In the Mix: Coffee Liqueur Cocktails

Use coffee liqueur to perk up Old Fashioned variations and even tiki drinks!

courtesy Mr. Black

courtesy Mr. Black

Coffee is a daily staple for a lot of people, including nearly half of all Americans over the age of 18. Why is it, then, that some folks would have us believe that coffee liqueur can only be used in cold-weather drinks? We drink iced coffee and cold brew in summertime, after all.

As a cocktail additive, coffee liqueur is surprisingly versatile. It plays well with most aged spirits and adds richness to creamy elements, but it also smacks of chocolate when paired with citrus like orange or lemon. Below are four perfect summertime cocktail recipes that utilize the flavors of the world’s favorite breakfast beverage.

Coffee Rum Old Fashioned

The old fashioned is one of the most beloved classic cocktails. There are many different interpretations of the recipe, but it always consists of three ingredients: whiskey, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters. Spice up your next old fashioned by switching out the whiskey for rum and adding a touch of coffee liqueur.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice, stir to chill, and then strain into a rocks glass over a large single cube. Garnish with an orange peel.

The Bahama Mama

This tropical drink is a classic tiki concoction. It first came to America many decades ago, and though its recipe has ebbed and flowed through the years, one constant, distinctive element that remains is the use of coffee liqueur.  

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Top with ice. Shake well. Strain into a Collins or hurricane glass and fill with cracked ice. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.

Black Thai, photo by Devon Trevathan

Black Thai, photo by Devon Trevathan

Black Thai

This recipe comes straight from the website of Eastside Distilling, who make the Hue Hue Coffee Rum, which marries premium silver rum and cold-brew coffee made from single-origin Arabica beans sourced from Guatemala. At 70 proof, the resultant spirit is higher in alcohol than traditional liqueurs but lower than most rums. This product won silver in the 2019 NY International Spirits Competition.

Shake all ingredients vigoriously in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a double rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.


photo by Devon Trevathan

photo by Devon Trevathan

The Revolver, which originated in San Francisco, has become a modern classic. Leaning on the effortless delectability of bourbon, coffee liqueur and orange bitters, this drink is a good option for anyone who loves boozy, straight-forward beverages that are less sweet than a typical Old Fashioned.

Fill a cocktail glass with ice, set aside. Combine ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice, stir until chilled. Strain the mixture into the chilled glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

For more warm weather coffee cocktail fun, try making these boozy coffee ice cubes!