February 27 – Kahlua Day

Once again, it’s a national food holiday I can get behind! 🙂 I’m not a huge drinker, so when I do drink, I like it to be something sweet and tasty–I have no patience for vodka tonics! Kahlua is one of those liqueurs that does all of that for me: it’s sweet, with a hint of dark coffee taste, and it doesn’t have a lot of alcohol content, so one cocktail won’t get me (completely) smashed. Originating from Mexico in the 1930s, Kahlua is a popular liqueur that’s used in a lot of coffee-based cocktails and even in desserts. The simplest way to have it is a shot of Kahlua in your coffee: the creaminess of the liqueur helps cut your need for sugar or milk. Just remember to keep it separate from your morning cup of joe right before work 😉

For an interesting and powerful new cocktail, try out Redhead in the East Village. They make what is aptly known in the city as the Gotham: a play off a classic Manhattan, consisting of Maker’s Mark bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Kahlua. All those liquors definitely don’t let up for a quick punch to one’s sobriety. For me, the bourbon alone would do me in; but mix it with the sweet vermouth and the sweet Kahlua and the potency of the drink is tempered by the sugar. Certainly try this place out for a full dinner, including bacon peanut brittle (!!) and delicious fried chicken, but while you’re waiting for your amazing sounding meal, pick up a Gotham right in the heart of our own Gotham.

The Redhead
349 E 13th St (between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)


Some reviews from Yelp.com:

“I was being fresh and needed a good slap in the face. The remedy suggested by our waiter? The gotham cocktail (makers mark bourbon, sweet vermouth, kahlua). Let’s just say I turned into an innocent, well behaved child for the rest of the night.”–Jennifer R.

“On a Friday night we arrived at the bar straight after work, and we ordered the ginger snap, which was delightfully refreshing and crisp with great flavor, and the gotham, which was heavier than the ginger snap with a deeper, darker flavor. Both were very good.”–Nicole L.


If you’re looking for that distinct Kahlua taste but not interested in having a drink–let’s say you’ve seen this post at 10 in the morning and you have got to celebrate National Kahlua Day but you’re still at work, damn!–there are a ton of confections that include Kahlua as an ingredient but don’t include the alcohol content. One of which can be found in the West Village, in a quaint little cupcake shop named Molly’s Cupcakes. A ton of cupcake bakeries popped up all over the city in the past few years, but this is one of the more celebrated ones, with fresh cupcakes made daily from scratch and made completely customizable to each patron’s order: just choose your cake, frosting, and center, for hundreds of different flavor combinations. And yes, one of the creamy fillings you can stuff your cupcake–and your face–with is Kahlua, a rich coffee flavor that helps balance the sugar you get in the filling (and frosting, and cupcake, and sprinkles…)

In fact, I think the best way to celebrate Kahlua day may be a Kahlua cupcake from Molly’s Cupcakes…and a Gotham from the Redhead to wash it down!

Molly’s Cupcakes
228 Bleecker St


Some reviews from Yelp.com:

“Visit 1 we chose the Peanut Butter Nutella and the Kahlua filled cupcakes. Although the cake and fillings were really good, it was the icing that sealed the deal for me. As a rule I do not like frosting because I do not like the sweetness and texture but this icing was very creamy with only a hint of sweetness and really good flavor.”–Cathy S.

“Kahlua. This was a really well-done cupcake, albeit extremely messy. Ultra-moist, great frosting, and great filling.”–Jordan J.