Coffee Cocktails Recipes

How to Make Spiked Coffee Drinks

Shot glass of sambuca with coffee beans
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Coffee and alcohol are often combined for flavor and function. Some see the caffeine kick as a method to stay energized, while others view a coffee cocktail as a way to avoid drowsiness while they drink. Whatever your philosophy, one thing is for sure: you'll probably prefer the flavor of these to the taste of most energy drink cocktails. Here are some simple coffee cocktails to enjoy:

Alcoholic Coffee Drinks

  • Irish Coffee - Irish Coffee is the classic hot coffee cocktail.  It is made with coffee, sugar (some use brown), Irish whiskey with a topping of cream. The original recipe specifically uses cream that hasn't been whipped; the coffee is drunk through the cream. Variations on the recipe date back a century, but the true Irish coffee was born after a group of American passengers disembarked from a Pan Am flying boat in Foynes, Ireland on a brutal winter night in the 1940s. The local restaurant added whiskey to the coffee to warm them and it became a staple on the menu.
  • B-51, B-52, B-53 and B-54 Shots - These simple coffee shots can be layered or mixed. Each tastes slightly different.
  • Sambuca & Coffee Beans - This traditional Italian drink makes a fantastic aperitif or digestif. The three coffee beans served with sambuca represent health, happiness and prosperity.  It's known as Sambuca con mosca which translates to sambuca, ice and flies. The coffee beans floating on the top of the glass are called the flies. The three beans are supposed to bring more luck than an even number of beans would, but they also serve a purpose -- enhancing the elderberry and anise of the liqueur.
  • Easy Coffee Martini 1 ("The Shakes") - "The Shakes" is presentable, high in alcohol and caffeine-rich enough to kick off a long night of partying. It can also be made with espresso instead of coffee for an easy espresso martini recipe.  One of the claims to fame for inventing the espresso martini comes from the Brasserie Soho in London in 1983 when a woman asked for something that would "wake me up and 'screw' me up."  
  • Easy Coffee Martini 2 ("Mint-Choco-Java Cocktail") - "Mint-Choco-Java Cocktail" tastes like it sounds (sweet with sneak-up alcohol) and is a breeze to make. It can also be prepared as an espresso martini.
  • Coffee-Infused Vodka - As a base for more elaborate drinks or a flavorful variation on regular vodka, Quick Coffee Liquor is a fast and easy addition to your coffee/bar menu.
  • Spiked Coffee Ice Cream Dream - This is an epic frou-frou drink... and it's incredibly easy to make.
  • Chocolate Mocha-Tini - The trifecta of coffee, chocolate and alcohol make this a decadently drinkable cocktail. Layered liqueurs and a dollop of chocolate ice cream make for an impressive presentation, and it can be made in no time flat if you have leftover drip coffee or cold-brewed coffee to spare.

Once you've mastered these drinks, hone your bartending skills with these Intermediate Coffee Cocktails.