While we love coffee, we like our happy hour beverages, too. So, we figured, why not combine the two?! What better way to relax (or not, depending on the caffeine content) after a hard day of work than with a delicious mixed drink that includes even more delicious coffee. We scoured different recipe books, blogs, and more to find out some old classics and new favorites to share with you.
We have over 10 recipes that blend our love of coffee and alcoholic drinks into the best of both worlds. From martinis to negronis, white Russians, and simple Irish coffee, hopefully, you’ll find a new favorite to try using some of our green coffee beans!
A classic coffee cocktail that is both strong and sweet, combining the best parts of dessert, liquor, and an after-dinner coffee into one delicious concoction. Though some may not consider this a true martini, it is served in a traditional martini glass, making it a martini in our book.
Not sure what coffee beans to use for this drink? Here's a list of the best coffee beans for the espresso that we recommend.
- 2 oz vodka
- ¾ oz Kahlua
- 1 oz espresso
- Coffee bean, for garnish
- Brew espresso
- Add vodka, Kahlua, and espresso into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake until cold
- Strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with 1-2 roasted coffee beans
While the espresso martini uses espresso, the regular coffee martini is a simple variation on the drink, switching out the espresso for a coffee of your choice, whether that’s Aeropress, French Press, or Pour-Over.
The recipe and proportions are the same as the espresso martini, so just follow the recipe above!
This version of the espresso martini leans heavily into the dessert side of things by remixing the traditional affogato. Picture refreshing vanilla ice cream garnished with rich chocolate shavings topped off with a shot of Kahlua. Absolutely delicious.
- 1 oz Kahlua
- 2 oz espresso
- 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream
- 1 pinch of chocolate shavings
- Add a scoop of ice cream to a glass
- In a shaker glass, combine espresso and Kahlua
- Pour over ice cream
- Garnish with chocolate shavings
The dude abides! While not Russian in origin, this mixed drink is super simple but still perfectly creamy and decadent. A variation on the Black Russian, the White Russian regained popularity in the 90s due to its prominent inclusion in the cult movie The Big Lebowski.
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz Kahlua / coffee
- 1 oz heavy cream
- Add vodka & Kahlua to a low-ball glass, fill with ice
- Top with cream, stir until cold
The forerunner to the White Russian, the Black Russian lacks the inclusion of heavy cream, making this drink a bit more coffee-forward. If you're craving an even richer coffee flavor, add a dash of cold brew too! Here's our favorite decaf cold brew recipe (if you want to control your caffeine intake at the same time).
- Combine vodka and Kahlua in a mixing glass with ice & stir
- Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice
Another classic coffee-based mixed drink, the Irish coffee is a staple of St. Patrick's Day menus all over, even though there are similar coffee-liquor drinks from Europe that pre-date Irish coffee by at least 100 years. That's a whole other conversation, though. Irish Coffee is a simple, sweet, and delicious mixed drink even when it isn’t St. Patty’s Day.
- 6 oz brewed coffee
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 ½ oz Jameson or similar Irish whiskey
- Sweetened whipped cream or make your own creamer!
- Brew coffee using your favorite brew method
- Add coffee to the glass, leaving about an inch for whipped cream, added sugar and whiskey stirring until sugar is dissolved
- Add the whipped cream to the drink
The Espresso Negroni is a simple, yet delicious twist on the classic negroni that keeps you awake for the party. The mix of coffee and classic Negroni ingredients combine to create an uniquely delicious drink all its own. Think of it like a room full of strong assertive flavors with a diva-like quality that unifies to form a beautiful choir.
- 1 oz Gin
- 1 oz Campari
- ½ oz Vermouth
- ½ oz Coffee liqueur
- 1 oz Espresso
- Add all ingredients to the shaker, shake for 15-20 seconds
- Strain into a Nick and Nora glass
- Add lemon peel over glass rim and garnish
Two ingredients, simple and humble, it doesn’t get much easier than this. What else needs to be said.
- Add together
- Can add a splash of milk to taste
What do you get when you mix coffee liquor with rum? A creamy, chocolatey pina colada-like drink called the Bushwacker. This cocktail is a relatively new invention, coming into being in 1975 in the sunny locale of the Virgin Islands. Perfect for a drink on the beach or in your backyard on a beautiful, sunny day.
