Kahlua Vs. Baileys: What’s the Difference?

Most people prefer coffee because of its instant “pick me up” effects. It’s energizing and rejuvenating at the same time. But what’s great about coffee is how great it works as a flavor. Be it in cakes, chocolates, or even alcohol; coffee is versatile.

When you think of coffee liquor, the two primary names that come around are Kahlua and Baileys. Both are leading coffee liquor, but they come with their set of differences, be it in terms of taste or smoothness.

This article will explore all the differences between Kahlua and Baileys that you need to master as an alcohol connoisseur.

About Kahlua

Kahlua bottle

Image Source : https://www.kahlua.com/en-us/

Kahlua, as the name suggests, is a popular Mexican coffee liquor. A smooth pour of this alcohol into the glass will instantly hit you with an intense aroma and pungency.

But, what distinctly stands out in this liquor is the unique taste. The drink’s prominence of sugar and vanilla is profound, adding a foamy and creamy texture.

Kahlua’s history or origin dates back to 1948 when it was first used in a bar in Brussels. Since then, the liquor has undergone many changes and improvements to its taste and smoothness, making it a popular drink in several bars.

Often mixed with milk or cream,d several bars and cafes sell Kahlua-flavored milkshakes. It is also often added to hot chocolate to add a unique mocha flavor to the drink. But, if you are feeling a little adventurous, a Kahlua Affogato is a great drink to indulge in.


About Baileys

Baileys bottle

Image Source – https://www.drinkhacker.com/

On the other hand, Baileys has a solid yet pungent coffee taste and aroma that hits right in with a single sip. The liquor has a blend of coffee and cream, which feels rich and decadent on the palate.

Baileys has a hint of Irish crème and chocolate mixed into one if you are wondering about the flavor or taste. For your first try, we’d recommend “Mudslide,” a trendy drink made using Baileys.

Although no one knows the exact list of compositions of Baileys, what is known is the fact that the drink contains 17% alcohol. So, if you want to get drunk and have a good time letting loose, this is an option you can ponder.

Since Baileys has a fundamental ingredient list with no overpowering taste or flavors, so it can be mixed with various drinks. You can even pair Baileys with Whiskey and Vodka.

Are Kahlua and Baileys the Same?

Since Kahlua and Baileys are both coffee liquor, it isn’t surprising that most people confuse them.

But a single sip of either of these drinks is enough to distinguish the flavors. Kahlua has a thicker texture and a bolder flavor. On the other hand, Baileys is great for first-time coffee liquor tryers.

A simple pour of either of the drinks is enough to distinguish the texture and flavors. You can smooth out your choice of cocktail in no time at all.

Another difference is in terms of the flavor. Kahlua has a subtle hint of hazelnut in it with a strong shot of espresso. Baileys have a milkier taste and texture, which isn’t very prominent in a Kahlua.


Kahlua Vs. Baileys: Factors to Compare

Kahlua Vs. Baileys

With a basic rundown of the taste and flavor of Kahlua and Baileys, let’s compare these two drinks based on different factors.


Kahlua has a mildly alcoholic but bold coffee taste with subtle hints of sweetness. Thanks to the blend of light and clear rum, sugar, and vanilla, the liquor has a very prominent “dessert-like” flavor profile.

Also, the undertones of chestnuts, hazelnut, caramel, and vanilla make it an excellent option for first-time drinkers. As for the color of the drink, it has a deep and dark caramel color, which pairs well with the drinks.

When it comes to Baileys, the drink has a mildly alcoholic aftertaste with a subtle sweetness of vanilla. The liquor pairs well with hot chocolate, making it a strong mocha drink if that’s something you are aiming for. As for the texture, the drink has a thick and creamy texture, something mimicking the taste of heavy cream.


The calories in Kahlua will depend on the cocktail you are whipping up. Generally, 100 ml of Kahlua has 303 calories, while a drink with one oz. of Kahlua has 68 calories, making it a worthy option to explore.

Baileys, on the other hand, Baileys has around 327 calories per 100 ml of the drink alongside 3 gm of protein and 25 gms of carbohydrates.

Overall, Baileys has a high-calorie amount compared to Kahlua’s.


If you like the depth and complexity of flavors, Kahlua will be a better choice for you since the ingredients are a lot more than Baileys.

A list of ingredients in Kahlua includes:

  • 100% Arabica Coffee Beans
  • Roasted Chestnut
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup/Sugar
  • Grain Spirit
  • Coffee Extract (Made From Rum, Sugar, Water, and Caramel)
  • Neutral Grain Spirit
  • Water
  • Wine

List of Ingredients in Baileys

  • Irish Whisky
  • Glanbia Cream
  • Cocoa
  • Sugar
  • Herbs
  • Spices

These are generally the base ingredients that are present in either liquor. What you add to the cocktails might vary.


Kahlua Original is available in varying sizes, concoctions, and drink options. The 50 ml drink retails for $8.68, while a 750 ml drink typically costs around $22.99.

If you are considering buying a larger bottle, a 1L generally retails for $33.99, while a 1.7L variant retails for $45.99.

Baileys has a comparably cheaper price range. A 750 ml of Baileys Irish Crème averages $25.99, a 1L variant retails for $30.99, while a 1.7L for $42.99.

Alcohol Volume

The original Kahlua typically had around 20% alcohol, which has now been reworked and has about 16% alcohol concentration.

Compared to Kahlua, Baileys has a slightly higher alcohol with 17% alcohol content.

Sugar content

A standard Kahlua has around 29.7 grams of sugar. On the other hand, Baileys has about 19.5 gm of sugar per 100 ml.


So, what’s the difference between Kahlua and Baileys?

If you are still confused about the difference between Kahlua and Baileys, the main difference is in the taste and texture.

Kahlua is a coffee liquor, while Baileys Original Irish Crème is a coffee cream liquor with a slightly thicker texture and creaminess.

Also, if you like a prominent coffee flavor, Kahlua is the one. Baileys has a blend of coffee with hints of chocolate in it. But there isn’t much difference in terms of the alcohol content.

Which is better, Kahlua or Baileys?

When it comes to choosing one of the two drinks, the choice is relatively challenging. The option is often a personal preference.

If you like a more robust coffee flavor in your cocktails, you will prefer Kahlua. But if you want a creamier texture in your cocktails, Baileys is an excellent choice.

Also, if you like thicker cocktails with sweetness and a strong mocha or chocolate flavor, Baileys is a good pick compared to Kahlua.


Kahlua and Baileys are great coffee liquors in themselves. It’s no doubt that they make cocktail staples, but which one do you prefer? Putting them head-to-head might make you question, “Which of the two is a better option?” Technically, the answer depends. So, which one would you pick?

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