21 Coffee-Based Alcoholic Drinks: Your Ultimate Guide to Mixing Brews & Booze
For those who appreciate a delicious cup of coffee and the enjoyable taste of a well-crafted cocktail, look no further.
In this article, we will introduce you to 21 amazing coffee-based alcoholic drinks (well 3 non-alcoholic) that you can easily whip up at home or impress your friends with at your next gathering. Combining the rich flavors of coffee with various spirits creates a wide range of delectable beverages that suit any occasion.
These coffee cocktails are not only enticing but also highly versatile. Whether you prefer your coffee served hot or cold, or your cocktail shaken or stirred, you are sure to find the perfect drink to perk you up.
With various styles featuring different spirits, including vodka, tequila, and Irish cream liqueur, there’s something to tantalize the taste buds of every coffee and cocktail enthusiast.
Essential Coffee Cocktail Ingredients
Every coffee cocktail enthusiast should have a few essential ingredients on hand to create a variety of delicious coffee-based alcoholic drinks.
First and foremost, good quality coffee is crucial for any coffee cocktail. Many recipes call for cold brew or strong brewed coffee.
Cold brew coffee generally has a smoother taste and is less acidic than traditionally brewed coffee, making it an ideal base for many coffee cocktails. Experiment with your favorite beans and brewing methods to find the blend that best suits your taste and the specific recipe.
When it comes to spirits, vodka, whiskey, rum and coffee liqueurs like Kahlua are a popular choice for coffee cocktails.
Other key ingredients to have on hand for coffee cocktails include:
- Cream or milk for creamy cocktails
- Simple syrup or sugar for sweetening
- Chocolate syrup or cocoa powder for mocha-inspired drinks
- Whipped cream and other garnishes for an extra touch of indulgence
With these ingredients stocked in your pantry and bar, you’ll be well-prepared to craft delectable coffee cocktails that are sure to impress your guests and satisfy your cravings.
Classic Coffee Cocktails
Let’s dive into some classic coffee cocktails that have stood the test of time. These delicious drinks are perfect for any coffee enthusiast looking for a little extra kick. Here, we will cover the Espresso Martini, Irish Coffee, and White Russian.
The Espresso Martini is a sophisticated delight that mixes the bold flavor of coffee with the smoothness of vodka. This concoction is perfect for when you need a pick-me-up with a touch of elegance. Here’s how to make it:
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz coffee liqueur
- 1 oz freshly brewed espresso
Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with coffee beans.
A warm and comforting classic, Irish Coffee combines coffee and whiskey for a delightful treat. Perfect for a cozy evening or a festive celebration, here’s how to make Irish Coffee:
- 1½ oz Irish whiskey
- 4 oz hot black coffee
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- Whipped cream for topping
Stir the coffee, whiskey, and brown sugar in a heated glass until the sugar dissolves. Top with whipped cream.
The White Russian is a creamy and indulgent cocktail, blending the flavors of coffee and cream for a luxurious experience. Whether you’re enjoying this drink on a night out or as an after-dinner treat, here’s how to make a White Russian:
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz coffee liqueur
- 1 oz heavy cream
Fill a glass with ice, pour in the vodka and coffee liqueur, and gently float the cream on top. Stir to combine if desired.
Creative Coffee Cocktail Twists
The Coffee Negroni is a unique twist on the classic Negroni, incorporating rich coffee flavors to create a delightful cocktail. To make this drink, you’ll need equal parts gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, and strong cold brew coffee.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass with fresh ice and garnish with an orange twist. This caffeinated twist on the classic will surely reinvigorate your taste buds.
Café Amaretto is a perfect blend of almond-flavored liqueur and coffee, creating a delicious and elegant drink. Start by preparing a cup of hot coffee and adding a shot of amaretto liqueur. For a frothy top layer, you can use whipped cream or frothed milk. Finish the drink by adding a sprinkle of cocoa powder or grated chocolate on top to enhance the exquisite taste.
For an iced version, simply combine the same ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a tall glass with fresh ice and enjoy a chilled, delectable cocktail.
Mocha Old Fashioned
The Mocha Old Fashioned combines the classic flavors of an Old Fashioned with a hint of chocolate and coffee. To create this drink, you’ll need:
- 2 ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey
- 1/2 ounce coffee liqueur
- 1/4 ounce chocolate syrup
- 2 dashes of mole bitters (or classic Angostura bitters)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass with fresh ice and garnish with an orange twist or a cherry. Indulging in this delightful drink will surely add a caffeinated kick to your traditional Old Fashioned.
International Coffee Cocktails
Travel the world through your taste buds with these delightful international coffee cocktails. In this section, we will explore three different beverages that hail from various countries, showcasing unique flavor combinations and techniques.
Originating in Spain, the Carajillo is a simple yet flavorful coffee cocktail that combines coffee and liquor. Ideal for a warming sip on a cold evening, this drink has gained popularity across Latin America as well. To make a Carajillo, you’ll need:
- 1 shot of espresso or strong coffee
- 1.5 oz of Licor 43 or brandy
- Ice (optional)
- Orange zest (for garnish)
Simply pour the espresso and Licor 43 or brandy, over ice in a lowball glass. Stir gently and garnish with a twist of orange zest to give it a refreshing citrus touch.
Flat White Russian
A twist on the classic White Russian cocktail, the Flat White Russian brings together the creamy goodness of a flat white and the bold, boozy kick from a tasty White Russian. Here’s how to create this fusion:
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz Kahlúa or coffee liqueur
- 1 oz cold brew coffee
- 1 oz whole milk or heavy cream
In a shaker filled with ice, add vodka, Kahlúa, cold brew coffee, and milk or cream. Shake well, then strain into a chilled lowball glass filled with ice. Enjoy the rich coffee and cream experience of this fantastic international cocktail.
The Bicerin is an Italian classic that hails from Turin. This indulgent and visually impressive layered coffee cocktail features chocolate, coffee, and cream, spiked with a little kick of alcohol. For a Spiked Bicerin, you’ll need:
- 1 oz hot chocolate
- 1 oz brewed espresso
- 1 oz brandy or coffee liqueur
- 1 oz lightly whipped cream (not too thick)
Begin by pouring the hot chocolate into a small, heat-resistant glass. Carefully pour the brewed espresso over the back of a spoon to maintain the chocolate layer. Next, pour the brandy or coffee liqueur in the same manner. Finally, gently spoon the whipped cream on top for a decadent addition to this delightful Italian treat.
Cold Brew Mixes
Let’s dive into some refreshing cold brew mixes that are perfect for coffee lovers who enjoy a hint of alcohol. Outlined below are recipes for Cold Brew Spritz, Cold Fashioned, and Cold Brew Margarita.
Cold Brew Spritz
This effervescent beverage is both light and flavorful. Combine the following ingredients in a glass and stir:
- 4 oz cold brew coffee
- 2 oz prosecco or sparkling wine
- 1 oz Aperol or Campari
Fill the glass with club soda, and garnish with an orange twist.
Here’s a contemporary twist on a classic cocktail. Simply follow these steps:
- Put 1 sugar cube, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters, and a splash of water in a glass.
- Add 4 oz cold brew coffee and 2 oz bourbon or whiskey.
- Stir with ice until well-chilled and strain into a glass with a large ice cube.
- Garnish with an orange twist or cherry.
Cold Brew Margarita
This unique concoction brings together the best of both worlds: coffee and tequila. Mix these ingredients in a shaker with ice:
- 2 oz tequila
- 1 oz cold brew coffee
- 0.5 oz triple sec
- 0.5 oz lime juice
- 0.5 oz simple syrup (optional)
Shake well and strain into a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel. If you want my advice – skip the salt!
Frappé Cocktail Delights
Take your coffee passion to the next level with these refreshing frappé-based cocktail concoctions that are not only visually enticing but also absolutely delicious.
A creamy and smoothly satisfying coffee treat, the Frappé Mudslide is a perfect blend of coffee, Kahlúa, and vodka. To make this enticing cocktail, follow these simple steps:
- Pour four parts of vodka and two parts of Kahlúa over ice in a lowball glass. Stir to mix. Adjust Kahlúa as per your liking for a more intense flavor.
- Blend the coffee with milk, ice cubes, and sugar syrup, adjusting the sweetness as desired.
Top it off with some whipped cream for an extra dash of luxury.
