Coffee Cocktail

Coffee Cocktail in a glass

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
187 Calories
4g Fat
6g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 187
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 141mg 47%
Sodium 327mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 94mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You may not get actual coffee in this "coffee cocktail" but you do get a taste of a great classic drink. The name may refer to the look of the drink when properly concocted and the fact that the brandy-port combination makes it a fine drink before and after dinner as an alternative to coffee.

Despite its deceptive name, this is a classic cocktail. It first appeared in print in Jerry Thomas' 1887 book, "The Bar-Tender's Guide or How to Mix All Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks." It is one of the more unusual drinks from the time, though the brandy, ruby port, and egg with just a hint of sweetness make a fabulous drink that is very enjoyable. That's especially true if you seek out one of the finer ports available.


Steps to Make It

  1.  Gather the ingredients.

    Coffee Cocktail ingredients in shot glasses

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a cocktail shaker, pour the brandy, ruby port, egg, and simple syrup.

    Brandy, ruby port, egg, and simple syrup next to a metal cocktail shaker

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Fill with ice, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.

    Cocktail shaker next to a glass with ice

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Strain into a chilled port or sour glass.

    Coffee Cocktail in a glass

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Dust the top with freshly grated nutmeg. Serve and enjoy.

    Coffee Cocktail garnished with freshly grated nutmeg

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.


  • There are two keys to mixing cocktails that include eggs: Make sure your egg is fresh and shake the drink more than usual to ensure the egg is properly mixed. Put extra effort into the shake, even going until your arms hurt.
  • Give the egg a quick freshness test before cracking it: Place it in a glass of water and if it sinks, it's good. Whenever your egg stands on end, it's best reserved for food in which it will be cooked. Floating eggs should be discarded.
  • Large eggs are the most common today, though this recipe is sized for a small egg. If you find that it's too eggy with a large egg, your easiest option is to increase the brandy and port to 2 ounces each. This will create one large cocktail or two smaller ones.
  • If you like, rim the glass with a mixture of brown sugar and nutmeg to make the drink extra special.

How Strong Is a Coffee Cocktail?

The egg brings the coffee cocktail down to a comfortable alcohol content for most people. This recipe should fall into the 17 percent ABV (34 proof) range, which is typical of this style of drink.

Recipe Variations

Very similar to the coffee cocktail, the porto flip uses the same ingredients but changes up the way they are used. This recipe focuses on the port and leaves the brandy as an accent. The porto flip is a common "flip" drink, which were once very popular but lost some of their appeal in the late 19th Century.

  • To make the drink, shake 1/4 ounce brandy, 1 1/2 ounces ruby port, and 1 egg yolk thoroughly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pinch of nutmeg.
  • Some recipes create a creamier porto flip by adding 3/4 ounce of cream and 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar.