Kahlúa Gingerbread: How to Make It Tolerable

Categories: Last Call
Out of the bottle, Kahlúa Gingerbread looks just like its plain counterpart, dark brown and syrupy. Smelling it is an entirely different matter. While regular Kahlúa smells of sweetened coffee, it's hard to pin down the aroma of Kahlúa Gingerbread. The closest I can get is lightly burned gingerbread cookies with too much molasses and spice added. The "lightly burned" part probably comes into play from the roasted notes of the coffee.

Kahlua Gingerbread and Milk.JPG
JK Grence
Cookies and milk, in liquid form. Why didn't they think of that?
Tasting it neat is pure overload. Cloves and a slightly metallic flavor dominate. Simply put, not fun. This needs to be cut with something. The back of the label and the PR flack agreed that I should make a Kahlúa Cookie Martini. It's dive-bar easy: Mix vodka and Kahlúa Gingerbread, shake with ice, serve straight up. The bottle says equal parts, PR lady says 1½ parts vodka to ½ part Kahlúa Gingerbread (Side note: Bar recipe writers, stop writing things in half-parts. A part shows a ratio, not a set unit of volume. That should have been 3 parts vodka to 1 part liqueur. Thank you.). Neither one does it for me. The 1:1 doesn't cut the acrid note enough, while 3:1 mutes the spices so much that it tasted like watered down, overroasted Starbucks espresso.

I tried to figure out what the hell to do with this stuff to make it taste better. Then, it hit me. What's the natural partner for a cookie? Milk! I threw a shot of the Kahlúa Gingerbread into a glass of milk, and took a swig. I'll be damned, it tasted like I was drinking liquid Biscoff Spread, that ultra-addictive gingerbread cookie butter. It also made a pretty nice enhancement to egg nog. So, I'll recommend Kahlúa Ginger with reservations: Mix it fairly tall with dairy products, and it could be your holiday hit.

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It tastes pretty awesome with a heavy splash of heavy cream and hot chocolate (dark chocolate). Otherwise meh....

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