Food & Drink

Drink One of These Alcoholic Coffee Cocktails, Find Bliss, Repeat

Brew a fresh pot and combine your vices.
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There's the cowboy method of making a coffee cocktail. You know, sloshing a slug of whiskey from a flask into a tin mug of watery, mostly burned, gritty grounds. Horse, hat, and Red Dead Redemption attitude not required. There's the pregame method, too: Brewing a fresh pot after work and adding it to a thermos with whatever alcohol you have stocked on the bar cart (Jameson Cold Brew, if you're lucky), then nursing it in the taxi or on the train to your final destination. There's also the cop-out method, which is sipping one of the handful of esteemed coffee liqueurs that've been introduced to the spirits world over the last decade—Mr. Black and Patrón XO Cafe come to mind—over ice.

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Or Kahlúa. There's always Kahlúa, though it barely has enough caffeine to rile up a puppy.

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But should you want to go legit with your alcoholic coffee cocktail consumption, here's a selection of classic drinks that'll work. A few call for brewed coffee, the others for coffee liqueurs, Kahlúa being the most recognizable but not the only option. From there, it's up to you to balance the confounding coupling of caffeine and alcohol, upper and downer, in a way that leaves you buzzed without swan-diving into sleepiness.

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Irish Coffee

Photo by Tyler Joe.
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Nirvana can be found at the bottom of your first Irish Coffee. Perhaps your second. Hot, strong, and almost sweet, it's damn near revelatory on an otherwise shit day.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Irish whiskey
  • 5 oz. coffee
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • heavy cream

Directions

Pour the whiskey, coffee, and sugar into a heated glass mug. Stir, then top off with a thick layer of lightly whipped heavy cream. Don't stir it in.

Espresso Martini

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Technically speaking, this cocktail isn't a martini. A martini is ice-cold and ice-clear, with dry vermouth. Technically speaking, it's an alcoholic energy shot in a fancy glass. Add simple syrup if you need to take the bite off.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz. fresh espresso

Directions

Shake ingredients together with ice, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with three coffee beans if you want to be cute.

Mudslide

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Think of a Mudslide like you would a hot fudge sundae: If a topping sparks your interest, be it cookie crumbles or whipped cream or cherry drizzle, then by all means, pile it on top.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz. Irish cream liqueur

Directions

Combine coffee liqueur, vodka, and Irish cream liqueur in a shaker with ice. Shake for at least 10 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over ice.

White Russian

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One White Russian-making method has you building it on the rocks, watching the colors swirl and twirl, then stirring and downing it, Dude-style. The other has you shaking it into a froth. Pick your poison.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 3/4 oz. Kahlúa
  • 3/4 oz. heavy cream

Directions

Add vodka and Kahlúa to a rocks glass over ice, top with heavy cream, then stir if you're so moved. (Alternatively, shake the ingredients well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled Old-Fashioned glass.)

Black Russian

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Rob the White Russian of its "white" and you get a darker, bolder, blacker cocktail. Like Dunkin' without vanilla creamer or Folgers without half and half.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. coffee liqueur

Directions

Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over fresh ice.

Coffee-Infused Tequila

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On a parting note, we give you a coffee infusion. Doctor your tequila as such, and you can use it in any funkier tequila cocktail or sip it straight. The recipe comes from Tequila: Shake, Muddle, Stir.

Ingredients

  • 1 split vanilla pod (bean)
  • 20 oz. blanco tequila
  • 3 1/2 oz. freshly ground coffee
  • 3 1/2 oz. demerara simple syrup*

*Demerara Simple Syrup

  • 7 oz. water
  • 3 1/2 oz. demerara, cane, or granulated (raw) sugar
  • 1 tbsp. golden syrup or corn syrup (optional)

Directions

1. Add a vanilla pod to your tequila and leave to infuse for 24–72 hours (check daily, as you want a gentle vanilla taste; if you leave it too long, it becomes too floral).

2. When your vanilla infusion is ready, remove the vanilla pod, then add the ground coffee and give it a good shake. Place the tequila in the freezer for at least 72 hours.

3. Strain through a coffee filter, then add a little of the simple syrup, to taste. Shake well.

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Demerara Simple Syrup Directions

1. Boil the water in the saucepan and gently add the sugar. Turn down the heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 3–5 minutes until all the sugar is dissolved, and the syrup is clear.

2. Turn off the heat and leave to cool. While still runny, pour into a sterilized mason jar or pour through a funnel into a sterilized glass bottle with stopper. Adding a spoonful of golden syrup to the cooled mixture will help keep it smooth. Store in the fridge for up to six weeks.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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