Whether it's a coffee liqueur like Kahlúa or an espresso vodka, coffee-flavored liquors will always be favorites in the bar. They're very useful and make it easy for anyone to add the rich, dark flavor of coffee to a variety of cocktails. From popular mixed drinks like the white Russian to espresso martinis and boozy smoothies, these cocktail recipes can satiate your craving for both alcohol and coffee in a single drink.
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While many great cocktails feature coffee liqueurs, few get as much attention as the white Russian. Yet, this mixed drink of vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream is not on its own. With a quick ingredient switch, you can enjoy an entirely new drink.
This drink family is fun and it's hard to get bored when you have such easy substitutions available. There is, of course, the black Russian, which skips the cream. You can also hold the vodka for the Smith and Kearns or switch to whiskey and mix up a sneaky Pete. Want something with a little fizz? Add cola for a Colorado bulldog. And, if there's no cream in the house, grab that bottle of Irish cream, and enjoy a mudslide.
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If you're in the mood for a white Russian but want something just a little sweeter and lighter on the alcohol, the toasted almond is a good choice. It pairs coffee liqueur with amaretto while retaining that creamy deliciousness. Bring back the vodka, and you have a roasted toasted almond.
Explore Different Coffee Liqueurs
Kahlúa is the most popular brand of coffee liqueur, but it's not your only option. Use these recipes as an excuse to explore liqueurs like Tia Maria, Patrón Cafe, Firelit, and others you come across. You may just discover a new favorite.
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If you thought that Jägermeister was reserved for get-me-drunk shots, think again. In the widow maker cocktail, the herbal liqueur is paired with equal parts vodka and coffee liqueur. Add a bit of grenadine, and a pleasant martini-style drink is ready to enjoy.
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Pick up an espresso vodka on your next trip to the liquor store, and after one sip, your mind will swarm with tasty ways to use it. To kick start that adventure, give the fun talking monkey recipe a taste. It uses a chocolate vodka and banana liqueur with a hint of espresso vodka and coffee liqueur. It's creamy, too, and quite the delight.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Triple Espresso Martini
Many versions of the espresso martini use actual espresso. This recipe takes a different approach, opting for espresso vodka instead. It's paired with coconut rum and amaretto, and the vodka floats on top for a delicate crema-like touch.
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Espresso vodka can work well in a more traditional martini formula. When you're in the mood for a drier cocktail with a caffeine kick, the ginspresso martini is an ideal choice. It accents a tall shot of espresso vodka and a short shot of gin with dry vermouth and orange bitters for a fascinating taste. To complete the drink, garnish it with coffee beans and a burnt orange peel.
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Another flavored vodka shares the stage with coffee liqueur in this tasty martini recipe. The mochatini opts for vanilla vodka and it's an equal pour with the coffee liqueur. Bring in a bit of chocolate liqueur and rim the glass with even more chocolate for a tempting after-dinner drink.
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Similar to the mochatini, the midnight martini skips the chocolate, turning it into a quick two-ingredient vodka cocktail. The basic recipe requires vodka and the coffee liqueur of your choice. To ramp up the caffeinated aspect, pour an espresso vodka instead. Adding the optional cinnamon syrup also gives the drink a little extra dimension.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Straight coffee-flavored cocktails are nice, but give the golden cappuccino a whirl for something considerably more interesting. It's a creamy cocktail that features Galliano L'Autentico, a golden liqueur known for its vanilla and anise profile. When paired with your preferred espresso vodka and cream, it becomes a luscious libation that rivals any coffee house drink.
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Creamy smoothies are great and even better when you sneak in a little booze. That may be an understatement for the bushwacker, though. It's like a coffee-chocolate frozen piña colada, hold the pineapple; you'll need dark rum, Kahlúa, crème de cacao, and cream of coconut. Add milk and ice, and blend it up. It's so delicious that you'll probably be back for a second round.
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Coffee liqueurs are also useful in tropical cocktails. It only makes sense when you consider that the coffee plant is tropical. To prove the point, mix up the unforgettable Bahama mama. A favorite on the beach scene, this drink has a pineapple juice base to which you'll add coffee and coconut liqueurs along with dark and 151-proof rums.
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The coffee old-fashioned was developed for straight bourbon whiskey, but it's also excellent with coffee-infused bourbon. A short drink, the recipe mixes whiskey with chocolate liqueur, chilled espresso, and orange bitters. It's quick and easy to make, and a nice one to sip slowly.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Carrot Cake Shot
Despite not having a bit of carrot, the carrot cake shot tastes like its namesake dessert. It's made with Irish cream, coffee liqueur, and butterscotch schnapps. Rimming the glass with cream cheese frosting and crushed walnuts seals the deal on this delicious shot.
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Wake the Dead
Tequila and coffee go together very well, and this recipe is sure to "wake the dead." It doubles up on the coffee, pairing both a coffee liqueur and espresso with the crisp taste of blanco tequila. Customarily served as a shot, it also makes an excellent sipper.
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Death by Chocolate
Fire up the blender because you won't want to miss this tasty ice cream cocktail. With a vodka and coffee liqueur foundation, the recipe uses not one but three chocolate ingredients to ensure it lives up to the "death by chocolate" name.