Best Kahlua Substitutes That Taste Just As Delicious

For the coffee fiends amongst us, there is no better alcoholic beverage than Kahlua. You’ll be sure to get that caffeine fix and your very favorite flavor.

Kahlua is a rich and decadent liqueur that is made from coffee beans, rum, and sugar. It has that bitterness you can expect from coffee but it also has a super sweet taste to it that makes it even more addictive.

And when it comes to this drink, there’s no end to the ways in which it can be used.

You can happily sip away at the stuff on its own, but it also creates some super scrumptious cocktails and is also often used in a variety of dessert recipes.

But what do you do when you’ve got that Kahlua craving and there’s barely a drop left in the bottle? I know – this sounds like a horrifying nightmare.

But it doesn’t have to be. Don’t panic, for there are plenty of delicious alternatives out there that will work well in its place.

In this article, you’ll be introduced to a few substitutes that I’m certain you’ll fall head over heels in love with. So, let’s get started!

Best Kahlua Substitutes That Taste Just As Delicious

What Is Kahlua?

So, this coffee-flavored delight is brought to us by the wonderful people of Mexico.

As I mentioned above, it consists of coffee beans, sugar, rum, and vanilla extract too. The coffee flavor is very potent but you’ll also get hints of caramel and chocolate too which are just delightful.

Kahlua comes in at around 20% for its alcohol content meaning that while it isn’t the strongest option out there, it definitely still packs a punch.

It is sometimes drunk by itself or on the rocks, though it is usually seen in mixed drinks, cocktails, and desserts.

If you haven’t already, you’ll definitely need to try a classic Kahlua drink which is made up of Kahlua, vodka, and then cream or milk. It’s the best.

And you can never go wrong with swapping out a typical coffee liqueur in an espresso martini for Kahlua either.

However, we’re not talking about Kahlua recipes today, we’re talking about what to use when you’re all out of the good stuff. So, let’s take a look.

1. Kamora

Kamora is another gift brought to us by the Mexicans. Again, it is a coffee-flavored liqueur that is powerful and yet still surprisingly sweet.

If you’re looking for something to match the flavor profile of Kahlua, you really can’t go wrong with Kamora.

This drink is very popular in cocktails and desserts since it allows for that distinctive coffee flavor without quite all the bitterness that you can usually expect.

If you’re swapping out your Kahlua for Kamora, you don’t need to stress about measurement conversions as you can stick to the exact measurements in your recipe.

2. Coffee Liqueur

Coffee liqueur is made by infusing coffee beans with alcohol to make the perfect-tasting beverage.

You can usually expect it to also be sweetened up a tad thanks to some form of sugar or syrup (the actual ingredients may vary from brand to brand.)

This beverage is usually served on its own with some whipped cream or the like on top, but it can also be added to many dessert recipes or cocktails making it a great substitution for Kahlua.

However, you should keep in mind that generally speaking coffee liqueurs will not be anywhere near as sweet as Kahlua.

They are usually sweetened up somewhat, and that level of sweetness can vary, but they don’t tend to have that overwhelming sweetness to them. What they do have, though, is those scrumptious notes of chocolate, vanilla, or caramel.

It’s an easy alternative again in this instance with a ratio of 1:1 when substituting your spirits.

3. Frangelico

This option doesn’t have the strong coffee taste that you can expect from Kahlua but it is still incredibly rich and decadent.

It is also used for many similar purposes in terms of recipes, so it definitely works as a great alternative.

Frangelico is actually a hazelnut liqueur that originated in Italy. It is, as you would expect, quite nutty, but it also has a delightful sweetness to it.

Many often describe the beverage as resembling chocolate. And that’s always a good thing.

Kahlua and Frangelico share many similar flavors and purposes and both taste amazing, so you really can’t go wrong with this spirit.

4. Tia Maria

Tia Maria is another amazing option for when you’ve run out of Kahlua. Tia Maria is another coffee liqueur option that has a rich and intense coffee flavor.

The beverage is made from rum, coffee beans, and vanilla, so it shares many of the same ingredients as Kahlua.

This sweet coffee liqueur even shares the same aftertaste and notes of chocolate and caramel.

You’d honestly think it was the exact same drink! The only noticeable difference between the two really is that Kahlua does tend to be just ever so slightly sweeter.

You can easily swap out Kahlua for Tia Maria in any recipe and it’ll work a treat – whether that’s desserts or cocktails. If you want to keep that extra sweetness to your recipe, you can always add just the smallest amount of syrup.

5. Instant Coffee

And if you’re really stuck but need that coffee taste in your recipe, then instant coffee can always be a good shout.

It’s not quite as rich, delicious, or alcoholic, as the other options on the list, but if you’re really struggling to finish your recipe, it’ll work.

Instant coffee is a kind of coffee that is dehydrated and then rehydrated by the addition of hot water. It’s essentially the quick and convenient way to make yourself that morning cup of joe.

It works well as a Kahlua substitute for recipes since the flavor is a little milder than options such as brewed coffee. Just be sure to research your ratios for this one as it might get a little tricky.

Top Tip – You can also substitute your instant coffee for a teaspoon of Kahlua if you want an instant morning fix that has a bolder and stronger flavor that closer resembles brewed coffee.

Final Thoughts

Kahlua is undoubtedly one of the best beverages out there. There is something about that rich yet sweet coffee flavor with those scrumptious chocolate and caramel notes that drive us all crazy.

It’s so good, you can easily make your way through the bottle in no time at all. Which is probably why you’re here looking for substitutions in the first place.

However, this article definitely proves that the impossible is in fact possible. Because there are several other options out there that taste just as delicious as Kahlua.

Each and every one of the options listed above tastes absolutely amazing and are sure to still provide only the optimal outcome for whatever recipe you attempt.

Of course, you shouldn’t expect all these drinks to taste identical to Kahlua because that simply isn’t the case. However, they do taste just as good in their own unique and special ways.

Best Kahlua Substitutes That Taste Just As Delicious

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


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  • Kamora

  • Coffee Liqueur

  • Frangelico

  • Tia Maria

  • Instant Coffee


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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