|Country of origin||Mexico|
|Alcohol by volume||20.0%|
Pedro Domecq began producing Kahlúa in 1936. It was named Kahlúa, meaning "House of the Acolhua people" in the Veracruz Nahuatl language spoken before the Spanish Conquest. (Kahlúa was Hispanicized as Ulúa, forming the name of modern San Juan de Ulúa fortress.)
The company merged in 1994 with Allied Lyons to become Allied Domecq. In turn, that company was partially acquired in 2005 by Pernod Ricard, now the largest spirits distributor in the world since its merger with the Swedish Vin & Sprit in March 2008.
Since 2004, the alcohol content of Kahlúa is 20.0% (21.5% alc. is still available only in Ohio); earlier versions had 26.5%. In 2002, a more expensive, high-end product called "Kahlúa Especial" became available in the United States, Canada and Australia after previously being offered only in duty-free markets. Made with premium Arabica coffee beans grown in Veracruz, Mexico, Kahlúa Especial has an alcohol content of 36%, has a lower viscosity, and is less sweet than the regular version.
Kahlúa can be used in a few notable cocktails, including the following:
- Baby Guinness
- Black Russian
- White Russian
- The Tootsie Roll
- Espresso Martini
- Caribbean Mudslide
It can also be drunk in cold milk or cream, or mixed with hot coffee or cocoa. A licensed line of chocolates, with Kahlúa-flavored centers, is sold in Mexico, as well as small chocolate shot glass-style "cups" in which the liqueur may be served.
Because Kahlúa is made from coffee beans, it does contain a small amount of caffeine. According to the company, this is "approximately 10 mg per 100 mL (4.85 mg in each 1.5 oz) drink" or about 25% the amount found in the same volume of coffee.
Kahlúa and Kahlúa Especial have received modest accolades from international spirit ratings organizations. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, for example, awarded the Kahlúa Especial three silver medals between 2005 and 2007 and a bronze in 2009. The Beverage Testing Institute, meanwhile, gave the Especial a score of 85 in 2007.
- Kahlúa Revitalizes Iconic Packaging. Pernod Ricard USA, 14 September 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
- Kahlúa ad from 1975 Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- Kahlua 'Unleashes' Major Holiday Marketing Push, Including New Television and Radio Advertising. Business Wire, November 10, 2003. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
- Carnaha, Ted. "Kahlua and Caffeine". Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- "Summary of Kahlúa Especial awards". Proof66.com. Retrieved 2010-10-21.