We have already talked about coffee purists. You know, that kind of people that turns berserk if you try to add anything into your cup of coffee. Luckily, in the coffee world, they are overpowered by the rest of the coffee gang. Coffee is perfect in many ways, and you shouldn’t be limited to just one way of enjoying it.

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After learning everything you need to know about cappuccino, espresso, and all the other coffee secrets, it’s time to move to the next step. Now, we add alcohol to our coffee. Follow us through this journey to find the best coffee cocktails.  

What Is a Coffee Cocktail

The coffee cocktail is a neat way to spice up your regular cup of joe. The base is, believe it or not, the coffee. Or, in some cases, a liqueur that tastes like coffee. Lots of different liqueurs go well with coffee, and we will name every single one of them. Well, the most popular ones, that’s for sure.

However, coffee cocktails don’t need to have alcohol in it, although it certainly lightens up the mood. Especially if you serve it along with the world’s best chocolate-covered espresso beans. We will also show you how to make our favorite coffee mocktails, so everyone can enjoy them.

Benefits of Drinking Coffee Cocktails

Well, it combines two of the liquids adults find the most enjoyable: coffee and alcohol. Caffeine always lightens up our mood, and alcohol enhances it further. And it certainly adds a touch of elegance to our everyday life. Life doesn’t have to be dull. A little sip of a coffee cocktail after the end of a long day will do wonders for your mood. Just remember not to over enjoy it. 

How Does a Coffee Cocktail Work

You will need a surprisingly small amount of equipment to start making coffee cocktails. All you need is an espresso maker or a way to make a cup of cold brew coffee. The next important part is a good cocktail shaker. Don’t get cheap on that part, as you want your cocktails to be perfect. And, that’s it. Of course, you will also have to own a few nice glasses, an ice machine, and a cabinet full of fine alcoholic beverages. 

Pros and Cons of Coffee Cocktails 

Pros and Cons of Coffee Cocktails


  • They will get you through the day. Caffeine will make you sharp, and the alcohol will lighten up your mood a bit. 
  • A nice coffee cocktail will increase your digestion if you drink it after the meal. Alcohol breaks down the food, and coffee does the rest.
  • The coffee part of the cocktail is rich in antioxidants, will prevent a few nasty diseases, and will make you live longer. 
  • The best choice for an evening cocktail. The dinner is finished, and you need something to lighten up your guests, so they won’t fall asleep after the meal. A coffee cocktail is a great conversational icebreaker. 


  • Opposite to the urban myth, caffeine doesn’t reduce the alcohol concentration in your blood. The coffee cocktail can make you dizzy or drunk if you allow it to.
  • Alcohol in your cocktail adds up to your daily calorie count. And, if your coffee cocktail includes a lot of alcohol, sugar syrups, or whipped cream, you are in danger of getting an extra pound or two through time. Check out our recipe for homemade coffee creamer for a healthier option. 
  • Energy rollercoaster. Alcohol will make you slow, and caffeine will make you sparky. Caffeine masks the alcohol effects pretty well, so you won’t feel like you drank too much. Limit your cocktail intake even before starting the night.

Types of Coffee Cocktails

Hot Coffee Cocktails

Hot coffee cocktails go well on cold days, especially around holidays. They are a perfect way to celebrate New Year’s Eve, surrounded by the people you hold dear to. There is no better way to warm up. 

Cold Coffee Cocktails

When the summer arrives with a handful of high temperatures, we have to let hot coffee cocktails go. Goodbye, my friends, and see you in the fall. In the summer, cold coffee cocktails start their reigns. A combination of cold coffee, your favorite spirit, and ice cubes is perfect for a lazy day at the beach or a fancy garden party. 

How to Make a Coffee Cocktail

There are two basic ways to make coffee cocktails: using coffee or using coffee liqueurs (like Kahlua). Of course, you have to be of legal age to enjoy this mix. If you are still far away from that, we will add a few virgin coffee cocktail recipes just for you. But, few general rules to start with the coffee cocktails:

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Step 1 – Good coffee

A good coffee cocktail starts with good coffee. So, no canned coffee and no instant coffee. Pick good beans, grind them fresh, and make a good cup of coffee.

