It was 1936 in Veracruz, Mexico. The Alvarez brothers’ coffee farm turned up a wonderful coffee bean crop. Rich and complex, the coffee was one of a kind. Enter their friend Senior Blanco, a man passionate about spirits who had a brilliant idea to mix the coffee with the liquor he was developing. The result was great, but once chemist Montalvo Lara got his hands on it, the recipe was tweaked resulting in the Kahlúa we know today.
That’s pretty much how your mudslide, white Russian and espresso martini came into existence – the delicious and iconic coffee liqueur, Kahlúa, stars in each of these and today we take a moment to raise a glass to its stardom.
There have been many coffee liqueurs after Kahlúa that attempted to swoon with the same creamy decadence that Kahlúa does. But Kahlua is set apart, and it might have something to do with the seven years it takes to produce one bottle.
Yes, seven years of growing, harvesting, creating, distilling, resting, mixing and then bottling. They take the recipe seriously. It all starts with the crop. Six of the first seven years are spent growing the perfect coffee beans. Coffee beans grow inside little cherry pods, that are grown in the shade, so it takes longer than it would if they were grown in the sun. The cherries then grow into ripe, dark red cherries over the years and go on to extraction.
When harvested the pods are opened and the coffee bean is extracted. Then begins the six-month period of drying and resting. Meanwhile the rum is distilled from sugarcane – it’s boiled and then mixed with water to form a molasses-type spirit.
In the seventh year, the beans meet their spirit. After a careful roasting of the beans, they rest together for a month. They are then filtered, mixed with secret ingredients (vanilla and caramel are rumored to be a couple of them) and then they are bottled to seal up the goodness of Kahlúa.
If it’s been a while since you’ve sipped some Kahlúa, we encourage you to revisit it today, in honor of National Kahlúa Day!
Follow this easy mudslide recipe below and you’ll be on your way to dessert cocktail paradise.
Place all ingredients, except grated chocolate, in a blender and blend until smooth. Meanwhile, decorate the inside of a hurricane glass with chocolate sauce. Pour the blended mixture into the glass and sprinkle with grated chocolate. Get creative with garnishes, like marshmallows, fruit or cookies!
Happy National Kahlúa Day!