Happy Kahlua Day

Kahlua-tina from Ellis Hotel, AtlantaKahlua-tina from Ellis Hotel, Atlanta

I think I first tasted Kahlua, the coffee flavored, rum-based liqueur from Mexico, in some sort of coffee drink whose purpose was more to stave off winter chill, rather than to tantalize my taste buds. It took many years into adulthood, and many trip to Mexico where I brought home Kahlua as the value proposition souvenir that it is, before I understood the many other ways to enjoy it.

Kahlua dates back to 1936 Pedro Domecq combined rum, vanilla, corn syrup, and coffee creating what was to become this popular liqueur. Named for a meso-American tribe that lived in Mexico, the drink gained popularity throughout the country, and eventually around the world.

Kahlua-tina from Ellis Hotel, Atlanta

Kahlua-tina from Ellis Hotel, Atlanta

Kahlua is often enjoyed in specialized cocktails and desserts, but it is also delicious plain, drizzeled over ice cream, or added to coffee. To help you celebrate Kahlua Day, I’m pleased to share with you this recipe for an Espresso Martini, courtesy of the Terrace Bistro Restaurant at the Ellis Hotel in downtown Atlanta. I think you’ll find the drink is as chic as the hotel. Cheers!

Recipe for Kahlua-tini

1 1/2 ounces Kahlua

1 1/2 ounces Vodka

1 ounce cream

1/2 ounce Tia Maria

1/2 ounce coffee liqueur

Combine all into a shaker with lots of ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Should be a little frothy. Finish with dollop of fresh whip cream and top with a few coffee beans as a garnish.


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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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