Step 2 – No drip coffee or pod coffee

I know you are in love with your best pod coffee machine, but this time, it will take some time off.  We need a coffee full of taste, with flavor notes that will be further enhanced by a little ethanol. Go with espresso or cold brew.

Step 3 – Good coffee means a good cocktail

No amount of alcohol will mask up a bad cup of coffee.  And that leads us straight to the final rule.

Step 4 – Good alcohol means a good cocktail

You can’t just pour cheap spirit in your coffee and call it a cocktail. The time of making a cowboy coffee with moonshine is over. Picking the right liquor for spiking your coffee is of the same importance as picking good coffee.


9 Best Hot Coffee Cocktails Recipes 

Irish Coffee

We’ll start with the most popular coffee cocktail ever. It was a pretty bad weather day in 1943 when a barista named Joe Sheridan had a bunch of nervous passengers enter his airport bar. The plane had to make an emergency landing in Foynes, Ireland, and the passengers really needed something to lighten them up.

Well, Joe made them a nice spiked cup of joe (pun intended), and the passengers were thrilled. Irish coffee became the usual welcoming drink for the plane passengers. In 1952, Joe was working in San Francisco in a restaurant called Buena Vista. One of the regular guests was a journalist named Stanton Delaplace. Stanton was enchanted with the taste of the Irish coffee.

He spread the news until the whole world learned about this cup of Irish magic. Joe Sheridan died in 1962, but his legacy lives on. Let’s see what good old Joe needed to make his most famous drink. You will need:

  • Irish coffee glass
  • one and a half ounces of good Irish whiskey
  • six ounces of hot coffee
  • whipped cream
  • two sugar cubes

Preheat the coffee glass using hot water or steam. Avoid using the microwave, as the glass might shatter. Depending on which type of glass you use, fill the glass with coffee up to three quarters. Pop the sugar cubes in and stir well. Add the whiskey and top with whipped cream. 

Cafe Amore

Let’s move to France, a land of perfumes, cheese, and people eating frogs legs and snails. Also, the country that makes a damn good Cognac and Amaretto liqueur. Their famous cocktail goes by the name of French Connection, a concoction of equal parts of Cognac and Amaretto, with few ice cubes. But, there is a hotter version of that cocktail, called Cafe Amore,  and it includes coffee. Let’s start with:

  • 1 oz of Cognac
  • 1 oz of Amaretto 
  • 1 cup of coffee
  • shaved almonds and whipped cream (optional)

You should always drink your Cognac from a warm glass, and this recipe is no exception. So, pour one shot of Cognac and one shot of Amaretto in a warm glass. Fill the rest of the space with good hot coffee. As the Amaretto is an almond-based liqueur, you can enhance the taste with whipped cream and shaved almond topping. 

Italian Coffee

Our next stop is Italy, the birthplace of espresso, Monica Belluci, and their favorite Strega liqueur. Strega is 80 proof liqueur (40% ABV), so it’s not a soft drink. The ingredients of Strega remain secret, and there are around 70 different ones. The strongest taste notes are mint and fennel. Fun fact: In the Italian language, the word “Strega” means “witch.” To consume this witchcraft, you will need:

  • Irish coffee glass 
  • half an ounce of Strega
  • five ounces of hot coffee
  • one teaspoon of sugar
  • whipped cream for topping
  • a pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Preheat the coffee glass. Pour the coffee and Strega, add sugar, and stir. Finish it with a bit of whipped cream and a pinch of grated nutmeg. 

Kentucky Coffee

Best Hot Coffee Cocktails Recipes

Kentucky coffee is one of the greatest Irish-American cooperation, right after the birth of Anne Hathaway. Irish base recipe enriched with the Bluegrass State finest bourbon is a win-win combination. You don’t have to choose the most expensive bourbon; just pick the flavor you prefer. Well, partner, you’ll need a:

  • Irish coffee glass
  • one ounce of fine bourbon
  • six ounces of hot black coffee
  • half an ounce of Kahlua
  • few drops of vanilla extract
  • whipped cream
  • sugar (optional)

Grab that Irish glass, fill it half full with homemade coffee. Sip the Kentucky bourbon into the glass. Add one shot of Kahlua. Finish with a bit of vanilla extract and a bit of sugar. Top it all with a bit of whipped cream. Sit on your porch, grab a banjo, and enjoy the sunset.

