A-Z Spirits and Liqueurs: K is for Kahlúa

What is it? Kahlúa is a coffee flavoured, rum-based liqueur from Mexico. Intensely sweet and with a distinct coffee flavour and a hint of vanilla, it comes in a variety of styles; Original, French Vanilla, Mocha, Hazelnut, Especial and Peppermint Mocha. Whilst not all of these may be available in the UK, the original recipe is incredibly versatile and extremely delicious!

How can I enjoy it? This is one of my favourite liqueurs – may have something to do with the fact I’m a bit of a coffee addict :-) There are so many ways to enjoy Kahlúa – on it’s own with ice or without, in coffee, in cocktails or as a dessert ingredient or sauce.

CLASSIC; White Russian

50ml Vokda, 20ml Kahúa, 30ml fresh cream. Pour Kahlúa and vodka into a tumbler filled with ice. Float fresh cream on top and stir slowly.

CLASSY; Kahlúa Espresso Martini

1.5 parts KAHLÚA
1 part Vodka
1 fresh brewed espresso

Fill a shaker with ice, add Kahlúa, Vodka and a fresh brewed espresso. Shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Legend has it the Kahlúa Espresso Martini was created in the 1980s by a London cocktail guru late one night for a famous supermodel (according to the Kahlúa website!).

CULINARY; Kahlúa Tiramisu with Amaretto Ice Cream

This decadent dessert recipe, orginally on Epicurious, sourced from Yummly, looks like the perfect end to a meal. A traditional Italian dessert containing eggs, sugar, marscarpone cheese, cream, marsala, coffee powder, ladyfinger biscuits and of course Kahlúa, this Tiramisu is a perfect balance of bitter and sweet. A perfect example of how this versatile liqueur may be used to add to an already delicious recipe. For full recipe details, click on the link!

I want it! Where can I get it? One Click Vintage currently has a 70 cl bottle of the regular blend Kahlúa at the special price of £17.08, that’s 25% off their normal price AND the shipping is free. Happy days! But, most UK supermarkets and off licenses stock it, for around £18.

Actually factual: It takes 7 years to create each bottle of Kahlúa, from harvest of the coffee beans, vanilla, and sugar cane to bottle.

Kahlua bottle shot picture from alyssalaurel‘s photostream on flickr.


Gin Mare: The Freshest Gin in Town

The weather is clinging on for dear life and it’s still outside-drinking weather. What better way to enjoy the last of the summer with a refreshing G&T?

We all know that – like most booze – there’s more than fifty shades of gin: that means some types are better than others, but it also means we can have lots of fun finding out.

I don’t know about you, but I generally don’t spend more than twenty quid on a bottle of gin. Especially not a 70cl bottle as opposed to a beefy litre. But sometimes it’s worth spending a few extra coins on a truly memorable tipple.

Gin Mare is just such a tipple. Pronounced ‘mar-ee’, it’s named after the sea in its native Spain (‘mar’) and that’s no surprise when you taste it.

A herby blend of thyme, basil and rosemary, it’s also boasts arbequina olive and mandarin as part of its make-up. These exotic additions add up to a massively refreshing gin – sun-drenched and dangerously drinkable.

It will set you back a few pounds though – one of the cheapest buyers we could find is One Click Vintage which sells a bottle at £35.08 with free shipping. The good thing is we think this is seriously worth it.

What’s your gin of choice? Tell us about it in the comments, or on our Twitter and Facebook pages?

A-Z Spirits and Liqueurs: F is for Frangelico

Despite the fact I appear to be allergic to raw hazelnuts, I am very pleased that this does not extend to anything hazelnut flavoured, in particular, Frangelico. So versatile is this liqueur, it can be enjoyed in winter or summer; to warm you up or cool you down; long or short and in sweet or savoury dishes. If there was one tipple to have in your cupboard year round, I’d say this is it!

What is it? Frangelico is a traditional liqueur made in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, dating back over 300 years to the time of early Christian monks in the area. Wild hazelnuts, crushed and toasted, are infused with vanilla and cocoa, to make a pale gold liqueur with a delicate hazelnut flavour and hints of dark chocolate. Its signature bottle is an obvious nod to a distinctive history, shaped like a monk’s habit with a rope tied around the middle, making it easy to spot on endless shelves of spirits and liqueurs.

How can I enjoy it? At 20% abv its sensible enough to enjoy on its own after dinner, poured over a tumbler of ice, but can also be added to coffee, mixed in a number of cocktails, dashed into delicious desserts or even used in savoury dishes.

I LOVE Frangelico in coffee and it is so easy! This quickie Hazelnut Coffee, is from the Frangelico website, but could easily make it without the cream if you dont feel like indulging!

  • 30ml/1oz Frangelico
  • Coffee
  • Cream
  • Chocolate flakes

Stir 30ml. Frangelico into your favourite hot coffee. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate flakes.

If you do feel like induldging, this absolute cracker of a cocktail from Mix That Drink is practically a meal repalcement, but totally worth it!

Liquid Snickers

  • 1 ounce (30ml shot) dark creme de cacao
  • 1/2 ounce (15ml) Irish cream
  • 1/2 ounce (15ml) Frangelico
  • 1/2 ounce (15ml) light cream

Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes. Pour the three liquor ingredients over the ice. Finish by topping with the light cream. Serve with a stir straw (it looks cool), or stir before serving.Try munching on some peanuts with this one – it enhances the Snickers flavors, and the salty makes a great contrast to that sweetness.

For true absolute decadence you can always rely on Nigella Lawson to come up trumps. This Nigella recipe for Frangelico Tiramisu is a sure fire dinner party hit, but be sure to set some exercise time aside the next day!

  •  1 cup espresso coffee, 1 cup Frangelico hazlenut liqueur, plus more for the filling
  •   2 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/4 cup Frangelico hazlenut liqueur
  • 1 pound (2 cups) mascarpone
  • 30 Savoiardi biscuits (lady fingers), approx. 14 ounces
  • 3/4 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • 3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

See link for directions on how to make!

I want it! Where can I get it? Pick up a 70cl bottle of Frangelico for £18.14 at easy online One Click Vintage. They offer free UK shipping for orders over £35.00 so why not pick up a few liquid essentials while you’re there. If you fancy trying the Liquid Snickers, they also sell Creme de Cacao for around £12 and Irish Cream starting at around £7.

Actually factual: The name Frangelico is based on the legend of a hermit called Fra Angelico who created his own unique liqueur recipes.

Frangelico bottle shot image taken from Geoff Penaluna’s photostream on flickr.