- 2 oz white/dark rum
- 2 oz Kahlua
- 2 oz crème de cacao
- 2 oz cream of coconut
- 2 oz 2% milk
- 3 cups of ice
- Shaved chocolate, grated nutmeg, cocktail cherry for garnish
- Add all ingredients and blend until smooth
- Garnish shaved chocolate, nutmeg, cocktail cherry
The Spanish Carajillo stands alone on our list of coffee cocktails as the only warm cocktail. Most popular in Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico, the Licor 43 Spanish liqueur is a delicious blend of vanilla, floral citrus, and warm cinnamon that truly elevates this simple cocktail into something so much more.
- 2 oz of espresso
- 1 ½ oz of Licor 43 – a Spanish liqueur
- Ice, for serving
- Brew the espresso
- Add ice and Licor 43 to low ball glass and stir
- Slowly pour the coffee over a spoon into the drink, it will settle on top – serve immediately
This German-based forerunner is like Irish Coffee, just replace the whiskey with rum. Similarly sweet but with less bite, the German take on this drink is just as delicious, decadent, and creamy as the Irish version.
- 4 oz strong coffee
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 ½ oz dark rum
- 2 tablespoons whipped cream
- Combine coffee and rum
- Top with whipped cream
- Traditionally, you don’t mix the cream with the drink!
Amaretto and coffee are like peanut butter and jelly, a classic flavor mash-up between the sweet and almond flavors of the amaretto and the deep rich flavor of a simple coffee. Together, the two form a delicious and flavorful mixed drink that elevates both beyond their humble means. Our version includes a few more decadent additions!
- 8 oz coffee
- 1 ½ oz Amaretto
- Whipped cream
- Cinnamon stick (optional)
- Pour amaretto first
- Add freshly brewed coffee
- Top with whipped cream
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick
Long Island Iced Coffee
While regularly brewed coffee is too strong for a long island iced tea, long island iced coffee uses the more neutral, less bitter cold brew coffee. An ice cream flavored liqueur perfectly balances this drink, creating a blank canvas for the rest of the liquors to act in unison.
- ½ oz Ice cream liqueur
- ½ oz Coffee liqueur
- ½ oz Vodka
- ½ oz Rum
- ½ oz Tequila
- 2 oz Cold-brew Coffee
- Combine all in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously
- Strain into another glass with ice
Cold Brew Bourbon
Similar to the Long Island Iced Coffee recipe, the cold brew Bourbon uses cold brew as a base to build up the smokiness of the Bourbon and sweetness of the vanilla, cherries, and syrup to form a mouthwatering cocktail. You can even get more creative with some nifty cold brew recipes to shake things up.
- 2 oz Bourbon whiskey
- ½ oz Maple syrup
- ¼ cup cold brew concentrate
- Sliced orange & cherries for garnish
- Vanilla extract
- Combine whiskey, syrup, cold brew, and vanilla in a rocks glass
- Add ice cubes along with sliced orange peel and cherries then serve
The smoky mezcal has increased in popularity in recent years, making its way into coffee cocktails as well. It's charred flavor brings out different roast levels of the beans, too. Though some may find its smoky flavor a bit overpowering, this recipe sweetens the depth of flavor with splashes of coconut milk and agave nectar.
- 3 oz light coconut milk
- 1 oz mezcal
- 1 oz coffee liqueur
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Chocolate syrup
- Combine coconut milk, mezcal, coffee liqueur, agave, cinnamon, and cayenne into a cocktail shaker with 3-4 ice cubes, shake for 15-20 seconds
- Drizzle chocolate syrup on the walls of a rocks glass along with 3-4 ice cubes, strain the drink over, and serve chilled
The light and airy aperitif of the Siciliano is another coffee cocktail that also brings a certain tart-like zing that is not common amongst coffee-based mixed drinks. The Siciliano is relatively low alcohol, making it a nice little pick-me-up after work or a delectable treat before going out with friends.
- 2 oz Italian sweet vermouth
- 1 ½ oz amaro
- 1 ½ cold brew
- Club soda
- Orange wheel for serving
- Mix vermouth, amaro, coffee in a tumbler
- Add ice to fill and top with club soda
- Garnish with an orange wheel