Depending on who you ask, the “right way” to drink coffee varies by country, by culture, and can even be wildly different within each household. Whether your preferences are light or dark roast, espresso or machine drip, black or with as much creamer as possible, we’d like to present our take on the “right way” to drink coffee—with a healthy dose of spirits in coffee cocktails.
Best Coffee Cocktails
The coffee cocktail offers an ideal start to any evening out, with the perfect blend of caffeine and booze. Similarly, the right coffee cocktail can provide additional warmth to a weekend morning in, with just the right kick to start your day. This list of our favorites provides a variety of ways to imbibe in your preferred coffee and some choice spirits all at once:
- The Perfect Irish Coffee. While many people pour a shot of whiskey into a steaming hot mug of coffee and call it an Irish, you’ll need a couple of extra steps to make this drink in the traditional fashion. You’ll need:
- 1 cup prepared coffee
- 2 oz. Jameson Irish whiskey
- 2 tsp. light brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Chocolate shavings
Start by pouring hot water into two mugs to warm them, and let them sit for two minutes. Pour out the water and add a teaspoon of brown sugar to each. Pour hot coffee over the sugar and stir to dissolve sugar. Add whiskey and stir to mix. In a separate bowl, whisk heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. Pour-over coffee and top with chocolate shavings.
- Siciliano. Forget coffee-flavored liqueur and cream in a stemmed glass—this “coffee martini” comes with far fewer frills and even more boozy flavor. You’ll need:
- 2 oz. sweet vermouth
- 1½ oz. Amaro (Campari or Averna work quite well)
- 1½ oz. cold-brewed espresso (strong)
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- Club soda
- Orange wheel for garnish
Pour Amaro, vermouth, cold-brew, and simple syrup into a tall glass. Add ice until filled, and top with club soda. Strain into a stemmed martini glass or enjoy over ice.
- Coffee Old-Fashioned. This twist on an American staple gives you the warmth of whiskey and the buzz of espresso, all in one glass. You’ll need:
- 2 oz. espresso (room temperature or cooler)
- 1 oz. bourbon
- ¼ oz. simple syrup
- Dash Peychaud’s bitters
- Lemon peel
Add espresso, bourbon, simple syrup, and bitters to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and pour over ice in a rocks glass. Twist lemon peel over the drink, rub around the glass rim, and use as a garnish.
Other Coffee Cocktails
You may have noticed a lack of some of the most popular coffee-flavored drinks on our list, including the White Russian and the Colorado Bulldog. Kahlua—the coffee element in both of these drinks—is made by combining Arabica coffee with sugar, vanilla, and rum. The caffeine contents are negligible compared to using coffee itself (5 mg versus up to 200 in a cup of coffee). Therefore, we’ve kept our list to our favorite buzzy and boozy cocktails that include full-fledged coffee.
Need help finding some of the items mentioned in these recipes? Simply place an advance order online, or call ahead to inquire about our stock at your nearest Payless Liquor location. We look forward to serving you.