Drink Up: The 10 Coffee Cocktails You Should Be Making Right Now

coffee cocktail recipes

Remember when coffee purists would internet-yell at anyone who tried to mix good coffee with anything other than steamed milk? Those days are over (thank goodness), and we’re free to explore all the cool things coffee can pair with—and there are so many amazing creations.

And right now, we’re thrilled about coffee cocktails.

Who knew blending booze and beans could taste so good!?

There are hundreds of recipes out there though—it can be daunting at first. That’s why we’ve curated this list of the ten best coffee cocktails you should try making at home. 

But Wait… Is Mixing Coffee And Alcohol Safe?

Adding an upper to a downer—what could go wrong? Enough to be mindful of.

According to the CDC… 

“When alcohol is mixed with caffeine, the caffeine can mask the depressant effects of alcohol, making drinkers feel more alert than they would otherwise. As a result, they may drink more alcohol and become more impaired than they realize, increasing the risk of alcohol-attributable harms.”

Caffeine does not change the way your body digests alcohol (or vice versa), but it can make you feel more confident than you should be.

Takeaway: Be extra aware of how you’re feeling, realize coffee will make you feel less affected by alcohol than you really are, and drink responsibly.

Up next, the ten coffee cocktails you need to try ASAP.

1. Cold Brewed Boulevardier

Credited to Erskine Gwynne, an American living in Paris who founded the Boulevardier magazine in the early 1900s, this cocktail—now with a caffeinated spin—has a refreshing balance of boozy complexity and approachable simplicity.

  • 1oz Campari
  • 1oz bourbon whiskey
  • 1oz sweet vermouth
  • .25oz cold brew coffee
  • Glass: cocktail
  • Garnish: orange slice, lemon twist, or cherry

Stir the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, then garnish.

From The Manual.

2. The Bold Greek

If you’ve never tried ouzo, the most famous of Greek liqueurs, you’ve got quite a surprise waiting for you. Bold and bitter, the anise-tasting elixir packs a punch… and goes surprisingly well with coffee when paired with a fennel syrup.

  • 1oz fennel syrup
  • 2oz Greek ouzo
  • 1oz coffee liqueur
  • 1oz chilled coffee
  • Glass: stemless wine glass
  • Garnish: orange slice

Fill a stemless wine glass with ice, mix the ingredients, and stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

From Souvlaki For The Soul.

3. Siciliano

The perfect post-dinner drink for when you can’t decide between coffee and amaro, the Siciliano blends the two to create a mild-mannered digestif.

  • 2oz sweet vermouth (preferably Italian)
  • 1.5oz amaro
  • 1.5oz cold brew coffee
  • 1oz simple syrup
  • Club soda
  • Glass: tall
  • Garnish: orange wheel

Mix the liquid ingredients in a tumbler, add ice to fill, and then top off with club soda to taste. Garnish with an orange wheel.

From Bon Appetite.

4. Cold Brew Sangria

Can you really imagine a better summer drink than fruity red wine, soda water, cold brew, and fresh berries? No, we didn’t think so. For this one, we highly recommend using a coffee on the fruity end of the flavor spectrum—like this one.

  • 3oz fruity red wine
  • 1.5oz cold brew coffee
  • .5oz simple syrup
  • Soda water
  • Glass: tall
  • Garnish: fresh berries

Half-fill a tall glass with ice, stir in the liquid ingredients, top with soda water to taste, and garnish with fresh berries of your choice.

From the Paulig Barista Institute.

5. Espresso Martini

The classic coffee cocktail of London made in the 80’s, the Espresso Martini is a bold after-dinner pick-me-up, blending the best parts of a rich shot of espresso and the classic vodka martini.

  • 2oz Vodka
  • .5oz simple syrup
  • .5oz coffee liqueur
  • 1oz shot of espresso
  • Glass: martini
  • Garnish: coffee beans

Add liquid ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and carefully lay three whole coffee beans atop the foam.

