As college students, we often drink without any concern of how the alcohol we are consuming came to be. Granted, many liquor stories are similar and not too interesting. But this is not the case for the world’s most famous coffee and rum liqueur.
In 1936, four good ol’ boys decided to say “screw it, let’s do it” (which has become their motto) and from there they quit their day jobs and paired together two of Veracruz, Mexico’s biggest agriculture products: coffee and sugarcane. The result? The beloved Kahlúa.
The liqueur was always meant-to-be in a sense. The ingredients grow side by side in Veracruz, one of the only states in Mexico to have most of its natural environment still remaining. Some farmers even grow both products on the same land. They will harvest the coffee beans in October and then cut the sugarcane in February.
While most of you might first think of a White Russian when you hear this liqueur mentioned, the Black Russian was actually the original cocktail that made Kahlúa soar back in 1949.
Named in honor of a lady who threw ridiculous parties for only the most important people, this Absolut Vodka and Kahlúa mixture has stayed a classic for all those who hostess with the mostess.
Then Californians added cream in 1955. Wa-la. The White Russian was born. A luxury drink to say the least, this cocktail is as delicious as it is appealing to the eye. When mixed correctly it will look like a perfect storm is brewing.
Before I get into the 7 year production process, there is one last classic Kahlúa cocktail that must be mentioned: the Espresso Martini. Yum. Get your caffeine and your alcohol fix in one mouth-watering sip. While it can be enjoyed at any time of day, this martini is a classic dessert drink. Skip the chocolate tonight.
You might have been too mesmerized by the cocktails to notice the 7 year production part. Yes. 7 years. That’s how long it takes to produce a bottle of the best coffee and rum liqueur on the planet.
Veracruz farmers are extremely picky about when their coffee and sugarcane are ready for harvesting. Not too soon, not too late. The coffee plants take about 6 years to produce perfectly ripen coffee-cherries. Once harvested and shelled, the beans rest and age for an additional 6 months. Talk about worth the wait!
While they rest, the sugarcane is added to water and distilled down into the alcohol part of the liqueur. Once mixed together, the coffee and distilled sugarcane settle together for another 4 weeks. No wonder it tastes so good, the ingredients become best friends!
The Kahlúa is now ready. Creamy, boozy perfection can only be reached by those who take ultimate pride in what they are creating. This is the essence of Kahlúa, proud of their product is an understatement.
On this year’s National Kahlúa Day, February 27th, defy the usual college choice of rum and coke and jazz it up a bit with a Kahlúa classic. Your taste-buds will thank you later.