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Does Kahlúa Liqueur Ever Go Bad?

Does Kahlúa Liqueur Ever Go Bad?

Kahlúa is a rum-based coffee liqueur that can be used in almost anything! If you happen to come across a sale of this liqueur and you're controlling the urge to buy it, wondering if it'll go bad. Tastessence has the answer! Read along to find out more.
Amita Ray
Did You Know?

The makers of Kahlúa claim that it takes seven years to make a bottle of Kahlúa!

Coffee loaded with a good amount of booze, could there really be a better way to get buzzed? A good dose of coffee, a shameless helping of rum, some wafts of vanilla, and a good helping of sugar; we don't think it can get any better than this. A sip of its bittersweet taste with hint of chestnuts wrapped in the buttery blanket of smoothness will surely get you hooked for life.

The mother of many cult cocktails like the White Russian, Espresso Martini, and Mind Eraser will surely add to the fun and frolic of a crazy evening you've planned.

Make a few Kahlúa infused brownies or cookies to add a bit of naughty to your nice this holiday season, or may be just lace your cheesecake, plain ol' vanilla ice cream, or may be to your chocolate soufflé and you're all set to be the next Martha Stewart.

What if you stumble upon a bottle of Kahlúa you bought a few years back, on the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet during the annual (OK, once a couple of years) spring cleaning session? Do you chug it down with a good helping of whipped cream, or just toss in the garbage (of course, with a heavy heart)? We're putting an end to this dilemma of yours, right here and right now!

Does Kahlúa Go Bad?

If you think most liquors are like wine 'the longer they age, the better they get', then think again! Most liquors don't age under the conditions they are stored in. So sadly, the ten-year-old scotch you bought a few years ago has aged only for 10 years. 

On the contrary, most liquors kind of lose their appeal a few months or a few years down the line, depending on the alcohol. Kahlúa is no exception, the makers of this liqueur say that the shelf life of this drink is 4 years. If you've already gulped down a few sips of your seven-year-old Kahlúa, there's no need for you to run around in dismay. As Kahlúa has about 26% alcohol, you don't have to worry of microbial contamination in it. The only reason the makers suggest not to have it after 4 years is because the essence of coffee diminishes with time.

If the liqueur is stored for a longer time, some of the alcohol may evaporate, rendering it sweeter and a bit flat. That is probably why most bartenders do not use Kahlúa that is more than a year old. They believe 'fresh' Kahlúa packs a better punch. If the bottle of the liqueur is not properly sealed, the oxygen in the air may oxidize the alcohol and alter the taste of your coffee liqueur, and it is best to throw it away.

How to Tell if the Kahlúa has Gone Bad

Smell: The first thing you got to check is its odor, if it smells a bit odd or unpleasant, throw it away.

Appearance: Pour out the liqueur in a glass and look for any discoloration, curdling, or crystallized sugar settled at the bottom of the bottle. Kahlúa should be a dark, clear, sort of syrupy liquid; if the liqueur looks any different, it would be a good idea to discard it.

Taste: If Kahlúa passes the above two tests, it is time for your taste buds to venture in, if the liqueur tastes fine, then it is safe to say that your Kahlúa is fit for consumption.

How to Store Kahlúa?

Kahlúa, like any other alcohol, doesn't need to be refrigerated (unless you like it that way), they hold well at room temperature. It is important to seal the bottle well while storing the liqueur. This prevents the alcohol from coming in contact with air and oxidizing it. Light usually acts as a catalyst in bringing about oxidation of alcohol. Although Kahlúa comes in dark-colored bottles, it wouldn't do any harm to store them in a dark place that does not receive direct sunlight. It is essential to make sure that you store you bottle in an upright position. Prolonged contact of the liqueur with the cork of the bottle may impart an unpleasant taste to your liqueur and ruin its flavor.

Although Kahlúa may not go bad for several years, the safest years to enjoy the true goodness of this drink is in its first 3-4 years as long as it is stored properly.