Picture this: you’re at brunch, unable to decide between cocktail and coffee.
Enter: coffee cocktails. The cure to your indecision. The drink that’ll afford you both a subtle buzz AND a kick of caffeine. The can’t-go-wrong drink order and, as it turns out, DIY project at home. Because as these five recipes prove, it’s surprisingly simple to whip up a coffee cocktail at home—whether it’s for brunch, happy hour, or after-dinner treat.
The only question is… which to try first?
1. Espresso Martini
Pretty much the only “martini” element to an espresso martini is the glass it’s served in, but hey? When you combine vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup, you’re in for a good time—regardless of what you call it.
- 6 Ounces Vodka
- 4 Ounces Coffee Liqueur
- 4 Ounces Brewed Espresso, Chilled
- 2 Ounces Creme de Cacao White
- 6 Coffee Beans
- Chill 2 martini glasses.
- Combine the vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso, and creme de cacao in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled and frothy. Strain into the chilled glasses and garnish with 3 coffee beans per drink.
Recipe from Food Network
On the sweeter side is the Siciliano, a drink that exudes an old-fashioned, 50s vibe. It’s not too heavy, which makes it the perfect after-dinner drink to slowly sip as you wind down (or ramp up?) for the night.
- 2 Ounces Sweet Vermouth
- 1 ½ Ounces Amaro
- 1 ½ Ounces Strong Cold Brew Coffee
- 1 Ounce Simple Syrup
- Club Soda
- Orange Wheel, for serving
- Mix vermouth, amaro, coffee, and simple syrup in a tumbler.
- Add ice to fill and top with club soda.
- Garnish with orange wheel
Recipe from Bon Appétit.
3. White Russian
We like to think of the White Russian as a 21+ spin on a milkshake. It’s refreshing, with the flavor of coffee liqueur offset just enough by the vodka and cold milk. Fun fact: this cocktail was born in the 60s when someone accidentally added a bit of cream to the Blark Russian. But it was only until the 1998 movie “The Big Lebowski” did the drink really take off, as if was Jeff Bridge’s character (“The Dude”)’s go-to drink.
- 2 Ounces Vodka
- 1 Ounce Coffee Liqueur
- Crushed Ice
- ½ Ounce Whole Milk / Heavy Cream*
- In a rocks glass, combine vodka and coffee liqueur over ice.
- Add milk or cream and stir.
*For a dairy-free version, swap out the milk/heavy cream for coconut milk.
Recipe from Drizzly
4. Coffee Old Fashioned
Bourbon whiskey and bitters is the perfect pair in this upgraded classic. A touch of simple syrup adds just enough sweetness, and the lemon peel makes for a picture-perfect presentation.
- 1 Double Shot Espresso (about 2 ounces), room temperature
- 1 Ounce Bourbon / Rye Whiskey
- ¼ Ounce Simple Syrup
- Dash Peychaud’s Bitters
- Lemon Peel, for garnish
- Combine espresso, bourbon, simple syrup, and bitters in a shaker and fill with ice.
- Stir for about 30 seconds and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
- Twist lemon peel over the drink, rub around the rim of the glass, and garnish.
Recipe from Bon Appétit
5. Dublin Iced Coffee
The Irish are no strangers to spiked coffee. Their signature coffee drink comes together with hot coffee, whiskey, sugar, and whipped cream. In this iced version, a stout like AleSmith Speedway or Guinness is added, along with a sprinkling of cinnamon at the end for an extra oomph. It’s refreshing, and perfectly toes the line between coffee and dessert.
- 2 Ounces Cold Brew
- 2 Ounces Stout
- 1 ½ Ounces Irish Whiskey
- ¾ Ounces Simple Syrup
- ½ Ounce Heavy Cream
- Cinnamon, for serving
- Mix coffee, stout, whiskey, and simple syrup into a highball glass.
- Add ice to fill.
- Gently pour in cream so it gradually sinks into the coffee.
- Finish with a sprinkling of cinnamon.
Recipe from Bon AppétitWant more coffee recipe inspiration? Check out our recipe page here.