Best Coffee Flavored Cocktails

Coffee? Alcohol? Coffee AND alcohol? It doesn't get much better than coffee flavored cocktails.


If there's two things I need to survive, they are coffee and liquor. Usually, those are separate things: morning coffee, evening cocktails. However, there is no hard and fast rule that says we can't enjoy two of the world's most wonderful things at the same time. Knowing all about liqueurs, the right ingredients, and the right proportions, you can make some incredible coffee flavored cocktails for any occasion. Just don't go trying to replace your morning wake-up coffee with cocktails—it's not generally a good idea to break out the liquor first thing in the morning.

White Russian

Perhaps the most classic and popular coffee flavored cocktail is the White Russian. As one might expect from the name, its main ingredients are milk and/or cream (the White part) and vodka (the Russian part). The key ingredient, however, is coffee liqueur, which brings it a delicious, sweet coffee flavor. It's best served in an Old Fashioned glass, filled with ice. Then add about one and two-thirds of an ounce of vodka, and two-thirds of an ounce of coffee liqueur. Top it off with milk or cream, about an ounce, and stir gently. 

For the lactose intolerant folks out there, you can always forego the dairy entirely, either by substituting with almond or soy milk (or any other alternative), or by making yourself a Black Russian—the same recipe, just minus the milk or cream.

Irish Coffee

Irish coffee is about as simple and pleasing as it gets. It's warm, comforting, energizing, delicious, and very easy to make. Many people make it by simply brewing a cup of coffee as normal, then pouring in the Irish whiskey and Irish cream liqueur, usually about an ounce and a half of each, and topping it off with whipped cream. However, many traditional recipes call for you to heat all of the ingredients together at once, rather than pouring the alcohols in cold. Either way you do it, make sure to top it off with a generous dollop of whipped cream, and sip through it—don't just eat it with a spoon first, tempting though it always is.

Espresso Martini

The espresso martini has the classic, sophisticated look of a martini, with a much richer, coffee-based flavor. As with most cocktails, there are always multiple ways to make it, but the basics are the same: A simple three/two/two/one ratio of your favorite vodka, a coffee liqueur, chilled espresso, and finally créme de cacao. Combine the ingredients, along with some ice, into a cocktail shaker and give it a good shake. The drink should come out frothy and chilled. Then just pour it into a martini glass, garnish with coffee beans if you're feeling fancy, and enjoy! This makes an especially nice dinner drink, and goes wonderfully with chocolate-y desserts. Another one of the best martini variations we've ever heard of!

The Siciliano

The Siciliano is a sweet, chilled cocktail, perfect for an after-dinner drink. To make it, mix two ounces of sweet red vermouth, one ounce of simple syrup, and one and a half ounces of cold brew coffee. Just pour it into a chilled martini glass, top it off with some club soda, and garnish with an orange peel or slice. As these cocktails are best chilled, use chilled ingredients and glasses wherever possible. Or, if you'd like a frothier drink, pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with some ice and shake first—the result will be something like a much lighter, sweeter espresso martini.

Affogato Martini

There are some good "adult root beer floats" (AKA beer floats) out there, but none can compare to the sinfully delicious mix of ice cream, espresso, and sweet liqueur. The Affogato Martini is a slightly more spiked version of your classic affogato, and all the better for it. To make it, add about an ounce of a clear liquor (I prefer gin, but vodka is generally more traditional), an ounce of a coffee liqueur, and about three ounces of espresso or cold brew coffee if you want something lighter. Shake the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, and strain it into a glass—many people like to use a martini glass, but an Old Fashioned glass works just as well. To top it off, add a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream, and indulge.

Spiked Mocha Cocktail

If there's anything you could add to the combination of coffee and liquor to improve it, it would be chocolate. The Spiked Mocha Cocktail is the perfect winter drink, warm and comforting, with a little extra pizzazz between the caffeine and the booze. To make it, warm up a mug of milk—about eight ounces if you're doing it on the stovetop—and add about two tablespoons of your favorite hot cocoa powder. Then add just a nip of vodka—about half an ounce—and around twice as much coffee liqueur. Feel free to add any topping you like, like whipped cream with a drizzle of chocolate syrup, or some marshmallows. Then, enjoy!

Mocha Martini

The hot mocha cocktail is a delightful coffee flavored cocktail for cold winter nights and rainy days, but it's not always going to be the perfect weather for a steaming mug of spiked mocha. However, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the delectable combination of coffee, liquor, and chocolate year-round. The Mocha Martini is much like the Espresso Martini, but with the rich indulgence of chocolatey goodness to go with it. To make it, you'll need about an ounce and a half of espresso and some bittersweet chocolate or chocolate powder. Mix those two together first, to the point the chocolate melts if you're using real chocolate, and stir in about a tablespoon of sugar. Then add that, along with about two ounces of vodka and some ice, to a cocktail shaker and shake. Pour it into a martini glass, add some heavy cream or milk if you like, and you've got yourself a delicious chocolate-coffee flavored cocktail.

Coffee Old Fashioned

Whiskey has a long history associated with it, and it is exciting to note that coffee can be mixed so readily with it. The Coffee Old Fashioned is exactly what it sounds like: an Old Fashioned with even more kick from the caffeine. To make it, first make an Old Fashioned the old fashioned way (see what I did there?), by combining one to one and a half ounces of bourbon, a fourth of an ounce of simple syrup, and just a dash of aromatic bitters and lemon zest in a cocktail shaker. Then, add ice and one and a half to two ounces of espresso, shaking well. Pour it over ice in an Old Fashioned glass, and you're good to go—a delicious, eye-opening twist on a classic cocktail.

Anatolia Café

It's hard to find out in the real world, but the Anatolia Café cocktail is a delicious invention of the Eastern Standard, a Boston bar, and is definitely worth making at home. This interesting coffee flavored cocktail combines equal parts Pierre Ferrand cognac and Luxardo cherry liqueur, along with a dash of cinnamon syrup. The mix is topped off with hot brewed coffee. For extra sweetness and flavor, this drink works very well with a top layer of whipped cream, followed by cinnamon or cinnamon sugar sprinkled over the top.

Holiday Coffee

You can only drink so much spiked eggnog over the holidays, so you need to have some tasty alternatives for delicious holiday cocktails. Getting together with family is a lovely, heart-warming thing, but it's also something that very often requires a little liquid comfort to stay sane. Holiday Coffee tastes like Christmas, kicks like a cocktail, and wakes you up like a good cup of coffee. To make it, add an ounce and a half to two ounces of whiskey to a warm mug or glass, then an ounce or so of créme de menthe or a sweet peppermint liqueur. Pour hot coffee over it, to the top, and stir gently. You can always add extra milk or cream and sugar to your coffee preferences. To top it off, sprinkle a handful of crushed candy-cane over the top. A white Christmas never looked as good as they do curled up on the couch with coffee flavored cocktails.

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