So un-hip, so outdated—Kahlúa has been all but abandoned by the craft cocktail set these days. But it stars in a whole roster of classic cocktails, and when used right, the rum-coffee liqueur is quite tasty, as long as you keep its sweetness in check. Here are three throwback Kahlúa cocktails—made the right way.
Easy: Mind Eraser
A classy name for a classy concept: Vodka, Kahlúa and club soda, all sucked down in one go. We can't say we advise doing these at a party, but we also can't deny it'll get your party going pretty fast. Proceed at your own risk.
Instructions: In a rocks glass with ice, pour 1 ounce of Kahlúa and then float 2 ounces of vodka on top, pouring down the side of the glass so that it separates. Top with 2 ounces of club soda, poured down the side of the glass in the same way. Using two straws, suck the whole damn thing down.
Intermediate: White Russian
Immortalized by The Dude, the White Russian hits all sorts of pleasure centers—sweet, creamy and boozy, with a little coffee hit. We like them layered, as you see here, so it's even creamier at first sip.
Instructions: In a mixing shaker with ice, stir together 1 ounce of Kahlúa and 2 ounces of vodka until well chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and float an ounce of half-and-half on top.
Okay, this won't win any mixology awards, but it's basically a boozy Frappuccino, and we wouldn't turn that down. With the right balance of Bailey's, Kahlúa and vodka, it's creamy and appealing without getting too sweet, and a little fresh-grated nutmeg on top adds a touch of needed class.
Instructions: In a blender with 1 1/2 cups of ice, add 1 ounce and a half of vodka, 3/4 ounce of Kahlúa and 3/4 ounce of Bailey's. Blend until smooth, pour into a glass and garnish with grated nutmeg.