Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Cocktails

Rich Coffee

Rich Coffee cocktail with a white foamy head served in a short-stemmed glass
Image: / Tim Nusog

Coffee cocktails aren’t just for breakfast. Or brunch. Besides being a handy conduit for caffeine, coffee (the good stuff) is full of oils and rich flavors that pair nicely with a variety of spirits and liqueurs, from whiskey and rum to bittersweet amari.

In the aptly named Rich Coffee, San Francisco bartender Tommy Quimby combines creme de cacao, fernet and coffee into a simple eye-opener that’s flavorful and effective. Quimby uses Tempus Fugit creme de cacao, which is based on a 19th-century recipe featuring cacao from Venezuela and vanilla from Mexico. He chooses Italian-made Fernet-Branca, which brings a wallop of herbal, minty bitterness to the equation. And he pours locally roasted Sightglass coffee, which is a great option (and available online), but you can choose your favorite beans for similar results.

This simple but complex-tasting trio is accented by a topper of pistachio cream. You can quickly make that yourself at home by whipping together pistachio nut paste, sugar and heavy cream. The sweet and nutty cream merges deftly with the creme de cacao’s cocoa and vanilla flavors, the Fernet-Branca’s minty bitterness and the coffee’s rich, earthy notes.

Build the drink right in your glass for an easy pick-me-up in the morning or after dinner. It’s up to the task whenever you want a warming, caffeinated treat.


Click Play to See This Rich Coffee Cocktail Come Together


  • 1 ounce Tempus Fugit creme de cacao

  • 1/2 ounce Fernet-Branca

  • 4 ounces Sightglass coffee

  • Pistachio whipped cream, to top*


  1. Add the creme de cacao, Fernet-Branca and coffee to a heat-proof glass and stir.

  2. Top with the cream.

*Pistachio whipped cream: Combine pistachio nut paste, sugar and heavy cream (to taste), and whip to combine.