Bring a tropical twist to your cocktail game with the Frappé Sunrise. The combination of coffee, pineapple, and coconut flavors creates a delightful and thirst-quenching experience. To create this masterpiece, simply:
- Mix equal parts coffee, Kahlúa, vodka, pineapple juice, and coconut cream in a blender
- Add ice and blend until it reaches a frothy consistency
Garnish with a slice of pineapple for a true island vibe.
Imagine sipping on a classic Piña Colada, but with an invigorating twist of coffee. The Coffee Colada is a crowd-pleaser, marrying the flavors of coffee, rum, and tropical fruits. Here’s how to create one:
- Blend 2 double shots of cold espresso or strong brewed coffee with ice cubes, milk, light brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Add a dash of rum to the mix for a boozy touch
- Finish off with a splash of pineapple and coconut cream for added texture and aroma
Top with a generous helping of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon for that coffee shop feel.
My Particular Favorites
Coffee Gin Sour
The Coffee Gin Sour is a sophisticated and smooth blend of gin and coffee with a velvety texture from the egg white, perfect for those who love a balance of bitter and sour flavors.
- 2 oz gin
- 1.5 oz cold brew coffee concentrate
- 0.75 oz simple syrup
- 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- Coffee beans, for garnish
How to make a coffee gin sour:
- In a cocktail shaker without ice, combine gin, cold brew coffee concentrate, simple syrup, lemon juice, and egg white.
- Perform a dry shake (without ice) for 15-20 seconds to emulsify the egg white.
- Add ice to the shaker and shake again for an additional 10-15 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass.
- Garnish with a few coffee beans.
Kahlúa Coffee Tonic
The Kahlúa Coffee Tonic is a bubbly and delightful coffee drink that combines the rich sweetness of Kahlúa with the zesty kick of tonic water and a twist of orange.
- 1.5 oz Kahlúa
- 1 oz cold brew coffee
- 4 oz tonic water
- Orange twist, for garnish
How to make a Kahlúa Coffee Tonic:
- Fill a highball glass with ice.
- Pour Kahlúa and cold brew coffee over the ice.
- Top with tonic water and gently stir.
- Garnish with an orange twist.
The Coffee Rumchata is a creamy and indulgent coffee cocktail featuring spiced rum and RumChata, topped with whipped cream and cinnamon, perfect for dessert lovers and those who enjoy a touch of sweetness in their drinks.
- 2 oz RumChata
- 1 oz spiced rum
- 2 oz strong brewed coffee, cooled
- Whipped cream, for garnish
- Ground cinnamon, for garnish
How to make a Coffee Rumchata:
- In a cocktail shaker, combine RumChata, spiced rum, and cooled coffee.
- Add ice and shake well for 10-15 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.
- Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
While alcoholic coffee drinks can be delicious and fun, there are times when we might prefer or need non-alcoholic options. In this section, we will explore some tasty and satisfying non-alcoholic alternatives to popular coffee-infused cocktails.
Mocktail Espresso Martini
A non-alcoholic take on the classic Espresso Martini, the Mocktail Espresso Martini offers the same rich and bold flavors without the booze. Here’s a simple recipe:
- 2 oz cold brew coffee concentrate
- 1 oz coffee syrup (or simple syrup)
- 1 oz cream
Shake all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with coffee beans for an elegant touch.
Virgin Irish Coffee
If you’re a fan of Irish Coffee but want to skip the alcohol, try this Virgin Irish Coffee recipe that brings together the perfect blend of coffee, cream, and sweetness.
- 6 oz hot, strong coffee
- 1-2 tsp brown sugar (adjust to taste)
- Whipped cream
Combine hot coffee and brown sugar in a mug, stirring until sugar dissolves. Top with whipped cream and enjoy the cozy warmth of this non-alcoholic treat.
Faux White Russian
The Faux White Russian delivers the creamy decadence of a traditional White Russian without the alcohol. Here is a quick and easy recipe to make at home:
- 4 oz cold brew coffee concentrate
- 2 oz heavy cream or half & half
- 1 oz simple syrup or coffee syrup
Fill a rocks glass with ice, then pour in the coffee concentrate and cream. Stir in the syrup and enjoy your velvety-smooth Faux White Russian!
My name is Dana Dupree and I am an avid coffee lover. Since I began college and realized what a heavy load writing majors took on, I have been a fan of the bean juice.
My job has taken me all over the US on book tours and press conferences, and my favorite part about the trip is exploring the best places to grab my cup of Joe.