Kahlúa Sour Cocktail Recipe

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Kahlúa Sour Nutrition Facts


Fat:0.1 g

Protein:3.5 g

Carbohydrates:28 g


Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Kahlúa Sour is a classic cocktail that has its roots in the 1940s, when Kahlúa, a Mexican coffee liqueur, was first introduced to the world. This cocktail quickly gained popularity among those who enjoyed the rich, sweet taste of coffee combined with the tangy, refreshing flavor of a sour cocktail. The Kahlúa Sour is a favorite among coffee lovers and those who appreciate a well-balanced, sophisticated drink.

  • The Kahlúa Sour is believed to have been created by bartenders looking for new ways to showcase the unique flavor of Kahlúa.
  • This cocktail is often enjoyed as an after-dinner drink or as a pick-me-up during a night out.
  • The Kahlúa Sour has inspired many variations, but the classic recipe remains a popular choice for those seeking a timeless, elegant cocktail.

How Kahlúa Sour Tastes?

The Kahlúa Sour is a delightful balance of rich, sweet, and tangy flavors. The coffee notes from the Kahlúa provide a deep, robust sweetness, while the lemon juice adds a bright, refreshing sourness. The egg white gives the cocktail a smooth, velvety texture, and the simple syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness to round out the flavors.

Interesting facts about Kahlúa Sour

  • Kahlúa is a coffee liqueur that originated in Mexico and is made from a blend of Arabica coffee beans, sugar, and rum.
  • The word 'Kahlúa' is derived from the Arabic word for coffee, which is 'qahwa'.
  • The Kahlúa Sour is sometimes referred to as a 'Mexican Sour' due to its use of Kahlúa, a Mexican liqueur.


Kahlúa: 1.5 oz

Kahlúa brings a sweet coffee-flavor backbone. It's made from coffee beans, so without it, you're missing the buzz! Less? It'd be too sour. More? It'd overshadow the other flavors.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice: 1 oz

Adding lemon juice provides a zesty tartness, balancing the sweetness of Kahlúa. Skip it, and you lose the 'sour' in Kahlúa Sour! A squeeze more could lead to a puckering experience.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup: 0.5 oz

Sugary simple syrup sweetens the pot, smoothing out the sharpness of the lemon. If omitted, your drink might need a sweet talker. Overdo it, and it's syrupy slush.

Emma Rose

Egg White: 1

It's all about the froth! The egg white gives a silky texture and a foamy top. Leave it out, and you lose the smooth jazz in your glass. Just make sure it's a fresh one unless you fancy salmonella shakes.

Alex Green

Angostura Bitters: 2 dashes

Think of Angostura bitters as the spice rack of the cocktail world. They add depth and complexity. Forget them, and you'll miss out on subtle herbal notes that bring the drink together.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Cherry: 1

That maraschino cherry is the cherry on top! Not just for looks; it gives a hint of sweet fruitiness when nibbled along with the drink. No cherry? It's like a joke without a punchline.

Emma Rose

Ice Cubes

They’re there to shake things up and chill down the drink. Without them, your cocktail is as warm as a tepid handshake.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Kahlúa Sour Drink

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the Kahlúa, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white.
  2. Perform a 'dry shake' (without ice) for about 10 seconds to emulsify the egg white and create a frothy texture.
  3. Add ice cubes to the shaker and shake again for another 10-15 seconds to chill the cocktail.
  4. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Add two dashes of Angostura bitters on top of the frothy egg white layer.
  6. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Dry Shake: This technique is crucial for creating a frothy texture in the cocktail. It involves shaking the ingredients without ice first.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Using fresh lemon juice instead of bottled can significantly enhance the flavor of the cocktail.
  • Chill the Glass: Before pouring the cocktail, chill the glass to keep the drink colder for longer.

Perfect Pairings

Sweet Desserts

Sweetness calls to sweetness, so a Kahlúa Sour is great with desserts like chocolate cake, tiramisu, or a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Savory Snacks

The richness of Kahlúa can balance savory treats, like bold cheeses or smoked nuts.

Coffee Flavors

Pair with anything coffee-flavored for a resonating theme, like a mocha cheesecake or espresso beans covered in dark chocolate.

Spicy Appetizers

The sweetness and acidity of this cocktail can cut through heat, making it a good match for spicy chicken wings or jalapeño poppers.

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What you could change in Kahlúa Sour

  • Kahlúa: If Kahlúa is not available, any coffee liqueur can be used as a substitute.
  • Simple Syrup: Honey or agave syrup can be used as a natural alternative to simple syrup.
  • Egg White: For a vegan option, aquafaba (chickpea water) can be used as a substitute for egg white.

Explore all drinks starting with K here

And of course - twists🍹

Espresso Kahlúa Sour

Ingredients: Substitute 0.5 oz Kahlúa with espresso. Recipe: Follow the original, but the espresso adds a real coffee kick. Expect a java jolt in every sip; for those who take their coffee with a side of sour.

Spicy Kahlúa Sour

Ingredients: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Recipe: Shake it up with the rest, but carefully. Heat things up a bit—perfect for when your life needs some spice but your cupboard's empty.

Vegan Kahlúa Sour

Ingredients: Use aquafaba instead of egg white. Recipe: Shake as you would. It's all the froth without the feathers. For the plant-powered drinker who wants to keep it smooth and ethical.

In case you forgot basics how to make Kahlúa Sour

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Kahlúa Sour

What other garnish options can I use for the Kahlúa Sour?

Apart from the maraschino cherry, other garnish options include lemon peels, lime slices or using coffee beans for a stunning visual effect and hint of extra flavor.

Can I prepare a non-alcoholic version of the Kahlúa Sour?

Yes, you may prepare a non-alcoholic version of the Kahlúa Sour by replacing the Kahlúa with a non-alcoholic coffee syrup. Skip the bitters and ensure that other ingredients are non-alcoholic as well.

Can I make Kahlúa Sour in bulk for parties?

Kahlúa Sour can be made in batches for parties, it's just a matter of multiplying the measurements of the ingredients. Remember that each serving will still need to be shaken individually to get the right frothy texture.

How should I store leftover Kahlúa?

Kahlúa, like other liqueurs, can be stored at room temperature and can last several years. However, it should always be kept tightly sealed to preserve its flavor.

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