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How to Mix: Coffee & Cocktails

Between preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, getting ready to travel or host guests and planning holiday parties—not to mention figuring out what gifts to buy—no one would blame you for feeling exhausted.

To help you wake up and give you a bit of a buzz, we recommend mixing a little coffee into your evening cocktail. With its  distinctive taste, java can be hard to incorporate into drinks, but we found one bar doing a remarkable job: New York’s Amor y Amargo.


A few months ago, the East Village establishment launched a special weekend menu, aptly named The Double Buzz, filled with spirited coffee concoctions. It was created by beverage director Sother Teague in consultation with Natalie Czech, the head barista at Maialino, famed restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Italian trattoria.

These complex elixirs pair pour-over coffee from high-end roaster Counter Culture with Amor y Amargo’s extensive stock of cocktail bitters and other bitter aperitifs and digestifs (the spot’s name means “love and bitters” in Spanish, after all).

Some of coffee’s best boozy partners are amari, intensely herbal Italian liqueurs. And The Double Buzz list includes several variations on caffe corretto—a shot of espresso “corrected” by an accompanying separate shot of liquor. Teague says his favorite combo is the savory Ndaroini coffee grown in Kenya with Amaro dell’Erborista, an alcohol with strong herbal and vegetal notes. (Of course, you can match shots of your preferred coffee and any amaro.)

But amari and coffee also work in more complicated cocktails as well. Teague’s Morning Stubble mixes gin, rye whiskey, vermouth-like Bonal Gentiane-Quina and Amaro Meletti—which tastes of leather and cola—with Ndaroini coffee.

Cognac lovers should definitely try the Grandma’s Coffee. It uses Biloya coffee from Ethiopia, which supplies jammy berry flavors, along with two types of brandy and two types of bitters, plus Cocchi Americano and the Czech Becherovka.

These tasty drinks prove that coffee can be mixed with more than just sugar and cream. Cheers!

Morning Stubble

Contributed by Sother Teague

  • .5 oz High-proof rye whiskey
  • .5 oz London dry-style gin
  • .5 oz Amaro Meletti
  • .5 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quina
  • 1 dash Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters
  • 3 oz Brewed coffee, chilled
  • Glass: Rocks

Add the rye, gin, amaro, Bonal and bitters to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled rocks glass. Top with the coffee and stir briefly.

Grandma’s Coffee

Contributed by Sother Teague

  • .75 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy
  • .75 oz Louis Royer Cognac
  • .75 oz Cocchi Americano
  • .25 oz Becherovka
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 2 dashes Bar Keep Organic Apple Bitters
  • 6 oz Brewed coffee, chilled
  • Glass: Rocks

Add the brandy, cognac, Cocchi Americano, Becherovka and both bitters to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into two chilled rocks glasses. Top each with 3 ounces of coffee and stir briefly.

Locations: New York
Series & Type: Cocktails Trends
Appears in 1 Collection

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