kahlua and 2 oz vodka. The Black Russian is usually garnished with a maraschino cherry.

Looking for Something New?

Here at Distillery Nearby, we know that Kahlua isn’t the only coffee liqueur. If you’re itching to find a brand new coffee liqueur to try, we recommend checking out our “by state” page to see if there are any local distilleries brewing up some coffee liqueur for you to try. You’ll have to see if it measures up to the beloved Kahlua!

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