Is Kahlua dairy free?

Is Kahlua dairy free?

Kahlua and other coffee liqueurs are used in drinks like espresso martinis, mudslides, and white Russians. Most coffee liqueurs are gluten free because they’re made with distilled alcohol. But are they dairy free? In this article, we’ll highlight popular brands of coffee liqueur that are safe for people with dairy sensitivities. You’ll also find some lesser-known, but possibly more delicious alternatives. All of our recommendations are gluten and dairy free, and many are vegan.

Does Kahlua contain animal products?

coffee liqueurs

Espresso martini from Kike Salazar N via Unsplash

Kahlua is a coffee liqueur made from rum, sugar, vanilla beans, and arabica coffee. On their site, Kahlua states that their original product doesn’t contain any allergens. However, they also confirm that it’s not a vegan product. Upon further investigation, it seems that their sugar is processed with bone char, which is why it’s not appropriate for vegans. If you’re just dairy free and not vegan, you’ll be happy to know that the original Kahlua, as well as their canned espresso martini and nitro cold brew drinks are free from any milk products.

Dairy Free Coffee Liqueurs

Even though Kahlua is dairy free, perhaps you’re vegan or Kahlua’s just not for you. Here are some great alternatives. Many have even been rated more highly than Kahlua. You’ll find options with lower sugar, different base spirits, and varying price points. Plus, we’ll highlight which versions are vegan friendly. All are dairy free.

coffee liqueurs

White Russian featuring Mr Black from Yes More via Unsplash
  • Kamora coffee liqueur

    • A cheaper vegan alternative that’s often used as a stand-in for Kahlua at bars.
  • Allen’s coffee brandy

    • A brandy-based New England favorite. The parent company, M.S. Walker, confirmed that none of the company’s goods contain any animal products.
  • Aber Falls coffee and dark chocolate liqueur

    • This Welsh option is confirmed to be vegan by the company. It’s richer and more chocolate-y than Kahlua, although harder to find.
  • Mr Black cold brew coffee liqueur

    • Certified gluten free, vegan, and kosher, uses ethically-sourced coffee beans. A rich and lightly sweet option that’s favored by many bartenders when making espresso cocktails.

coffee liqueurs

NOLA coffee liqueur from Behance
  • St. George NOLA coffee liqueur

    • All of St. George’s products are vegan friendly, with the exception of their Bruto Americano. Their NOLA coffee liqueur uses a blend of Yirgacheffe coffee beans, French-roasted chicory root, and Madagascar vanilla. Flavor is roasty, fruity, and well-balanced.
  • Galliano Espresso Ristretto

    • All Galliano flavors are gluten free and vegan. Galliano Espresso is made with 55% Arabica beans and 45% Robusta beans, which makes for a good balance of bitterness and creaminess. Adds a robust earthy flavor to mixed drinks.
  • Tia Maria

    • Tia Maria has confirmed that they use vegan sugar, so this is a good vegan option. Made with Jamaican rum and sugar, although it’s now manufactured in Italy. A bit sweeter than Kahlua, it’s sometimes used with ice cream.
  • Kapali coffee liqueur

    • Mexican coffee liqueur made with locally grown vanilla and high altitude coffee beans. It’s affordable and has mild notes of chocolate, with a dark fruity richness. Some prefer it to Kahlua, but it may be a bit sweeter.
  • Kova coffee liqueur

    • A tequila-based Mexican liqueur made with roasted espresso that has notes of nuts and dark chocolate. An affordable option that’s quite well-rated.
  • Bittermens New Orleans coffee liqueur

    • A New Orleans take on coffee liqueur made with a blend of chicory and coffee. Includes Taza chocolate nibs and Belgian candi syrup for added complexity.
  • Forthave Brown coffee liqueur

    • Made in Brooklyn by Forthave Distillery in collaboration with Café Integral. This vegan liqueur uses single origin beans from Don Sergio Ortez, who grows sustainably in Nicaragua. Quite dry and complex, moderately priced.
  • Cafetino vegan coffee liqueur

    • A vegan coconut cream-infused coffee liqueur is creamy and rich. Made in Spain with cold brew coffee.
  • 3 Amigos cafe mocha liqueur

    • Mexican tequila-based liqueur with sweet and subtle flavor. Rich and smooth mocha flavor with hints of agave, spice and vanilla.

Dairy Free Kahlua Recipes

Homemade Kahlua is cheap and easy to make, although it may not be as complex-tasting as the storebought varieties. But making it yourself gives you the freedom to adjust the sweetness, caffeine level and to use your favorite type of alcohol as a base.

coffee liqueurs

Vegan White Russian from Clean Green Simple

* Title image courtesy of Taylor Beach via Unsplash.

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