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9 Best Non Alcoholic Kahlua Substitutes: Liqueur Guide (2024)

Non-Alcoholic Kahlua Substitute

Kahlua is a bitter-sweet liqueur with a distinctive coffee flavor, making it a beloved choice among bartenders and home enthusiasts. 

However, there are times when you may want to enjoy that classic Kahlua taste without the alcohol content.

Join me on this journey as I unveil our tried-and-true recipe for a non-alcoholic Kahlua substitute that will bring the essence of Kahlua to your drinks while keeping the alcohol content (almost) out of the equation.

Top 9 Non Alcoholic Kahlua Substitutes 

1. Coffee Extract

Coffee Extract on a Bottle

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: Coffee extract can serve as an excellent non-alcoholic alternative for Kahlua when you want to replicate its rich coffee flavor without the alcohol content.

Coffee extract is renowned for its concentrated essence, providing a robust and authentic coffee taste, but does not contain alcohol. 

“We hope to inspire afternoon and evening coffee breaks to be that much more delicious today.” -Michelle Sanders, Brand Director

When used in place of Kahlua, it imparts a similar taste, color, and aromatic flavor because of its natural ingredients and deep brown color. 

I combine 1.5 ounces of coffee extract with 1.5 ounces of vodka over ice.

2. Vanilla Extract

Bottle of Vanilla Extract

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Vanilla extract is one of the best non-alcoholic Kahlua substitutes that you can use for mixed drinks, but you will need coffee infusion to mimic the flavors of Kahlua. 

Vanilla extract is a natural flavoring agent crafted from vanilla beans, renowned for its robust and sweet flavor profile. [1].

3. Instant Espresso Powder

Coffee Powder

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Instant espresso powder can serve as a convenient and flavorful non-alcoholic version of Kahlua for those who avoid alcohol. 

It boasts a strong coffee flavor that closely mimics the essence of Kahlua, minus the alcohol. 

It brings different flavors to your cocktails, providing a concentrated solution that ensures your cocktails maintain a strong coffee profile without dilution.

4. Instant Coffee

Jar of Instant Coffee

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Instant coffee can be a practical and flavorful non-alcoholic option for Kahlua in various recipes where the essence of coffee beans is a crucial element.

It can be incorporated into various cocktails or in a decadent dessert like Tiramisu or cocktails like White Russian and other drinks. 

While it does not contain alcohol, it provides a solid and robust coffee flavoring, and you can add sugar depending on your preference. 

5. Chocolate Syrup 

Bowl of Chocolate Syrup

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Chocolate syrup can be a delightful and unique substitute for Kahlua in cocktails and desserts, but while it does not have alcohol, it contains higher sugar content. 

We use chocolate syrup to craft virgin Chocolate Martinis, Mudslides, and Chocolate White Russians, adding a delightful twist to Kahlua’s traditional coffee and rum notes.

If you prefer non-alcoholic versions of Kahlua-based cocktails, you can substitute 2 tablespoons of Kahlua with 1-2 teaspoons chocolate syrup and 1-2 teaspoons instant coffee in 2 tablespoons of hot water. 

Also Read:

6. Arkay Non-Alcoholic Coffee Liqueur

Arkay Non-Alcoholic Coffee Liqueur on a Wooden Table

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Using Arkay Non-Alcoholic Coffee liqueur as a substitute for Kahlua in Kahlua-based cocktails can offer several advantages and a close approximation to the original flavor.

It offers an authentic coffee liqueur taste (from infusing coffee beans in alcohol), non-alcoholic nature, versatility, and balanced sweetness from sugar. 

The coffee liqueur seamlessly fits into recipes for drinks with Kahlua, like the White Russian, Espresso Martini, Black Russian, or hot chocolate. 

With this non-alcoholic Kahlua alternative, you can enjoy your favorite cocktail without alcohol or excessive sugar.

7. Rum Extract + Cocoa Powder

Rum Extract and Cocoa Powder

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Substituting Kahlua with rum extract and cocoa powder is brilliant for those who prefer non-alcoholic Kahlua substitutes. 

This non-alcoholic Kahlua alternative provides the rum and chocolate elements while allowing you to control the sweetness and adapt the mixture to your preferences as you avoid alcohol.

