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Your cups of ‘Joe will never be the same again with this guide to the best coffee cocktail recipes.

Millions can’t do without a sip (or several) of the caffeinated beverage throughout the day. Coffee’s cult-like following has led to its addition to a wide range of culinary creations, from desserts to curries. There are scores of brews — from lattes to long blacks — to keep you going through the day, but it doesn’t mean that you have to pack your beans come sundown. If you’d like an energising hit at happy hour, the key, it seems, is to channel both your inner barista and bartender.

The best part? Alcohol serves to further elevate the flavours of coffee, allowing its bittersweet and earthy notes to shine. These recipes also only need very few ingredients and are easy to whip up. You’ll find that dark spirits are the poison of choice for coffee cocktails below, but liqueurs do plenty to add a little something special to the mix as well. Settle in with a glass over the weekend, or craft a refreshing blend for brunch this summer. Either way, you’ll bring smiles to any party or gathering you’re at.

9 fun coffee cocktail recipes that will make you the life of every party

Espresso Martini

This popular cocktail is perhaps the most well-known when it comes to coffee-based cocktails. Tthere are several variations of this boozy concoction, but the classic recipe calls for coffee liqueur, vodka, ice, and a shot of your favourite espresso. The result is a sweet, creamy, aromatic, smooth, and caffeine-packed blend that tastes like dessert. Garnish with espresso beans for a little more pizazz.

White Russian

This indulgent cocktail is as easy to make as it is delicious. All you need is vodka, cream, coffee liqueur, and your favourite old-fashioned glass to put it together. The blend is believed to have come into existence around the ’60s, when a bartender added a bit of cream to the Black Russian cocktail. Soon, the concoction made its big-screen debut with The Big Lebowski, which featured Jeff Bridges’ sipping the blend exclusively. Serve your drink on the rocks for the best sipping experience.


This rum and coffee number is often believed to be a variation of the White Russian. The blend was created by Sasha Petraska from the Milk & Honey bar in New York City, the same man who’s credited for kickstarting modern-day cocktail culture. The recipe calls for aged rum — which offers notes of caramel and vanilla — as well as coffee and cream. The result? A decadent, delicious concoction that’s the perfect stand-in for dessert at any time of the day.

Cold Brew Old Fashioned

If you enjoy a classic old-fashioned cocktail as much as you do your cup of Joe, this cocktail will be right up your alley. Popular across bars in the US, cold brew adds mild yet distinctive coffee notes to the blend that don’t overpower the flavours of bourbon and other ingredients. Add bitters, simple syrup, and a slice of orange to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a refreshing all-day beverage for the summer. Feel free to adjust the proportions of the ingredients to taste.


The Revolver was first brought about in the early 2000s as a twist on the classic Manhattan and featured bourbons with spicy notes. Most recipes today feature three ingredients: orange bitters, coffee liqueur, and whiskey. The citrus notes of the orange cut through the caramel and vanilla notes of bourbon and coffee, leaving you with a flavour that’s subtle and light on the palate. Gently squeeze an orange peel against a lit match and hold this above the drink’s surface to release oils that will add notes of citrus to your drink.

Mr Bali Hai

Who says coffee cocktails can’t be tropical? This tiki-inspired number originated from the Bali Hai restaurant in San Diego in the ’60s and was named after the statue that sat out in the front of the establishment. Inside, pineapple juice, lemon juice, coffee liqueur, lightly aged rum, dark blended rum, and sugar give the cocktail a complex and refreshing taste — perfect for a hot summer’s evening. Serve your drink in a tiki mug or pour it into an old fashioned glass over the rocks.

Coffee Negroni

Toasty caffeine meets the fruity, bitter, citrusy notes of the classic negroni in this recipe. On the ingredients list here are cold brew liqueur, gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, and orange peel. The best part? It only takes 90 seconds to put this drink together. Serve your refreshing blend over a lot of good-quality ice and serve cold.

Irish Iced Coffee

No coffee cocktail roundup would be complete without this classic recipe, and in honour of scorching summers, we’re going the icy route with this iced Irish coffee recipe. You’ll need to grab sugar syrup, cold drip espresso, coffee liqueur, and Irish whiskey on your next grocery run for this. Serve in a chilled glass over ice, and add a lemon peel to garnish.


This cocktail is low in alcohol, serving as an ideal after-dinner digestif. Here, the sweetness of Italian vermouth and amaro meets the bitterness of strong cold brew coffee to make for a delicious blend, while the other ingredients like sugar, soda, vermouth, and orange peel add a refreshing kick. Easy to concoct and smooth on the palate, there’s no excuse not to give this one a go at your next party.

Featured image: Courtesy Kike Salazar/Unsplash; Hero image: Courtesy Nahima Aparicio/Unsplash

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