Skip to main content

Coffee cocktails beyond the espresso martini

Alternative ways to get a cocktail buzz on

An espresso martini at Club Trocadero Bonaire in Kralendijk, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands.
Andrew Davey/The Manual

It’s sweet, it’s rich, and it’s full of caffeine — everyone loves an espresso martini. Though this cocktail peaked in popularity a few years ago, it’s still a favorite drink for many thanks to its delicious, easy-drinking qualities. But if you feel like branching out, then there are more coffee cocktails in the world for you to consider. Of course there’s the Irish Coffee (made with hot coffee and whiskey, and topped with whipped cream), but there are also some more interesting options for you to try to recreate a cup of joe in your glass.

Mezcal Espresso Martini

Small variations can make a big difference, and one way to up your espresso martini game is to swap out the spirits for something different. Rather than vodka, I like to use rum in my espresso martinis, but another option suggested by mezcal brand Mezculum is to drop some mezcal in there instead, to create something more smokey and savory.

“Replacing vodka with Mezcalum helps balance the sweetness with a more savory note,” says Erin Lichy, Co-Founder of Mezcalum. “Add some mole bitters for a little extra flair!”

Cognac coffee cocktail

A lesser known but delicious cocktail doesn’t actually contain coffee, but is traditionally known as a Coffee Cocktail because it looks like a coffee once you’ve made it. If you like the heartiness of a latte and you love the foam on top of your coffee, then this cocktail could scratch that itch for you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Cognac
  • 1 oz ruby port
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup

Method: Mix all these ingredients together in a shaker tin with no ice and shake vigorously. This is called a dry shake and is important to help fluff up the egg into that delicious textured foam. Then you can add ice to your tin and shake again to chill. Strain into a port glass and grate some nutmeg on top for a spicy, latte-like creation.

Chocolate Cake Shot

The most famous coffee liqueur is probably Kahlua, but another option for those with a sweet tooth and a desire for something less syrupy and more creamy is Fangelico. This hazelnut liqueur is blended with coffee and cocoa, giving it a sweety chocolatey taste which makes it perfect for desert-style drinks like this cake shot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Frangelico
  • 1 part SKYY Citrus Vodka
  • Lemon Wedge
  • Sugar

Method: Run the slice of lemon around the edge of a shot glass. Dip the edge of the glass and lemon in sugar. Combine Frangelico and vodka in shot glass. Take the shot and chase with the sugar coated lemon wedge.

Georgina Torbet
Georgina Torbet is a cocktail enthusiast based in Berlin, with an ever-growing gin collection and a love for trying out new…
The best bourbons to drink around a summer campfire
Bourbon and campfires are made for each other
Whiskey fire

In the pantheon of summer activities that we think about and pine for in the dark depths of winter, few beat the appeal of the campfire. Regardless of whether it's during a camping trip with friends and family or in our backyard, we love a good, warming campfire. It’s the perfect way to wind down the day with fiery heat warming your body from the evening’s chill and a gooey, melty, sweet s’more in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other.

And if we’re drinking whiskey around the campfire, you better believe it’s sweet, mellow, easy-drinking bourbon. The corn-based whiskey is well-suited to be sipped neat or on the rocks while you sit around a roaring summer fire in comfortable Adirondack chairs.
The best bourbons to drink around a summer campfire

Read more
Scotch distillery Brora marks its anniversary with 44 year old release
The limited edition Untold Depths release was distilled in 1977
brora 44 anniversary release year old untold depths jpg

One of the classic Scotch distilleries, Brora, had been closed in 1983 but was resurrected in 2021 following a restoration project, and it is now debuting a new aged whisky to celebrate the third anniversary of that reopening. Untold Depths is a 44 year old release originally distilled in 1977, before the closing of the distillery, and is a particular tribute to an era of the distillery referred to as "the age of peat."

“The second in a series of releases from the distillery, ‘Untold Depths’ is a classic pairing of a gentle cask and medium peating which explores the full depth of taste of which Brora is capable," said Craig Wilson, Master Blender at Brora. "On the nose the whisky holds waxy hints of fragrant incense and green grape skins drift through light peat smoke, then dried herb and scented oil slowly rising through a swirl of buttery toffee. Waxy-smooth, the sweet, lightly fruity taste reaches a long and fragrant finish with a pinch of white pepper.”

Read more
Raise a glass with these bourbon and mezcal cocktails
Fruity and floral flavors for your relaxing summer evening cocktail
fourth july bourbon mezcal cocktails

With many people enjoying a well-earned day off today, it's time to kick back with friends and family, and enjoy some delicious food -- and perhaps to sip on a summery drink as well.

While classic mixed drinks and beers are always popular for the warmer month, if you're feeling like putting in some extra effort then you could mix yourself up a delicious cocktail.

Read more