Mexican Coffee

Mexico is widely known for tequila, Kahlua, and Pancho Villa. Also, their revolutionary Mexican coffee recipe, that combines everything we like: alcohol, coffee, and ice cream. Mi amigo, you will need:

  • one scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • half an ounce of tequila
  • half an ounce of Kahlua 
  • six ounces of hot black coffee

Grab a larger glass and fill it up to three quarters with coffee. Melt the ice cream in the microwave and add it to the coffee. Finish the recipe by adding tequila and Kahlua. 

Although this is a hot coffee recipe, it also goes well cold for that hot summer days.

Bavarian Coffee

Germans don’t just drink beer from oversized mugs, dressed in folk costumes. The fabulous and charming Bavaria (Bayern) is also home to a Bavarian coffee cocktail. This is also a variation of the Irish coffee recipe but rich with mint flavor. Let’s try the German-style:

  • half an ounce of peppermint schnaps
  • half an ounce of Kahlua
  • five ounces of hot coffee
  • whipped cream and sugar

In an Irish coffee glass (again), combine the hot coffee and these two tasty liqueurs. Add some sugar to taste and finish it with a thick layer of whipped cream.

Spanish Coffee – Carajillo

As one of the great colonial forces in history, Spanish ships brought the glory of the empire all over the world. At that time, Cuba was a Spanish province. Spanish troops drank coffee with fine Cuban rum to give them courage (“coraje”). A bit of courage was called “corajillo” and later became “carajillo.” So, let’s see what gave Spaniards their courage. You will need:

  • one ounce of fine rum 
  • one shot of espresso or two ounces of strong black coffee
  • sugar for decoration

Take an old fashioned or small coffee glass. Wet the edges and rim it with sugar. Pour the rum into a glass and top it with hot coffee. Serve it while it’s hot (Just like you have to make sure to serve a cafe latte while still warm).

There are a plethora of different Carajillo recipes, but we chose the original one for this article.

Maple Bourbon Coffee

Do you think that maple and Bourbon don’t mix well together? Well, the Canadians beg to differ. Canadians, besides hockey and Celine Dion, just adore to add the maple taste into everything, and coffee is no exception. For this pleasure that resembles the creamy texture of mocha coffee, you are going to need:

  • four ounces of coffee
  • one ounce of maple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce of bourbon (or rye whiskey)
  • one tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • one tablespoon of vanilla (or 1/8  teaspoon of vanilla extract)

While the coffee is brewing, mix all the other ingredients into a mixing bowl. When the coffee is over, pour everything into a tall glass. For an extra taste, top your cocktail with whipped cream and few drops of maple syrup.

Spiked Bulletproof Coffee

Did you think we would forget the fans of the bulletproof coffee? Tough luck. Although bulletproof coffee has enough calories to suppress appetite, this is not one of those healthy recipes. We will spike it up for good and make your day start even better. Prepare:

  • one ounce of Van Gogh Double Espresso vodka
  • one teaspoon of softened coconut butter
  • one teaspoon of raw sugar
  • three shots of espresso

Mix it all in a larger glass, and stir it properly until all the butter dissolves. Top it up with a bit of whipped cream. Avoid drinking this cocktail in the evening, as it has a higher amount of caffeine than usual. 

8 Best Cold Coffee Cocktail Recipes

Best Cold Coffee Cocktail Recipes

Espresso Summer

Sometimes you just need that extra push of coffee cocktail to get your day working. But it’s summer, and you also need refreshment. The Espresso Summer is perfect for the cause. Simple, refreshing, and easy to make. You will need:

  • cocktail shaker
  • one ounce of espresso or a cold brew
  • one and a half ounces of gin
  • half an ounce of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • few drops of simple syrup

Add a few ice cubes to the cocktail shaker, and pour coffee over it. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake it vigorously for 5 seconds. Pour your cocktail into a glass decorated with a slice of orange. For an extra summer vibe, add a small cocktail umbrella into the glass.

