How Long Does Kahlua Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 4 Years

Liqueur, often confused with liquor, is a part of every celebration.  A sweet alcoholic drink, it is made up of mostly nuts, flowers, species, and many other such alcohols.

And one such liqueur is Kahlua. An alcoholic drink that consists of sugar, rum, coffee, and vanilla flavor. Often used in a lot of drinks like Martinis and White Russians. But what will happen to the remaining Kahlua? Will it turn bad? So many questions meddle with one’s mind.

How Long Does Kahlua Last?

Talking in general, Kahlua lasts for up to 4 years. The liqueur might turn bad quickly. The reason being, the presence of coffee. Usually, most liqueurs go bad very frequently. But this is not the case with Kahlua.

Thus, the shelf-life of this liqueur is not like that of regular vodkas or whiskeys. Also, it is not that short. We can easily expect it to last for 3-4 years.

The manufacturing date mentioned on the bottle ought to be figured out. For example, L6261FJI033 is mentioned on the bottle. Notice the first 4 numbers that are 6261.  The first no. which is 6, is the last digit of the production year i.e, 2016.  261 suggests the day of the year which is 18th September.

Thus, the bottle will last for 4 years. If it’s the original one it will last for 3-4 years. However, the flavored one will last for like 2 years or so. The ready-to-eat Kahlua lasts only for a period of 1 year. One more thing is the degradation process of Kahlua. The 2-year-old Kahlua that’s opened for 2 weeks tastes much better than the 2-year-old that has been opened 3 months before. Therefore, different types of Kahlua have different shelf-life.

Type of KahluaTime
Original4 years
FlavoredUp to 2 years
Ready-to-useAlmost 1 year

Why Does Kahlua Last This Long?

This liqueur goes bad with time, like all other liqueurs. Having a shelf-life of almost 4 years, there are certain reasons why Kahlua lasts so long. When the bottle has been opened, it must be consumed within a stipulated period of 3-4 years.

Coffee which is the main component of the drink also affects its shelf-life. The aromatic compounds present in the content start to break down. This, in turn, makes the liqueur taste less authentic and the smell is also not as regular.

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Thus, a strong smell of coffee suggests that the Kahlua is in good condition. A weaker smell state otherwise. The other reason why Kahlua lasts so long is due to the formation of unwanted bacterial growth. This happens when the drink gets contaminated.

The next reason being a storage. The bottle should be closed tightly after every use. This is so because exposure to air might cause the alcohol to oxidize, and the process of evaporation. As these are very common processes with alcohol-based beverages.

It is usually recommended to not store Kahlua in the freezer as this might cause the liqueur to become thick. This might give it a bad texture/consistency and it won’t taste that good.

The liqueur must be kept away from sunlight. As this might cause certain damage. However, storing it in the fridge is also not increase the shelf-life of the liqueur.

You may check if the liqueur is damaged or not by noticing several points. If there is any formation of mold on the cap, the drink is damaged. If you find out and foul smell, the liqueur is not good to consume. The unnatural color and taste also suggest that you may not consume it anymore.

Conclusion

Kahlua is a liqueur that originally comes from Mexico. A combo of sugar, coffee and vanilla flavours.

Kahlua can be used in a variety of ways, as it is the key ingredient in many of the beverages. Usually, Kahlua lasts for a duration of 4 years.

Storing it under suitable conditions can make it last for many years. However, the original one lasts for near about 4-4.5 years. At the same time, flavored Kahlua lasts for about 2 years. Ready-to-use variety of this liqueur is usable for 1 year.

You can check for the spoilage of liqueur by various methods mentioned in this article. And enjoy it the way you like.

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Chang-Hwan-Oh/publication/350395822_Oh2020TasteIndicatorCoffeeLiqueur_IJETER_89Sep_4990-4994/links/605d2dffa6fdccbfea084c15/Oh2020TasteIndicatorCoffeeLiqueur-IJETER-89Sep-4990-4994.pdf
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4615-0187-9_14

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