Rum extract contributes to the rum essence, a defining characteristic of Kahlua, and cocoa powder adds a deep, rich chocolate flavor. 

8. Homemade Kahlua

Person Making Homemade Kahlua

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Aside from using coffee-flavored liqueur, homemade Kahlua can be an excellent choice for non-alcoholic Kahlua, offering the advantage of a personalized and artisanal touch.

Non-alcoholic Kahlua is easy to make; I combine 1 cup of coffee (depending on how much caffeine you want for your coffee drinks, you can use brewed coffee), sugar, water, and optional cocoa and instant coffee in medium heat.

You can adjust the coffee-to-rum ratio, sweetness (from sugar), and other ingredients. Cool completely, bottle it, and keep it in a dry and dark place. 

9. Kahlua Syrup

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Kahlua syrup maintains the distinct coffee and rum flavor profile of Kahlua-based cocktails, and you can quickly get this in a local grocery store. 

“For those who savor the moment but skip the spirits, Non-Alcoholic Kahlua is your flavor-forward companion on the journey.” -Liquor Laboratory 

The taste of Kahlua syrup closely mirrors the original, adding rich coffee notes and a hint of rum sweetness. The syrup’s concentrated nature ensures the desired flavors shine through without dilution. 

Note: Each product was evaluated on its perceived flavor profiles, popularity, and availability.

FAQs

Is there a non-alcoholic Kahlua?

Yes, there are non-alcoholic alternatives designed to replicate the taste of Kahlua. 
“Lyre’s Coffee Originale – Non-Alcoholic Kahlua” and “Safeway Kahlua Coffee Ground Non-Alcoholic Kahlua Original” are examples of such products.

What does non-alcoholic Kahlua taste like?

Non-alcoholic Kahlua alternatives aim to capture the rich and complex flavors of traditional Kahlua. 
The taste is typically reminiscent of a sweet syrup with a deep, slightly bitter coffee essence, making it suitable for various coffee-flavored cocktails and desserts. But what does Kahlua really taste like?

Can you get vegan Kahlua?

Kahlua, the original brand, did not have an official vegan-certified version. 
However, some alternatives and homemade recipes exist that aim to replicate the flavors of Kahlua while adhering to vegan principles. 

What’s the best non-alcoholic substitute for Kahlua in Tiramisu?

The best non-alcoholic substitute for Kahlua in Tiramisu is brewed coffee or coffee liqueur. 
The arabica coffee beans (brewed) provide a strong coffee flavor without the alcohol content, but coffee-flavored liqueur [2] gives a kick to the classic Italian dessert.

How do I make a homemade non-alcoholic Kahlua substitute?

There are numerous recipes available online for homemade non-alcoholic Kahlua substitutes. These recipes typically involve mixing brewed coffee or coffee extract with sweeteners, flavorings, and sometimes cocoa powder or chocolate syrup. Experimentation with proportions and ingredients can help tailor the substitute to your taste preferences.

Can non-alcoholic Kahlua substitutes be stored?

Yes, homemade non-alcoholic Kahlua substitutes can typically be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for several weeks. However, it’s best to check the specific recipe for storage instructions, as some variations may have different shelf lives.

Can I adjust the sweetness or flavor of a non-alcoholic Kahlua substitute?

Absolutely! One of the benefits of making your own substitute is the ability to customize it to your preferences. You can adjust the sweetness by adding more or less sugar or sweetener, and you can vary the flavor by experimenting with different types and amounts of extracts or flavorings.

On A Final Note

Non-alcoholic Kahlua substitutes capture the essence of Kahlua and enhance the flavors of your favorite recipes that call for this versatile liqueur. 

Whether you’re sipping an Espresso Martini, a White Russian, or experimenting with creative mocktails, our substitute is a reliable choice for achieving the perfect taste and balance you desire.

These substitutes provide versatility and add flavor to cocktails as if you’re sipping an alcoholic beverage (without the kick of alcohol) while accommodating various preferences, so next time you want 

References:

  1. https://www.thespruceeats.com/sombrero-drink-recipe-759459
  2. https://www.britannica.com/topic/liqueur
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