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

From our Friends

  1 Comment.


  • pouringpro posted 4 years ago

    I have been enjoying a coffee drink I call a "Hot Shot". The "Hot Shot" also goes by my slang name, a "50/50" Coffee Shot. Side note: I was a coffee drinker until 3 years ago when I created this amazing formula and process late one night staring at a pot of my wife's coffee.. The drink is made using 50 percent extremely hot coffee and 50 percent chilled cream liqueur that I formulated using Baileys, Kahlua and Jameson
    ( Irish Dream Liqueur ).

    Procedure: pour 1 1/2 oz. of steaming hot coffee into 4-5 oz. glass. I use a small A&W root beer mug, but anything works. Add 1 1/2 oz.+ of chilled Irish Dream Liqueur.
    Top with a bit of sweetened cream or whipped cream. The first sip will be Hot! The second sip is Warm! After two or 3 sips, pause for a toast and then down the rest, which has cooled. This is a wonderful way to great your guests or end a Holiday evening with friends before that cold walk or ride home. Of course, Toasting creates and recalls so many fond memories.

    I have altered the Irish Dream Liqueur formula using different whiskeys and tried it with different coffees too! Try a "Hot Shot" or " 50/50 Coffee Shot "and then have another! SLAINTE , Charlie "Pouringpro" Oat

~ all comments loaded ~
Next Article
Are you smarter than
your bartender?

Think you know the booze?
Let’s start with some basics.