The Tasting Panel magazine

Nov 09

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Page 37 of 92

november 2009 / the tasting panel /  37 R einforcing the Mexican roots of the brand, Kahlúa chose Mexican Independence Day to celebrate its limited-edition Kahlúa Coffee Cream; appropriately, the chosen pairing partner was a wonderful new face on the New York Mexican food scene, Calexico Carne Asada. After three years of running street carts in New York, Calexico's first brick and mortar operation opened in Brooklyn's Columbia Street Waterfront. The restaurant features cart favorites like carne asada and chipotle pork, plus some unique items such as marinated tofu and pork and grits. As much as I love Kahlúa, and perfectly marinat- ed carne asada, I was a hard cookie to convince that Kahlúa Coffee Cream was something new, and that it could be paired with my tacos. Skeptical before I walked in the door, I immediately hit Kahlúa Brand Manager Andy Nash with my most shameless ques- tions before the coffee cream cocktail had a chance to warm my belly. What's special about Kahlúa Coffee Cream? "It's a different proposition from a taste perspec- tive," Nash replied without skipping a beat, "and it's a different base," he added. "It's more Kahlúa than cream." As for my stubborn opinion about pair- ing, he convinced me to see for myself. I was delighted to find that cocktail cre- ations by mixologist Julio De Santos, where citrus or paprika graced the rim, offered a very delicate match for Mexican hors d'oeuvres that integrate lime and cilantro. With a sheepish smile, I left the party know- ing Kahlúa Coffee Cream wouldn't be the hard sell that I was. —Marguerite Richards Kahlúa Coffee Cream, True to Form Mixologist Julio De Santos takes Kahlúa Coffee Cream to a South-of-the-Border experience. PHOTO: JIMMEY LEBLANC

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