Q: What do a Black Russian and a Dirty Girl Scout have in common?
A: The ingredient in today’s food holiday! And you thought it was the start of a naughty joke…
February 27 is both National Strawberry Day and National Kahlua Day. Since strawberries aren’t in season until June – the really good ones, anyway (nothing beats Oregon and Washington strawberries!) – we decided to celebrate Kahlua. This coffee flavored liqueur is always in season!
In the 1930s, the Alvarez brothers were harvesting premium arabica coffee beans from their field in Veracruz. They enlisted the aid of a local entrepreneur and budding chemist, Senor Blanco, to use their beans in a new liqueur he was developing. Nice to know he wasn’t wasting his time on something silly like a cure for cancer. Another chemist, Montalvo Lara, refined the recipe in the early 1960s. (Apparently, Veracruz – one of Mexico’s states – is known for delicious coffee, fine art, and chemists who dabble in alcoholic concoctions). Lara’s unique flavor combination – coffee and vanilla – caught the attention of Jules Berman, an American art collector, who began importing the drink (named after the Arabic slang word for coffee, “kahwa”). He sold the recipe to Hiram Walker and Sons in 1964, then sat back and got filthy stinkin’ rich as Kahlua became the #1-selling coffee liqueur in the world.
Because of its premium ingredients and rich, distinctive flavor, Kahlua can be enjoyed on the rocks, or as the basis for a number of cocktails. In addition to the two mentioned above, it is used in the B52, White Russian and Mudslide, among others. It is also delicious served with milk or cream; Tara made this concoction for me once when I was visiting her in Nevada, and I immediately fell under its spell. So tonight, after dinner, we enjoyed a Kahlua and cream.
- Kahlúa Rum & Coffee Liqueur Roulade (thecookingapprentice.com)
- Homemade Kahlua and Irish Creme and Coffee Almond Caramel Corn (pegsgottado.wordpress.com)