Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The 9 Best Spiked Cold Brews for Satisfying Your Alcohol and Coffee Cravings

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Mixing alcohol and caffeine, one might think you’d come out dead even. But that’s not really how hard coffee works. The wondrous drink often made with cold brew offers the right kick on both ends of the spectrum, giving you a little jolt of energy while calming the nerves as well.

Coffee by nature does quite well with booze. It shows up in great cocktail recipes (not just coffee cocktails), in exceptional coffee beers, and in tasty liqueurs. For true coffee lovers, hard cold brew is the best way to go as the flavor of the coffee beans shines through. Plus, they are all kinds of refreshing on a warm afternoon.

Sure, one can easily go off the deep end. It’s a slippery slope that can lead to abominations like Red Bull and vodka. We prefer to keep things in check with some hard coffee options that allow you to keep functioning, should that be your desire. And if you want them to power you through the wee hours of a party, that’s fine too. Simply drink more of them. Just don’t get the jitters.

Related Reading

Best Overall: Mad Bean Company

Mad Bean Co. Spiked Coffee
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Mad Bean has struck a balance in the small but growing category otherwise known as spiked java. With an ABV of 4.5% and enough of a coffee backbone to boss the alcohol and other ingredients, it’s a model citizen in terms of balance. It tastes like something a bartender might concoct, so grab your favorite glass.

Shop at Mad Bean

Best Boozy: Mr. Black

mr black cold brew coffee liqueur
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Made from cold brew, this liqueur isn’t so heavy that it can’t be enjoyed neat. It’s also a great bottle to have at your disposal for spiking your favorite cup of Joe or hitting with some cream and drinking after dinner. It’s boozy, sure, but at 25% ABV, it’s actually quite tame from a mixing standpoint. And it’s a nice addition to your bar as it looks a bit like a statuesque penguin.

Shop at Mr. Black

Best Sugar-Free: Bomani

Bomani Cold Buzz
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re watching your health numbers, Bomani has you covered. This so-called cold buzz contains no sugar, is gluten-free, and touts zero carbs and a modest 110 calories. There’s also a vanilla flavor pack. The sampler pack comes with eight cans and starts at $32.

Shop at Bomani

Best Import: Newground Hard Nitro

Newground Cafe Latte Cold Brew
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This delicious Dutch option is a self-described hangover cure. We’re not entirely convinced of that, but it is delicious. Adorable can aside (I mean, the logo shows a bunny taking a jackhammer to a coffee bean), it’s very pleasant, with a round, creamy texture that lasts and lasts.

Shop at Newground

Best Variety: Cafe Agave

cafe agave spiked cold brew
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Cafe Agave’s line comes in a bit hot at 12.5% ABV, so we prefer them as a weekend sipper or nightcap. Made from dark roast Arabica beans, you might expect a heftier drink, but that’s not really the care. The darker-toned coffee actually stands up to the increase in booze, without imparting any unwanted bitterness.

Shop at Cafe Agave

Best Flavored: Rebel Berry Crisp Latte

Rebel Berry Crisp Hard Coffee
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re up for breakfast in bed some weekend, start here. This flavored spiked coffee drinks like a small meal you would get at your favorite corner cafe, plus some hooch. It’s part of the brand’s seasonal line, which they’ll likely be tinkering with going forward. So, look out for other intriguing flavors on the horizon.

Shop at Rebel Hard Coffee

Best by a Brewery: Guinness

Guinness Cold Brew Nitro Coffee
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The smoothest option on the block, this brewery-made brew is like velvet on the palate. That’s what we’ve come to expect from the stout masters at Guinness, but it goes next level thanks to the satinlike qualities of nitro coffee. Enjoy the texture while sipping neat, or try it with a snickerdoodle or small scoop of gelato.

Shop at Drizly

Best in Moderation: La Colombe

La Colombe Hard Cold Brew Coffee
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Clocking in even more moderate than most light beers, this featherweight option is ideal for keeping things professional during a bout of day drinking. The roast level is right where it should be, and there’s zero heat from the dialed-in amount of added alcohol. That said, they will sneak up on you if you don’t pay attention.

Shop at Drizly

Best NA: Bailey’s

Baileys RTD Cold Brew
Image used with permission by copyright holder

We know, it’s an outlier, but sometimes you want the weight and flavor of a spiked coffee without the potential repercussions. Enter this flavored number from Bailey’s, as decadent as most restaurant desserts yet surprisingly drinkable. You can be a heathen thirsty for riches without the hangover, and this canned option is sweet, pastrylike proof.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
This roaster’s $150 cup of coffee sold out in a single day
Would you shell out for a $150 cup of coffee? Turns out, many people would for one of the top-rated roasts
Person roasting coffee beans in a wok

Splurging is a habit we can't seem to kick. Amid a less-the-perfect economy, we still love to eat expensive caviar, collect wildly high-priced spirits bottles, and order drinks with actual gold in them. Creatures of habit, I suppose.

The latest development within the topic? A coffee cup with an asking price of $150. Yes, a Portland coffee roaster offered a rare and limited-run cup of coffee. It goes down as perhaps the most expensive cup of coffee ever. The real question begs: Is it worth it?

Read more
The 10 best sweet treats for your Valentine’s Day celebration
These desserts are perfect for sharing with your Valentine
Inside Out Red Velvet Cookies

Some folks love Valentine's Day, spending the day with your special someone, fully embracing the hearts and flowers of it all. Others take great pride in declaring it a commercial greeting card holiday, and rebelling against the societal pressures set upon them. But no matter how you look at the day, it has one benefit for all: it's an excuse to make really good desserts. These 10 Valentine's Day dessert recipes range from entry-level to expert offering sugary bliss to cooks and bakers of any level. They also vary in prep and cook time, so no matter how busy you are you'll be able to whip one of these up no problem.

These Valentine's Day desserts would be great after a delicious Valentine's Day dinner or while watching a Valentine's Day movie.
Related Guides

Read more
Here are the best holiday cocktails for Christmastime
Need a festive cocktail for the holiday stretch? Look no further than this esteemed list of recipes
Zombie Holiday Cocktail

As 2022 winds down and the holidays really set in, the opportunity for a good, festive drink presents itself more often than usual. Makes sense, as this time of year is really about loved ones, gratitude, gatherings, and catching up. A constant throughout this deceptively busy time of year is the cocktail.

Sure, we love a good stout and a bracing glass of Sauvignon Blanc. But special occasions call for special drinks. And some of the most special around come in the format of the cocktail. What, with their decorative garnishes, vivid colors and flavors schemes, and cool, corresponding glassware, it's arguable the best time of year for one.

Read more