5 Coffee Cocktail Recipes

A picture of a Black Russian cocktail.

If you’ve ever ordered a coffee cocktail at a hip bar or restaurant, you might think a “coffee cocktail” has to have Bailey’s in it.

Think again—while Irish cream is delicious and still shows up in a lot of coffee cocktail ingredient lists, there are many more options out there to explore than the rip-off Irish cream and vodka cocktails served to naïve college students across America.

While most of the cocktail recipes below already include real coffee, you can elevate any coffee cocktail by substituting some of the coffee liqueur with freshly brewed coffee. I’m speaking from lots of experience here. (Even when a cocktail recipe calls for espresso, you can substitute a strong dark roast coffee and end up with essentially the same drink.)

Without further ado, here are five of the best cocktails that combine two of this country’s favorite pastimes: coffee and alcohol!

Black Russian

Even though it sounds like a riff on the classic creamy cocktail that kept Lebowski going in the early 90s, this appropriately-named coffee and vodka cocktail actually preceded the White Russian.

The Black Russian is vodka and Kahlua, while the White Russian is the same ingredients but with heavy cream added. With more of a focus on coffee flavor, the original version is a simpler, less “heavy” cocktail. Add a shot glass or two of Black Insomnia and this one could be called the “Wired Russian.”

Click here to get the recipe.

Long Island Iced Coffee

When I heard of this drink, the very first thought I had was “Ah, that’s a clever name.” My second thought was “wow… that sounds amazing.” Like the iced tea, but with Irish Cream and cold brew coffee instead of triple sec and Coke. Most importantly, it’s just as easy to drink and loaded with booze as its original namesake.

Get the full drink recipe here.

 

A picture of a Carajillo Cocktail being poured.

Carajillo Cocktail

A Carajillo is a classic Spanish cocktail that is also popular in coffee bars and resorts across Mexico. With a mix of espresso and Licor 43, this coffee cocktail has warm notes of cinnamon, vanilla, anise, and citrus. That’s right, despite how the name sounds in English, it has absolutely nothing to do with licorice—don’t worry, I wouldn’t steer you wrong like that. A Carajillo can be served hot or cold, and often with sugar on the rim.

Click here to try making this one yourself.

A picture of Amaretto Coffee being made with Black Insomnia Coffee

Amaretto Coffee

The sweet almond flavor of amaretto is a natural pairing with coffee—so natural that this one is literally just amaretto, coffee, and whipped cream. If you want to complicate things you could always sprinkle some chopped nuts or whole coffee beans on top. Hot coffee cocktails like this one look great served in a clear double-walled glass.

There’s not much to this one, but for the recommended coffee to liqueur ratio, check out the recipe for yourself here.

Coffee Brandy Alexander

Another flavor that you might correctly expect to go great with coffee, brandy has been added to coffee for decades. This riff on the classic Brandy Alexander is similar to the original, but substitutes most of the creme de cocoa for coffee liqueur. Whether you have brandy in your liquor cabinet or not, you can always make your own variation on this one by swapping out the base liquor for cognac, bourbon, whiskey, aged rum, or even gin.

Click here to try the recipe for yourself.

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