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Coffee Cocktails You Need to Add to Your Beverage Menu

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Today, nearly 3 in every 4 Americans drinks coffee every single day. Although it’s already quite popular and beloved, its popularity and consumption keeps rising. From black specialty coffee to coffee drinks with plant-based milks and other ingredients - there are plenty of variations to choose from at each coffee shop.

Bars and restaurants, however, should stay caught up too. Coffee drinks are an integral part of every beverage menu and can help create great drink and food pairings, as well as increase your business’ profit. If you want to offer more than the classic cappuccino or latte, there are plenty of other great options, including coffee cocktails. 

The cocktails with coffee are typically great ways to finish up a delicious dinner. They can also be a nice kick-starting drink at the bar. Either way, coffee cocktails are tasty and pretty and will be enjoyed by a wide range of customers. That’s why it’s worth it to look into the different options you can implement into your menu. 

In today’s article, we have gathered a list of the most popular coffee cocktails that will satisfy all coffee lovers and those looking for alternatives to aperitifs and digestif drinks. Check out the different options to get inspired to create custom drinks or simply try out some of the recipes we suggest!

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Coffee Cocktails Everyone Should Try

The combination of coffee and alcohol has been a crowd favorite for years. Coffee cocktails are a perfect pick-me-up drink when you go for a happy hour with friends but feel tired. They are also an amazing end of a large meal that has left you full and a bit sleepy. 

Coffee cocktails can include different types of alcohol and various kinds of coffee - from espresso to filter coffee and everything in between. They can be curated based on the other items on your food or beverage menu or you can experiment and offer different options during different times of the year. 

If you have not yet served any coffee cocktails at your bar or restaurant, now is the time to reconsider. Here are 10 coffee cocktails we suggest you try and even implement into your offerings!

Key Takeaway: Coffee cocktails are delicious drinks that need more attention. They can fit perfectly into your existing beverage menu and would make for great digestifs or desserts. Experiment with the most popular ones and see which cocktails will stick!

1. Espresso Martini

The classic Espresso Martini recipe was created back in the 1980s by a cocktail expert named Dick Bradsell. He was a British bartender, known for his innovative approach and cocktails. He is considered the inventor of a wide range of popular cocktails we enjoy today. 

He created the first Espresso Martini with vodka, coffee liqueur, sugar, and a shot of espresso. Today, the drink is made with the same cocktail ingredients and is typically served in a martini glass. The preferred garnish by most bartenders is a few coffee beans. However, you can experiment by adding grated chocolate or other types of cocktail garnish

2. Irish Coffee

Another crowd favorite and super popular drink is Irish coffee. It’s a caffeinated alcoholic drink that is a mixture of Irish whiskey, hot coffee, and sugar. There’s typically cream on top, too. There are a few different origin stories of Irish Coffee and the common in all of them is that the drink was made with Irish whiskey. 

It’s believed that the drink is now over 100 years old and that it was brought to the USA by a travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Coffee shops in the United States started serving this drink in the 1950s and have kept serving it ever since. 

3. White Russian

This creamy vodka cocktail is another classic that deserves a spot on most beverage menus. It’s one of the many coffee cocktails that people are already familiar with and would love to enjoy either with nice food or on its own. 

It’s made with vodka, coffee liqueur, cream or milk. There are even versions of the White Russian that exclude dairy. You can replace the dairy with plant-based milk, which will make the drink vegan-friendly. 

4. Mexican Coffee

Along with Irish Coffee comes the cocktail Mexican Coffee. It’s quite similar to the first one, but the whiskey is replaced by tequila and there is also Kahlúa in the mix. The drink is topped off with whipped cream and garnished with sprinkles of cinnamon. It’s served in a glass mug and it’s a great warm cocktail. 

You can serve Mexican Coffee all year round, but it can be a part of your holiday specials or fall and winter cocktails. Hot drinks are typically ordered the most during the colder months. 

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5. Mocha Martini

The Mocha Martini is an interesting twist on the popular Espresso Martini. It’s a cocktail that mixes the original recipe with the recipe of a Chocolate Martini. Sounds like the best of both worlds, doesn’t it? 

To make a delicious Mocha Martini, you are going to need vodka, chocolate liqueur (for example crème de cacao), coffee liqueur, and a splash of either milk or cream. This cocktail is served in a martini glass, and it’s typically garnished with chocolate shavings. 

6. Black Russian

One major trend in the world of cocktails lately is simplicity. Fewer ingredients and simple garnishes are dominating. That’s why we suggest adding the Black Russian to your menu. It’s a variation of the popular White Russian but with fewer ingredients. 

To make the perfect Black Russian, all you need is quality vodka and coffee liqueur. Serve the mix over ice in a classic old-fashioned glass. Anyone who can’t have dairy or wants to skip it, can enjoy this delicious cocktail.

7. Spanish Coffee

Have you heard of Spanish Coffee? If you haven’t now is the time to learn about it, make it, and even serve it to your customers! It’s one of those coffee cocktails that doesn’t get enough attention but it really should.

The Spanish Coffee is made with hot coffee, Spanish brandy, coffee liqueur, and just like the Irish and Mexican coffee cocktails - it’s topped off with whipped cream. You can sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg on top of it for added flavor. 

8. Café Amaretto

This cocktail combines the classic charm of the well-loved Irish Coffee with the subtle allure of Amaretto. The liqueur adds a subtle nutty flavor to the drink, which makes the cocktail even more delicious. 

Mix coffee with Amaretto liqueur, then top it off with whipped cream. Drizzle some Amaretto on top of the cream to make it both pretty and even more delicious. 

9. Café Brulot

Café Brûlot means “burnt brandy.” It’s typically consumed as an after-dinner drink that has a unique flavor. Because it’s not that common, it’s probably not served anywhere near your bar and restaurant and you can take advantage of this.

To make Café Brulot brew hot coffee, add brandy and orange liqueur. Finish it off with spices like cloves, cinnamon, and orange peel. To make it even better for the customers, have the bartender prepare it in front of them with a dramatic flambe presentation. 

10. Coffee Old Fashioned

If you want to create a sophisticated twist to the classic Old Fashioned cocktail, you can try this version. It’s made with bourbon or rye whiskey, coffee liqueur, a sugar cube, and a few dashes of bitters

 This cocktail is served over ice in the classic old-fashioned glass. The garnish is typically an orange twist but if you want, you can experiment with different options. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Coffee Cocktails

If you are curious to know more about the coffee cocktails you can serve at your bar or restaurant, you should read the answers to these common questions. 

What Types of Alcohol Are Commonly Used in Coffee Cocktails?

Commonly used alcohols in coffee cocktails include:

  • Vodka
  • Whiskey - bourbon, rye
  • Rum - dark, spiced
  • Brandy
  • Tequila
  • Liqueurs - coffee liqueur, Irish cream, Amaretto

You can experiment with other types of alcohol, too, but the current most popular recipes include the aforementioned alcohol. 

Can I Make Coffee Cocktails with Non-Alcoholic Ingredients?

Yes! You can make coffee cocktails with non-alcoholic ingredients to create mocktail versions. For example, you can substitute alcohol with flavored syrups, extracts, or non-alcoholic coffee liqueurs.

Are Coffee Cocktails Typically Served Hot or Cold?

Coffee cocktails can be served hot, cold, or even as a combination of both. Some are traditionally served hot, such as Irish Coffee or Spanish Coffee, while others are served chilled over ice, like the Espresso Martini or White Russian.

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