Hats off to the genius who first mixed caffeine with alcohol. The combination often works wonders, filing down the bitterness of coffee until it becomes a well-integrated and enjoyable cocktail.
Better, coffee cocktails are great year-round. And because there are various options, from standard joe to coffee liqueurs and coffee beers, there’s room for all kinds of experimentation. That’s not to say everything just magically blends well with java. Because coffee is built around a backbone of earthy, roasted, often nutty notes, you can’t just go throwing pink wine or any old infused vodka at the stuff. Think complementary notes, like coconut, chocolate, toffee, and more.
Here are 9 outstanding coffee cocktails to try.
This cocktail utilizes banana, an under-utilized ingredient when it comes to mixology. The result is a decidedly tropical drink with a kick of caffeine.
- .5 oz. dark creme de cacao
- .5 oz. Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
- .75 oz. The Perfect Puree Banana Puree, thawed
- 3 oz. coffee
Method: Add all ingredients into a coffee cup. Garnish with whipped cream, yellow sprinkles, and a banana chip.
A classy coffee cocktail indeed, the three-card monte benefits from the eucalyptus, citrus, and vanilla bean notes of one of Italy’s most famous amaro options.
- 1 oz. Mr. Black Cold Brew Liqueur
- 1 oz. brandy
- 1 oz. Amaro Montenegro
- Chartreuse or genepy rinse
Method: Stir and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with orange peel.
Sure, you can go the way of Lebowski and mix up a mediocre White Russian with the expected ingredients, but we prefer something a bit classier, like this riff on the classic cocktail.
- 1.5 oz. Absolut Elyx Vodka
- 1 oz. Caffe Lolita Coffee Liqueur
- 1 oz. half-and-half
- 3 coffee beans for garnish
Method: Combine the vodka and liqueur in glass and fill with ice cubes, stirring briefly. Layer half-and-half on top and garnish with the coffee beans.
Milk works fine with this martini, but we suggest the heft of half-and-half for a little extra richness and to really fuse the tequila and coffee notes.
- 5 parts Avión Espresso Tequila
- 1 part milk or half-and-half
Method: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with 1-3 espresso beans.
Essentially hot chocolate for grown-ups, this easy-to-assemble drink will warm your soul.
- 2 oz. Avión Espresso
- 1 oz. premium hot chocolate
- Fresh whipped cream and mint leaf for garnish
Method: Combine ingredients in glass and heat. Garnish with fresh whipped cream and a mint leaf.
Sometimes, you just want a few sips of something to cap a meal or an evening with friends, especially if it packs the kind of punch that tequila and espresso do.
- 2 parts Avión Anejo
- 1 part Avión Espresso Tequila
Method: Pour ingredients into a rocks glass over ice and stir.
The right kind of sherry can blend beautifully with coffee, as is the case with this layered cocktail.
- 3 oz. Sam Adams Nitro Coffee Stout
- 1 oz. Jamaican Rum
- 1 oz. Pedro Ximénez Sherry
- 2 dashes chocolate bitters
- 1 whole egg
Method: Dry shake, hard shake, and strain into snifter. Top with nitro stout. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
An excellent evening sipper, this dessert-in-a-glass blends all the great things — beer, amaro, and coffee.
- 4-6 oz. Sam Adams Nitro Coffee Stout
- .75 oz. Frangelico
- .75 oz. Braulio (or favorite amaro)
- 1 oz. cold brew coffee
- Ice cream and condiments
Method: Shake and strain into Pilsner glass. Top 3/4 of the way with Sam Adams Nitro Coffee Stout. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Garnish with crushed hazelnuts and/or whipped cream, sprinkles, cherry, and chocolate.
This coffee cocktail gets a kiss on the cheek from the Mediterranean thanks to the addition of Aperol, along with some added floral notes via rose water.
- 1 oz. Mr. Black Cold Brew Liqueur
- 1 oz. bourbon
- 1 oz. Aperol
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 1 dash rose water
Method: Shake and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with lemon zest.
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