Paradise Found

It’s hot outside, and you just yearn for a warm beach sand, the shade of the palm trees, and a cold cocktail in your hand. While we can’t give you the trees and the sand, we can give you a cocktail recipe that will make you feel you are in a tropical paradise. You will need:

  • six ounces of ice coffee
  • one ounce of butterscotch schnapps
  • one ounce of dark spiced rum
  • sugar and cream (optional)

Grab your favorite ice coffee, or make your own. Mix the rum and the schnapps and stir well. Optionally, you can add a bit of sugar and cream. Take a good, long sip, and paradise will be at the reach of your hand. 

Black Russian

It was in late 1940 in Brussels, Belgium. Perle Mesta was an American ambassador in Luxembourg, and she spent a lot of time in Hotel Metropole in Brussels. Gustav Tops, the main hotel bartender, decided to honor the lady with a signature drink that he mixed by himself. The rest is history. Black Russian is one of the most famous coffee cocktails, along with its successor, the White Russian. You will need a:

  • ounce and a half of vodka
  • ¾ ounce of Kahlua
  • ice cubes (not crushed)

Fill the old fashioned glass with ice. Then, pour over the vodka and Kahlua. Stir well. The beauty of this cocktail lies in its simplicity. Of course, you can always experiment with different vodka tastes, but we will stick to the original recipe.

White Russian

The baby brother of the Black Russian, the White Russian, came around in the 1960s. Of course, it gained planetary popularity thanks to Jeff Bridges, aka The Dude from The Big Lebowski (1998.). Like Black Russian, it’s easy to make (and easy to drink). Get yourself a:

  • two ounces of vodka
  • one ounce of Kahlua
  • a splash of heavy cream

Take the old fashioned glass and fill it with ice. Add the vodka and the Kahlua and finish with a good splash of heavy cream.

Espresso Martini

Best Cold Coffee Cocktail Recipes - Espresso Martini

When you want to feel classy and refreshed at the same time, it’s time for an Espresso Martini. And, it gives you an excuse to use fine martini glasses, which I know you adore. 

For this elegant cocktail, you will need:

  • cocktail shaker
  • one ounce of vodka
  • one ounce of Kahlua
  • one shot of espresso

Fill three-quarters of the cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Then, pour over the rest of the ingredients and give it a good shake. Strain your cocktail into a cold martini glass. Enjoy the elegancy.

Creamy Boozy Iced Coffee

I don’t know about you, but yours truly is a fan of creamy cocktails. Sadly, my favorite Pina Colada just doesn’t have that caffeine spike that is so much needed sometimes. But don’t worry, the next cocktail has the right creamy texture, enriched with the Frangelico liqueur, full of hazelnut flavor. You will need: 

  • two cups of strong cold brew
  • one ounce of Frangelico
  • one ounce of creamer by your choice
  • sugar
  • whipped cream and shaved chocolate for decoration

Fill half of the glass with ice cubes. Pour over the cold brew, then follow it with Frangelico and your preferred creamer. Add a pinch of sugar and stir well. Top it with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Kahlua Coffee Soda

Bitters add a new world of flavor to every cocktail, and this one is the perfect example. Even better if you made your own bitters, but for this recipe, we’ll stick to store-bought ones. Coffee creamer is used as an additional ingredient in this cocktail, and this time, we chose half & half. Prepare:

  • one shot of espresso
  • your preferred bitters (Angostura, Peychaud’s, or something else)
  • one and a half shot of Kahlua
  • splash of soda water
  • two ounces of half and half

Put 4-5 ice cubes in the glass and pour espresso over it. Follow it with Kahlua and 2-3 dashes of bitters. Add a splash of soda and creamer, and voila, your Kahlua Coffee Soda is ready to be served. 

Kahlua Iced Coffee

We will finish this cold coffee cocktail story with one of the most popular ones, that’s also simple to make. In fact, you will need only a few minutes. Prepare:

  • one shot of espresso
  • one ounce of Kahlua
  • one cup of milk

Let your espresso cool down, then add the milk and Kahlua. Add your desired amount of ice cubes and stir well. As promised, simple, quick, and tasty. 

