Does Kahlua go bad?

Kahlua is one of those drinks that never miss in my liquor collection. I use it to make cocktails, especially when I am having friends over or I just had a long day at work.

Espresso martinis are my personal favorite. Sometimes I even drink it neat and it still tastes amazing, especially when I chill it a bit.

There are three different types of delicious coffee liqueur. The first one is the original Kahlua which is very common, then there is the flavored Kahlua which has recently become a favorite for my household. Stores also sell ready-to-drink mixes.


Since you probably don’t drink Kahlua too often, chances are that you may have a bottle sitting in your liquor cabinet for quite some time.

Does Kahlua go bad? Yes, it does. With time, the quality of Kahlua starts to deteriorate. However, Kahlua has a very long shelf life of approximately four years. You would probably already have consumed it by the time it goes bad.

The shelf life of Kahlua


The different types of Kahlua usually have different shelf lives. The original Kahlua lasts longer compared to the other two and the ready to drink mixes last for the shortest time.

Every bottle of Kahlua comes with a production date. The original Kahlua retains its good quality for up to years past the production date. The Kahlua may still be safe to consume after four years but its quality will not be good. Chances are that you will discard it for quality reasons.

The flavored Kahlua retains its amazing quality for only two years past the production date. After that, it starts to lose its flavor and will no longer be desirable. The ready to drink mixes can only last for one year past the production date. Its quality deteriorates at a faster rate compared to the others.

It is important to note that once you open your bottle of Kahlua, its quality deteriorates at a faster rate. The longer it stays while unopened, the more it loses its flavor. Try consuming your bottle of Kahlua within the first year of opening the bottle.

How to properly store Kahlua


The storage rules of Kahlua are pretty simple, and they cut across all three types of Kahlua.

All unopened bottles of Kahlua should be stored in a cool and dark place. The pantry and kitchen cabinet will work just fine. If you have a wine cellar, then store it there.

Your liquor cabinet can work too as long as it does not have glass doors. Sources of heat and light interfere with the good quality of Kahlua.

You may be wondering whether it is okay to store Kahlua in the fridge. It totally is. Just make sure you store it inside the fridge and not on the shelves at the door of the fridge. Kahlua should be stored at stable temperatures and the temperatures at the door of your fridge keep fluctuating every time you open the fridge.

Once you open your bottle of Kahlua, you can still store it in your pantry or kitchen cabinet. Storing it in the fridge will not necessarily lengthen its shelf life, but if you feel it will give you peace of mind then go ahead.

Personally, I store my Kahlua in the pantry but I keep it in the fridge for about one hour before I drink it coz it always tastes better when chilled.

Before storing your opened bottle of Kahlua, make sure that you reseal it tightly. Leaving the cap lose will give room for contaminants to get in and it will also lose its flavor faster. It may also evaporate since it is a type of liquor.

Can you freeze Kahlua?


I do not recommend freezing Kahlua because it loses its texture and flavor. When frozen, Kahlua becomes thick and chucky. You will even have trouble pouring it into a glass.

If you use it to make a cocktail, the texture will be completely different, and possibly unpleasant.

In case you just want to chill it so that you don’t use ice, do not let it stay in the freezer for more than thirty minutes. If you do, you won’t enjoy it because of its thick texture.

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Signs that the Kahlua has gone bad

  1. The odor of coffee is no longer strong

Kahlua normally has a strong odor of coffee. If you smell it and can’t seem to smell the coffee, chances are that its quality has significantly declined or it has gone bad.

You should definitely throw it out. If the odor of coffee is weak, the taste will also not be as good as it should be. You can discard it for quality reasons.

  1. Signs of mold

Mold growing inside your bottle of Kahlua is an obvious sign that it has gone bad. If you drink it any way you will have stomach complications. If you notice any molds in the bottle, just discard it.

  1. Terrible smell

Kahlua should have a pleasing smell of coffee. Any other smell is an indication that the Kahlua has gone bad and you should definitely throw it out.

  1. Change in color

If you notice that the color of the liqueur is not the same as when you first bought it, the Kahlua has probably gone bad and is no longer safe to use. There is absolutely no need to risk using Kahlua that has changed color. Just throw it out and get another bottle.

  1. Bland taste

If your Kahlua tastes bland, it has probably stayed for a long time and gradually lost its taste. You can still try using it in your cocktails. If you do not like how they turn out then discard it for quality reasons.


After some time, sugar crystals may start forming on the edges of your bottle. This is usually an indication that the Kahlua has stayed for a really long time.

It may still be safe to drink and use, but its taste may not be as good as you would want it to be.

Taste the Kahlua, and if it has a bland taste just discard it. If it has a suboptimal taste you can still use it to make your favorite cocktails. They will turn out just the way you like them.

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Can Kahlua make you sick if it has stayed for a long time?


Unless you have an extremely sensitive stomach, drinking old Kahlua or using it in your cocktails will not make you sick. You probably won’t enjoy the taste as much and that’s just it.

Drinking old Kahlua will not have any adverse effects on your health.

Does Kahlua have caffeine?

Yes, Kahlua contains caffeine. The main ingredients of Kahlua are sugar, Arabica coffee, vanilla, and rum.

The amount of caffeine in Kahlua is about twenty-five percent of the amount in pure black coffee.

Does Kahlua have sugar?


Yes, Kahlua has some amount of sugar in it. Worried about your sugar intake? Well, you should probably stay away from Kahlua. Kahlua is one of the liqueurs that have high sugar content.

Kahlua contains approximately 11 grams of sugar per ounce. All in all, there are a few recipes for homemade sugar-free Kahlua.

The recipes are not very complicated so you can try making sugar-free Kahlua if you are worried about your sugar intake.

Does Kahlua have dairy


Contrary to popular beliefs, most Kahlua products actually contain dairy. This means that not all bottles of Kahlua are vegan friendly. They either contain milk or milk proteins. The ready to drink mixes almost always contain milk.

If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, look at the ingredients on the bottle of Kahlua before buying it. Alternatively, you can just substitute Kahlua with something else that has a similar taste.  Some of the alternatives include; coffee-flavored brandy, coffee liqueur, and Kamora.

If you do not like either, just make your own Kahlua at home. The recipes are quite simple and it will not take up so much of your time. In fact, if all your ingredients are ready, you can whip it up in less than twenty minutes.

How to open Kahlua bottle


A lot of people claim that it is almost impossible to open a bottle of Kahlua. Having a tough time opening the bottle? You are definitely not alone.

There are many suggestions on how to open a bottle of Kahlua. The easiest that I have come across which has always worked for me is running the cap end under hot water. The hot water will loosen the sugar particles stuck around the cap and it will open very easily.

Alternatively, you can use a large pair of pliers to break the seal. However, you need to be very careful because you can chip glass in the process and the glass finds its way into the Kahlua.

I always recommend using the hot water method because, in the end, you will use very little effort to get it open. Besides, there is no risk of glass chipping and falling into your Kahlua.

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