Lush Life | 5 facts about Kahlua you should know for National Kahlua Day

The dude abides!

Through some sort of committee hearing, nomination or simple proclamation, Feb. 27 has been declared National Kahlua Day.

The Mind Eraser, Mudslide, White Russian, Black Russian, Espresso Martini, B-52 and the Colorado Bulldog all have Kahlua tying them together.

The coffee flavored, rum-based liquor grew to popularity due to its natural compliment to chocolate, I would suspect. When bartenders were looking to sell another drink after hours or after dinner, an easy chocolaty-sweet drink would hit the spot.

Kahlua soon found its way to the main stage being an ingredient in shots, poolside drinks and college “this will mess you up” classics. It is a multi-purpose sipper.

Shifting gears to The Big Lebowski where Jeff Bridges plays a White Russian guzzling, rebel burn-out. Kahlua makes the list of important roles in the cult classic film. If you have not seen it you probably do not understand the opening line of this column, but, not to fear, mix up a White Russian and hit “play”. It will all make perfect sense.

Guilty of overlooking Kahlua for years, here are some hot facts about Kahlua that were not in a movie or an everyday bar.


Kahlua was born in Mexico around 1936. Four friends started the company because they were tired of their “day jobs”.


In the 1950’s a collector of old Mayan statuettes worked at Kahlua and put them in every advertisement the company posted. People loved the ads and the statuettes.


in the 1960’s, Kahlua was led by a team entirely of females. During that time in history, this was extremely rare if unheard-of. The Kahlua ladies, as they became known, were media hits and not for the reasons we associate with liquor brands today. They happen to be the bosses of the company.


In 1977 in Canada, the B-52 shot was born. It quickly spread across the world and is still a well remembered drink.


It takes seven years to make a bottle of Kahlua. Including growing the coffee beans.

Kahlua is probably one of THE most important bottles to have behind the bar. Stemming from small business aspirations to promoting the importance of female leadership to anchoring the character of a movie masterpiece, Kahlua is more than a bottle of liquor.

If you walk into a bar anywhere in the United States I would seriously doubt you would find droves of Kahlua lovers flocked at the bar early in the morning watching parades and wearing national colors to celebrate the day. Most, probably, will not even know that Feb. 27 is celebrated at all.

Truth be told, it is not celebrated. But it should be.

Get out to the Grand Strand bars and order up a Kahlua drink of your choice. No matter how you like it, they will be glad to dust off the bottle and pour some for you.