3 Best Coffee Mocktail Recipes

“C’Old” Fashioned

For our younger readers, we’ll start with the alcohol-free cocktail recipes. We’ll leave out the Henessy shot and replace it with an espresso shot.  But you still get the explosion of taste, and you can drink it as much as you want. Prepare:

  • cocktail shaker
  • one ounce of cold brew coffee
  • half an ounce of simple syrup
  • orange bitters

Fill half of the shaker with ice. Then, pour over the coffee, followed by simple syrup and the orange bitters. Give it a good shake, and serve in old fashioned glass. Top with a nice slice of orange.

Cold Brew Sour

This time coffee replaces the whiskey shot. Citrus notes go well with the rich coffee taste, so you can’t go wrong with this one. Also, we will leave strong-flavored syrup for coffee out of this story. You will need:

  • two ounces of cold brew coffee
  • one ounce of simple syrup
  • one lemon wedge
  • freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon

Fill two-thirds of old fashioned glass with ice. Pour the coffee over, follow it with lemon juice and simple syrup. Stir well, and add a lemon wedge at the end. 

Cold Brew Tonic

Yes, coffee can replace gin in this recipe and does it pretty well. Let’s not waste time, but prepare:

  • two ounces of cold brew coffee
  • eight ounces of tonic water of your choice

Fill two-thirds of a high glass with tonic water. Add the coffee and a few ice cubes. Use a straw to stir well and enjoy your bubbly coffee refreshment.

Do’s and Don’ts With the Coffee Cocktails

Do’s and Don’ts With the Coffee Cocktails


  • Do always use freshly brewed coffee from good beans.
  • Do use espresso and cold brew, as they have proven to be the best choice.
  • Do enjoy your coffee cocktail responsibly, respecting the daily alcohol intake.
  • Do treat yourself with a good cocktail shaker. They don’t cost a fortune.


  • Don’t forget the recommended daily intake of caffeine, too. Too much caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors in your brain, and it’s the main reason why coffee makes you tired
  • Don’t drink the coffee cocktails too often if you are on a diet. Alcohol, sweeteners, and cream are full of hidden calories.
  • Don’t add crushed ice to your cocktail, as it will water down the taste.

FAQ About Coffee Cocktails

What alcohol goes well with coffee?

Surprisingly, but lots of alcoholic beverages go well with coffee. Our first choices would be Kahlua and Baileys, of course. But nut liqueurs (like Frangelico or Amaretto) also are a fine choice. At last, vodka, tequila, whiskey, cognac, and bourbon make a great choice, too. In fact, almost every good quality spirit can enhance the taste of your coffee.

What liquor is the best in hot coffee?

It depends on your liquor preferences. If you opt for a bit stronger taste, try some good whiskey or tequila. For a lighter taste, stick with nut liqueurs, Coientrau, herb liqueurs, and all the other liqueurs with a lower percentage of alcohol.

What liquor is the best in cold coffee?

Cold coffee cocktails go very well with softer liqueurs and white rum. Of course, don’t forget to include Kahlua. Or vodka, for all the fans of the White Russian.

What is better in coffee, Baileys, or Kahlua?

It depends on your preferences. Kahlua has a direct taste, classical and smooth, but powerful. While Baileys, on the other hand, has more taste nuances and a much thicker texture. Basically, Kahlua is a rum that tastes like coffee, while Baileys is a whiskey that tastes like creamy toasted caramel. For an enhanced coffee flavor, pick Kahlua. For creamy pleasure, pick Baileys. And if you want to enjoy both Baileys and Kahlua, order a B52 shooter at the bar. 

Are alcohol and coffee a bad mix?

Alcohol and coffee are a great mix if you drink them moderately. Don’t forget that your sweet, delicious cocktail still has alcohol in it. Our friends from the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend one drink daily for women and two for men. 

Also, the FDA strictly forbids selling caffeinated alcoholic beverages, as they had too much caffeine and other stimulants. Remember, stay safe, drink responsibly. 


And you thought you ran out of ways to enjoy your beans? Coffee is a gift from the heavens and goes well with everything, especially with alcohol. Through this article, we showed you our favorite coffee cocktail recipes. Now it’s up to you. Start combining your favorite type of coffee with your favorite booze, and let us know how that went. And of course, enjoy it responsibly.

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Love drinking great coffee? If you want a tasty, freshly roasted bean you can buy online, try something from LifeBoost and thank me later. Click here to check it out and save 50%.