Kahlua does not need to be refrigerated after opening, but it should be stored in a cool, dark space, such as a pantry. Kahlua has a shelf life of about 3 to 4 years after opening.
Kahlua is a rum-based liqueur that is a combination of arabica coffee beans, sugarcane spirit, vanilla and caramel. It features an alcohol content of 20 percent, which is why it can be stored in a pantry, rather than a refrigerator. The alcohol content typically needs to be higher than 17 percent for the liqueur to keep without refrigeration.
To store Kahlua properly, ensure that the cap is fully tightened and keep it away from extreme temperature changes and bright lights. Pantries, cupboards and cool basements are ideal locations for storing liquor. It is also important to wipe around the cap, as well as the bottle mouth and neck, after each use, as the small amount of liquid around the cap can lead to fruit flies or a tight lid that is difficult to open.
After initial opening, Kahlua has a shelf life of about 3 to 4 years, according to Kahlua.com. While the liqueur may last longer, it may lose its signature flavor, warranting its disposal and replacement, especially if it has not been stored properly.