Coffee is not just the delicious fuel of the workplace – it can also be a tasty playtime elixir.The magic bean is a key ingredient in several classic cocktails. It can be added to plenty of others to give them a contemporary twist. If beer and wine make you sleepy – why not give some of these a lash and party the night away?
Here are a few of our favourite recipes for coffee cocktails. The recipes use minimal equipment and are suitable for all occasions, from Christmas and birthdays to nights in. Even amateur mixologists should be able to try their hands at them with minimal fuss.
This cocktail uses a handful of simple ingredients, which you may already have in. It was allegedly invented in a London club when a punter ordered something to “wake them up, then f*ck them up”.
You will need to start by making some sugar syrup. You can make your own by boiling up a 1:2 ratio of water to sugar and letting it cool. You will need to boil it to get that much sugar to dissolve in the water. If that seems like too much of a faff you can always just buy some.
You are also going to need some vodka, ice, coffee liqueur, and freshly brewed espresso. Oh. and a cocktail shaker. We had one lying in the kitchen cupboard gathering dust – but you can find some very complete quality pieces cheap enough if you don’t have one.
Got all that? You are good to go!
How to make an Espresso Martini Cocktail:
Get some ice into a shaker, pronto. Then you are going to want to add 50cl of Vodka, 10ml of coffee liqueur a short, strong shot of espresso and some sugar syrup. Add the sugar syrup according to how sweet or bitter you want it and shake it up nice before straining into a chilled martini glass.
The above measurements are for a single glass – scale up or down as required.
Swap out the sugar syrup and coffee liqueur for 25ml of Baileys per person.
Coffee Cold Brew Hot Toddy
Perfect for cold winter nights or a pick-me-up if you can feel a cold coming on. This recipe uses cold brew coffee. If that’s a bit new to you read our primer on the chilly stuff here.
You won’t need your shaker to do this. Just bash 30ml of cold brew, a glug of whiskey, a squeeze of lemon and spoon of honey in a mug and top it up with hot water.
Cold Brew Negroni
The Negroni is a classic pre-dinner cocktail from northern Italy. No shaker needed for this one – but it is best served in a highball glass with lots of ice. Add the ingredients and then stir it up.
Add 25ml of cold brew, 25ml of vermouth, 25ml of Campari and 25ml of gin. Garnish with a twirl of orange zest. Cut this over the glass so that the essential oils released coat the top of the drink.
Nothing feels more festive than this hot creamy and luxurious bevvy. At its base it is a long coffee. We tried this a couple of ways and liked it best with strong AeroPress coffee. Bash one of those into your fave mug – wide brimmed ones work best here as you can really get your nose into it for extra olfactory pleasure.
Add a glug of whiskey, spoonful of sugar and then pour over some single cream and let it rise back up to the top of the cup. The idea is to drink the coffee through the layer of cream on top – yummy. Classically, this drink is served at the end of heavy meals to ensure you can’t stand up for another hour.
Variation: Every culture does this using its fave hard liqueur seemingly. Make it Italian by using Grappa, French by using Calvados…etc etc.
White Russian / Black Russian
Typically the white and black Russians do not use fresh coffee but coffee liqueur. However, that’s no reason not to add a splash of chilled espresso to give it a bit more of an authentic taste. Like the Negroni is another one that you build in the glass over plenty of ice – no shaker needed.
Try something like:
20ml cold brew
10 ml coffee liqueur
We found this to be a smashing ratio. The above is a black Russian – the cold brew made it extra dark and inky.
To make it a White Russian? Do the same but pour some fresh cream on the top so it floats and enjoy.