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What Alcohol Goes With Coffee? 20 Best Options (2024)

What Alcohol Goes With Coffee

There are so many great coffee cocktail recipes to try, proving the pairing of liquor and coffee is a perfect match.  

Be it freshly brewed coffee, cold brew coffee, or any iced coffee drink; some liquors taste great with coffee. But which bottles? And what type of alcohol? 

Let’s all find out as we break down what alcohol goes with coffee to make delicious recipes. 

Top 20 Alcohols That Mix Well With Coffee 

20. Chocolate Liqueur

Chocolate Liqueur on a Bottle

Aside from being a great addition to any coffee drink, dark chocolate liqueurs, in particular, are also a great choice for hot chocolate combinations. 

If you want a more intense flavor, try Tempus Fugit, a decadent chocolate liqueur adding a delicious flavor palette to your perfect coffee beans. 

Read: Our Favorite Dark Liquors

19. Sambuca

Close Up Shot of Romana Sambuca Bottle

You may not know that various herbal drinks create unique and flavorful coffee cocktails. 

Sambuca is one of the best, adding a bit of zing to coffee with its anise-flavored extract.

Actually, this pairing is trendy in Italy, especially with espresso. Try pouring a small amount of sambuca into an espresso shot, and you’ll see why. 

18. Vodka

Hand Holding Bottle of Popov Vodka

Vodka and coffee seem unwanting, but you can enjoy Spiked Coco Coffee with this pairing. 

Mix coffee, vodka, simple syrup, and coconut milk, and you’ll get a robust and delicious drink.

Alternatively, you can make an easy homemade syrup at home and use any coffee you prefer. If you like the touch of French coffee, go for that as well. 

But what’s the best vodka for Espresso Martini?

17. Kahlúa Coffee Liqueur

Kahlua Bottle and a Glass of Cocktail Drink

Kahlua coffee liqueur can turn coffee cocktails taste like chocolate. This rum-based liqueur can make delicious recipes with hot brewed coffee, like Irish Coffee. 

But if you’re looking for something different from this brand, you can try other coffee liqueurs, like Jagermeister and Patron XO. 

But how long will Kahlua last?

16. Hazelnut Liqueur

Bottle of Homemade Hazelnut Liqueur

A good match for any coffee type is a nuttier version of Amaretto or a blend of nuts, like Hazelnut liqueur. These types of beverages have notes of vanilla, cocoa, and coffee. 

A hazelnut liqueur is an excellent mix for stronger coffee and darker roasts. Pair it with Irish cream and Irish coffee if you want a truly nutty Irish treat. 

Read: Top Cold Brew Alcoholic Drinks 

15. Whiskey

3 Glasses of Whiskey

The robust and dark flavor of whiskey complements coffee well, whether it’s a black, dark-roasted coffee or with a whipped cream or milk splash. 

One best example is Irish Coffee, a combination of heavy cream, coffee, brown sugar, and whiskey

14. Brandy

Bottle of St Remy XO French Brandy

While coffee and brandy are two of the most popular after-dinner drinks, why not try enjoying them both in a liqueur glass?  

A shot of either brandy or cognac into a hot coffee makes a tasty French connection. 

But for versatility, we suggest the French grape brandy, which you can use in different coffee cocktails.  

13. Velvetised Espresso Martini Liqueur

This Velvetised Espresso Martini drink is a must-have for its creamy and smooth texture. Actually, it’s a creamier and sweet version of the espresso martini. 

It’s like drinking velvet due to its smooth and rich taste. It also tastes great with warm coffee or over ice.

12. Strega

bottle of strega liqueur

Any cocktail made with Strega and fresh, smooth coffee is a must-have for any occasion. This yellow Italian spirit is known for its vibrant color and herbal bouquet. 

Some herbs that contribute to its distinctive flavor include mint, juniper, and saffron. 

Strega is dubbed the “Witches Liqueur,” as it makes an interesting and tasty sweet coffee liquor. 

Read: Recommended Cream Liqueurs For Coffee

11. Frangelico

Bottle of Frangelico

The creamy and flavorful Frangelico is made from the finest blend of Italian hazelnuts with rich and complex flavors. It has hints of white chocolate and vanilla, along with a touch of coffee.

Its flavor profile undoubtedly makes it a great addition to a hot coffee cocktail, like traditional Irish Coffee. 

If you want to deviate from chocolate liqueurs, try Frangelico this time. 

10. Bourbon

Bottle of Whiskey Bourbon

Mix coffee with bourbon to make a Kentucky Coffee cocktail. This is made with a dash of bourbon and topped with whipped cream for a luxurious and warming drink.

9. Cream Liqueurs

Bottles of Cream Liqueurs

The classic Bailey’s Irish Cream, Irish Cream liqueur, and RumChata’s cream liqueurs can all be used in coffee to add a bit of alcohol and replace milk or cream in a drink. 

Also, you can use the vegan Bailey’s Irish cream, if you prefer, to make any tasty drink with coffee– whether cold coffee or warm coffee drinks.  

8. Chambord

Pouring Bottle of Chambord on a Stainless Measuring Cup

Black raspberries are a great addition to coffee drinks, which can add sugar to espresso and even instant coffee. 

Chambord has citrus and sweet vanilla notes, which you can mix with whipped cream for a customized trio.

7. Butterscotch Schnapps

Butterscotch schnapps is a delightful addition to hot and cold beverages, and it tastes similar to salted caramel. 

The rich and creamy flavor can substitute caramel syrup in coffee drinks, making them an ideal dessert option.