From Liquor.com.

6. Cold Brew Martini

A smoother alternative to the espresso martini, the cold brew martini uses chilled cold brew—not hot espresso—which is known for being ~66% less acidic and bitter. The result is a more approachable cocktail anyone can get behind.

  • 1oz vodka
  • 2oz coffee liqueur
  • 3oz cold brew coffee
  • Glass: rocks
  • Garnish: coffee beans

Add liquid ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with whole coffee beans.

From Kahlua.

7. Coffee Old (“Cold”) Fashioned

If you’re feeling classy and simple, it doesn’t get better than the old fashioned. Tried and true, it’s always there for you—a surefire choice. And now… it comes with coffee.

  • 2oz bourbon
  • .5oz cold brew coffee
  • .5oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Glass: old fashioned
  • Garnish: lemon wheel

Stir all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass, and garnish with a floating lemon wheel.

From Imbibe Magazine.

8. Untitled Drink #4

Um, well, nobody knows exactly who made this one—only that it was published in Toddy Cold Brewed: Simply Better Cocktails. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine! But don’t let that turn you away… this one’s simple and delicious.

  • 1oz rye whiskey
  • 1oz cold brew coffee
  • 1oz blanc vermouth
  • .25oz maraschino liqueur
  • Dash or peychaud’s bitters
  • Glass: cocktail
  • Garnish: a thyme sprig and lemon zest

Stir liquid ingredients together in a cocktail glass, add a cube of ice, and garnish with a fresh thyme sprig and lemon zest.

From Toddy.

9. The Beccaccino

This cocktail is said to have been an old Seattle classic, going back as far as thirty years ago—in the days when specialty coffee was pretty much limited to… well, Seattle. Cold and refreshing, it’ll steal your heart away.

  • 1oz brandy
  • .5oz Bénédictine
  • .5oz amaretto
  • .5oz Irish Mist
  • 2.5oz cold brew coffee
  • Glass: large cocktail
  • Garnish: whipped cream

Stir all the ingredients in a mixing glass, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish.

From Imbibe Magazine.

10. South of No North

This Pacific Northwest favorite goes exceptionally well with fruit-forward coffees, like this one, offering a robust flavor you won’t find anywhere else on this list thanks to… drum roll… tequila and egg whites!

  • 1.5oz reposado tequila
  • .5oz Cynar
  • .5oz simple syrup
  • 1oz cold brew coffee
  • 1 fresh egg white
  • Glass: cocktail
  • Garnish: n/a

Shake the fresh egg white dry, without ice, before adding the remaining ingredients and ice. Oh, and shake for a little longer too. Strain into a cocktail glass and savor the fine foam.

From the New York Times.

How To Pair Coffees With Cocktails

Coffee and cocktails go together really, really well—but that doesn’t mean every coffee bean will be a great fit for every drink. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re picking a bean to go in a cocktail.

 

  • Flavor profiles matter. Fruity coffees do well with fruity cocktails, and deeper-flavored coffees go well with darker-flavored cocktails. Pair mindfully, because a berry-forward Ethiopian bean may not do as well in The Bold Greek as it will the Sangria.

 

  • Good liquor won’t cover up bad coffee. If your beans are stale or over-roasted and bitter, you’ll find out quickly. Low-grade beans bring a cocktail down, so if you wouldn’t drink it by itself, don’t put in a cocktail.

 

Your best bet for finding A+ cocktail-ready coffee beans is to buy freshly roasted and specialty-grade beans—the kind that are rich with balanced flavors and not overly bitter or sour.

For example, coffees with notes of:

  • Chocolate, maple, and caramel 🍫
  • Honey, citrus, and flowers 🍯
  • Vanilla, strawberry, and sugarcane 🍓

Oh hey—those are our coffees! 

(Sound good, don’t they?)

Get your next bag of beans right here and make your next cocktail night a stellar one.

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