Coffee liqueur cocktails have found themselves on pretty much every drinks list of the last 20-30 years. Coffee and alcohol have seemingly become one of the most popular mixtures in all of hospitality. But history tells us that they aren’t exactly a classic combo. With the first record of alcohol believed to be dated as far back 10,000 BC, it wasn’t until the 15th century that our beloved coffee beans were first cultivated for consumption. About 400-500 years later, we have the first recorded coffee/alcohol infusions with the introduction of Kahlua – a Mexican coffee liqueur, and n the time since then there have been a plethora of delicious coffee liqueur cocktails out there!
Types of Coffee Liqueurs
First produced in 1936 from Veracruz, Mexico, Kahlua has since become one of the most recognisable features of any back bar since the company was acquired by Pernod Ricard in 2005. This liqueur is made from rum, sugar, and Arabian coffee. It offers a caffeine-boosted sweetness to cocktails such as the Espresso Martini.
Tia Maria has long been a familiar face in many back bars and home bars. Its timeless flavour and smoothness has firmly imprinted its mark into the liqueur scene.
Similarly to Kahlua, Tia Maria is a coffee liqueur made from rum, but it is made in Jamaica and has subtle notes of vanilla which makes it perfect when added into a White Russian.
Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
First produced in 2013, Mr Black has rapidly become the hottest newcomer in the alcohol game. It is made from wheat vodka and Arabian coffee. Expertly crafted out of Sydney, Australia, Mr Black is constructed by a team of expert distillers and Baristas and is voted the ‘overall best coffee liqueur.’
Patron XO Café
Made from tequila, vanilla and sugar, Patron XO is often described as ‘too nice to put in a cocktail.’ It carries such a unique flavour profile that most people prefer to enjoy it on its own as a shot.
Coffee liqueur cocktails
This cocktail can be made in a variety of ways, but it is mostly made by mixing vodka with coffee liqueur with a whole bunch of variations such as the addition of fresh coffee and sugar syrups. Some choose to enjoy it with rum or bourbon and to experiment with sugar syrups such as demerara or even gingerbread. This recipe will be based on the OG version with a slight bit of tweakage from our resident bartender.
Absolut Vanilla Vodka (35ml)
Kahlua (15 ml)
Fresh shot of espresso (40ml)
Demerara syrup (10ml)
Put a martini/coupe glass in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
Pour all of the ingredients into your cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
Remove glass from freezer.
Double strain into glass.
Garnish with 3 coffee beans and/or a sprinkle of coffee powder in a neat line.
The white Russian got its name when somebody decided to take a Black Russian and add double cream to it. Not the most riveting of back-stories but a back-story nonetheless. It struggled to find popularity in its early years until The Big Lebowski came out in 1996 and Jeff Bridges’ character ‘The Dude’ breathed new life into the White Russian by making it his drink of choice. A classic recipe calls for vodka, coffee liqueur and cream but our resident bartender has something slightly different in store for you all today…
15ml Tia Maria
50ml double cream
10ml gingerbread syrup
2 oreos (1 crushed)
Pour ingredients (including 1 of the oreos, crushed up) into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice
Shake vigorously for 10 seconds
Fill a rocks/lowball glass with crushed ice
Strain the drink into the glass over the ice
Garnish with an oreo
Match Made in Heaven
This one is an exclusive from our resident bartender. It mixes mint chocolate with whisky and believe me – it works! The bourbon has to be carefully selected for this, we would recommend one that has a nice smoothness and won’t take too much flavour away from the mint chocolate. My bourbon of choice would be Buffalo Trace or failing that, Makers Mark.
10ml crème de cacao
5ml crème de menthe
30ml milk/oat milk
Mint flavoured Matchmakers/chocolate sticks for garnish (optional)
Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker
Fill with ice
Shake vigorously for around 10 seconds
Fill rocks/lowball glass with crushed ice
Strain cocktail into glass
Final thoughts on coffee liqueur cocktails
Now that we have a pretty good knowledge of coffee liqueur cocktails, it’s time for you to get creative! Be sure to let us know how you get on and keep and eye out for more recipes and blog posts from our resident Swan bartender.