Cocktails & Spirits

Kahlúa Iced Coffee In A Can: Why Not?

Kahlúa buys an awful lot of coffee beans to create its liqueur, so why not take those same Arabica beans (from Veracruz, Mexico) to make coffee, then take the two beverages, blend them, seal in cans, and roll out as Kahlúa Iced Coffee?

It certainly makes sense. The resultant cocktail is 5 percent alcohol, 150 calories, and sells for $2.50 per 6.8-ounce can or $9.99 for a six-pack. But does it make for a tasty beverage? Kahlúa was kind enough to send me a can of each of the three flavors: Iced Espresso, Iced Mocha and Cinnamon Spice.

Let the taste test begin.

I started with the simplest version, Iced Espresso (all three were sampled on the rocks). It sure is sweet, with a more dominant Kahlúa flavor than that of the others to come. I find it has too much coffee flavor -- somewhat akin to pouring Pernod into licorice juice. It's much better with some cream added, but that sort of takes away from the "grab-and-go" aspect of the cans. This is my least favorite of the trio.

The Mocha rendition is better, the chocolate flavor smoothing the sharp Kahlúa edge of the Espresso. Very tasty, really, and again, even more so with cream added.

(Note to suits at Kahlúa: Get your R & D team cracking to create a Creamed Kahlúa Iced Coffee. I ask only a modest 2 percent of gross sales for the suggestion).

The Cinnamon Spice flavor is the boldest and, to my taste, the best. Cinnamon notes sound upon first taste, followed by a hint of caramel. The Kahlúa thus becomes one of a few flavoring ingredients rather than the whole shebang. The spice also makes the taste more refreshing.

I think I'll go out now and get some chocolate-chocolate chip cookies to dunk into my coffee-coffee liqueur.

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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein