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Jul 13, 2010 05:06 PM

Substitute for Kahlua? DeKuyper Coffee Brandy review

Still trying to find a substitute for Kahlua, I contacted DeKuyper, whose liqueurs have just come under the OU.

We have already tried the Peach Schnapps (good for Fuzzy Navels and fruit salad) and Kamikazes (tastes like Sprite with vodka - no idea if that's what it's supposed to taste like) so I bought the Coffee Brandy at BevMo last week. (Bias alert - I like "chick drinks.")

We were 10 people and the vote was 7 no, 2 yes and 1 abstaining. Interestingly enough the 7 no votes really hated it and the 2 yes votes loved it.

The Web(be) Rebbe informs me that the DuKuyper products are all kosher even if the OU does not appear on the label.

I believe that DeKuyper also makes a product called Coffee Cordial, so that will be my next search.

PS I actually found out the real story behind the Kahlua from a friend who is in the food business (and was one of my coffee brandy tasters.) The plant in Mexico City could be kosher but it's in such a dangerous neighborhood that no one is willing to go out there to supervise it. Some of my Mexican (Jewish) friends tell me that they will still drink Kahlua. Kahlua bottled in the US is not kosher because the bottling plant processes non kosher beverages.

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  1. I don't like coffee and as such have never personally looked for a kahlua-like beverage, but doesn't Starbucks make a coffee liqueur? According to the CRC list, all Starbucks liqueurs are under the OU, even without a hechsher on the bottle; they say the white chocolate one is dairy, implying that the others are pareve.

    1. I was on a recent search for the same item. I went into a liquor store and finally found a Sabra coffee liqueur. I almost passed it by thinking that they produced orange or chocolate flavor - but they also have coffee. It was for a dessert and it came out great. Not sure if it would be as good in a drink.

      14 Replies
      1. re: sl96

        There is just no substitute for Kahlua.....

        1. re: SoCal Mother

          I agree. Haven't found one yet. Starbucks wasn't good.

          1. re: cappucino

            I am not much for liquiors but I believe somene once gave us a coffee/chocolate liquior made by Godiva.

              1. re: cappucino

                My understanding is that as long as it is marked 'Hecho en Mexico' it is kosher. You have to pick it up overseas, it's a good duty-free item.

                1. re: SimonF

                  The issue with Kahlua US vs Mexico is the bottling, not the production. They bottle it in the US in a non-kosher plant.

                  "Hecho en Mexico" refers to the liqueur and the US bottled Kahlua says "Hecho en Mexico" also. Look for "Bottled in the US" on the label for the definitely non-kosher stuff.

                  I can get it by walking across the US/Mexico border, but I don't want to get it unless it's under supervision, which it is not. I contacted the company in November of last year and received the following:

                  Dear xxxx,
                  Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding the a Kosher Kahlua. It has been quite a few years now that we have not produced a Kosher Kahlua.
                  Once again, thank you for your interest in and continued patronage of Kahlua.
                  Best regards,
                  Pernod Ricard USA
                  Consumer Relations

                  That would be straight from the caballo's mouth.

                  1. re: SimonF

                    For years, that was the deal and that's why we only had the ones bottled in Mexico. But then, I understood that something changed and now none of them were ok.

                    1. re: cappucino

                      Some of my (religious Jewish) Mexican friends will drink it, but there is no supervision on Kahlua at this time. They are from Mexico City and they confirm that the Kahlua plant is in a very dangerous neighborhood and that the story sounds plausible. Much of Mexico City is difficult for Americans and anyone else who looks like a temping kidnapping victim.

                      An unfortunate situation for a much-loved city.

                      1. re: SoCal Mother

                        non-US Kahlua is still on the London Beit Din approved list.

                        1. re: avitrek

                          seriously? that's interesting. is that an updated list?

                          1. re: cappucino


                            Search for Kahlua. I can't figure out how to generate a link of search results.

                            1. re: avitrek

                              I am hearing that the London list only applies to Kahlua from Spain, not Mexico. I am still trying to get clarification. I live near the Mexico border so I can get genuine Mexican Kahlua any time I want to. Still working on this.

                              1. re: SoCal Mother

                                As a note regarding the LBD list- the London Beis Din has a different policy regarding liqueurs than most of the American hashgacha organizations do. LBD inquires as to ingredients, but recommends things that are not under supervision (e.g. Malibu rum, Baileys Irish Cream, the Kahlua in question). You can see the difference on that list if you search for Malibu, listed as merely parev, or Baileys (without the apostrophe), listed as dairy, versus Luxardo, most of which are listed as KLBD Pareve, Things listed as "S parev/dairy" are supervised by someone else, things listed as "KLBD parev/dairy" are supervised by them, and things listed as "parev/dairy" are not supervised. Up to you how you want to proceed.

                                1. re: masteraleph

                                  Thank you for this explanation. I was wondering how it worked. Sensible to me.