6. Aquavit

Pouring Bottle of Copenhagen Aquavit

Aquavit is known for its dill and caraway notes. Although it’s a bit neutral in flavor, it has a variety of floral, citrus, and herbal notes that complement coffee. 

The aged version adds a bit of oak to coffee and hot chocolates. 

In Denmark, many coffee cocktail drinkers use Aquavit to make kaffepunch, a stiff drink—a fun and interesting way to enjoy this pairing. 

5. Fernet-Branca

Bottle and a Glasses of Fernet-Branca

A good meal-time digestif can be made with coffee and amaro, and these bitter beverages offer a variety of herbaceous flavors. 

One of the most popular amaros that pair well with coffee is Fernet Branca, a blend of 27 herbs and spices that are bold and incredibly flavorful. 

4. Rum

Glass of Rum

While rum, particularly spiced rum, is perfect for tropical drinks, it also works well with coffee. Rum’s natural sweetness works well with dark roast coffee. 

One best example is the German coffee cocktail, pharisäer kaffee, which combines dark rum, whipped cream, and coffee. 

Also, try Espresso Martini, pairing vanilla rum, chilled coffee, and coffee liqueur.

3. Vermouth & Gin

Bittersweet flavors are combined with coffee in this pairing of gin and sweet vermouth, which is not for the faint-hearted. 

You can make Coffee Negroni [1] with a sweet twist by adding a cherry. 

“Do not allow children to mix drinks. It is unseemly, and they use too much vermouth.”

– Steve Allen, American TV Personality

But, there are more bitter cocktails where you can use vermouth and gin pairings like Gin Espresso Martini.  

2. Grand Marnier

Bottle and a Glass of Grand Marnier

Though it may seem off, Grand Marnier, a cognac-based liquor [2], works well with coffee. 

The orange peel flavor adds a bit of bitterness and sourness to coffee, making for an excellent after-dinner drink. 

But this orange liqueur, known for its sweet taste, can sometimes be deceiving, as it’s a strong liquor. It’s bottled at 40% ABV, equivalent to regular brandy.

1. Amaretto Disaronno

Bottle of Amaretto Disaronno on a Table

Amaretto is a great start to any coffee experience. This bitter Italian liqueur adds a nutty flavor to the drink. 

It has sweet notes, too, so we recommend this to coffee drinkers with a sweet tooth and a love for liquors. 

Hot coffee is ideal with Amaretto, as its sweet almond flavor will satisfy you even if you’re drinking a weaker brew. It also tastes excellent with spiked almond lattes and cold brew coffee.

FAQs Related to What Alcohol Goes With Coffee

Can you mix alcohol with hot coffee?

Yes, you can mix alcohol with warm coffee. Some liquors pair well with coffee, like Frangelico, Vegan Baileys Irish Cream, Godiva Chocolate Liquor, and Jack Daniels whiskey. 

How do you spike coffee with alcohol?

You can spike coffee with alcohol by adding dark liquors like whiskey and brandy or sweet, creamy liqueurs. You can use any honey liqueur, ginger bitters, or crème de cacao [3] as well.

What alcohol goes with iced coffee?

The alcohol that goes well with iced coffee includes rum, brandy, Irish whiskey, bourbon, vodka [4], and many more. 

What Are Some Classic Coffee and Alcohol Pairings?

Classic coffee and alcohol pairings include Irish Coffee (whiskey and Irish cream), Spanish Coffee (rum and coffee liqueur), and Coffee Martini (vodka and coffee liqueur).

Can I Add Any Alcohol to My Morning Coffee?

While it’s common to enjoy alcoholic coffee drinks in the evening or as a dessert, adding alcohol to your morning coffee may not be suitable for everyone. It’s essential to drink responsibly and consider the timing and context of consuming alcohol.

Are There Any Non-Liqueur Alcohols That Pair Well with Coffee?

Yes, spirits like whiskey, rum, and brandy can enhance the flavor of coffee without adding sweetness. These spirits offer depth and complexity to your coffee without overpowering its natural taste.

What Are Some Tips for Pairing Alcohol with Different Coffee Flavors?

When choosing alcohol to pair with coffee, consider the flavor profile of the coffee itself. For example, dark and bold coffees may pair well with robust spirits like whiskey, while lighter coffees may pair better with smoother options like rum or Irish cream.

Can I Experiment with Different Alcohol-Coffee Combinations at Home?

Absolutely! Experimenting with different alcohol-coffee combinations can be a fun way to discover new flavors and preferences. Start with small amounts of alcohol and adjust to your taste.

Can I Use Flavored Alcohol in Coffee Cocktails?

Yes, flavored liqueurs like vanilla or hazelnut can add extra depth and sweetness to your coffee cocktails. Just be mindful of the overall flavor balance and adjust the amount of sweetener accordingly.

Are There Any Other Coffee-Infused Alcohol Drinks Besides Irish Coffee?

Yes, there are many coffee-infused alcohol drinks to explore, such as Espresso Martinis, Coffee Old Fashioneds, and Coffee White Russians. These cocktails offer a unique combination of caffeine and alcohol for a flavorful experience.

In Summary 

Mixing coffee and liquor goes a long way, making numerous cocktail recipes everyone can enjoy. 

However, ensure you’re using the best alcohol mix, which you can all find in this list.

From chocolate liqueurs to bourbon to Amaretto, all can make mouth-watering cocktails with a touch of coffee. 

References:

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/jul/24/stir-craze-how-the-negroni-became-the-cocktail-of-2021#
  2. https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-grand-marnier-day-july-14/ 
  3. https://www.organicfacts.net/creme-de-cacao.html 
  4. https://www.britannica.com/topic/vodka 
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