Coffee and alcohol are a great combination, and they always have been. In the 16th century, when it was discovered, coffee was brought into Europe via wooden barrels – the same kind that were used for liquor aging and transportation. So, from the start, the connection between these two was apparent.
Italy, known for their history as coffee promoters and pioneers, has been drinking coffee with liquor for centuries. A drink made with a shot of espresso and grappa (strong liquor made from grapes) called the Corretto is an essential part of most people’s lunch.
So let’s explore more modern takes on coffee and liquor combinations that can wake us up and, hopefully, give us a mild, enjoyable buzz.
In this list, we’re going to go from milder cocktails to more strong ones. We’ll start with the type of cocktail that anybody can have and enjoy, and we’ll work our way up to the kind of cocktail that even your alcoholic friend doesn’t want to drink.
The Big Corretto
A corretto is simple: one shot of espresso and, typically, a few drops of corretto. But when you want something more substantial and more fun, you can always make yourself a Big Corretto.
- 300ml strong brewed coffee
- 100ml Grappa or brandy
- 1 tablespoon caramel syrup
We strongly recommend using a cafetiere to brew the coffee for this recipe, as it has much more texture and body than other coffees. The caramel syrup helps to this effect, contributing to an overall more complete mouthfeel.
Since brandy is naturally sweeter than grappa, if you’re using it instead of the latter, you can tone down the caramel syrup and use half instead. Or none! It’s all relative to one’s preferences.
Spiced Rum and Coffee
Rum and coffee are a very Central and South American type of combination, and people consume it very frequently. One of the most interesting versions of this duo is where they use a bunch of spices and sugar to make a beverage that tastes almost like a dessert.
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 small pinch nutmeg
- 50ml Cuban or Brazilian rum
- 200ml brewed coffee
- Raw cane sugar to taste
The typical way to make coffee in the region is the moka pot, so naturally this recipe would go best with moka pot coffee. But you can easily sub for Aeropress or cafetiere coffee.
This is a great breakfast or after-lunch drink and is meant to be enjoyed in small quantities. If you tweak with the quantities too much, you quickly get overwhelmed because of the spices in it. Quality, not quantity!
Irish Coffee (with a twist)
The key to Irish coffee is simple: brown sugar. You can work your way around other ingredients in this recipe if you want -as we encourage experimentation- but brown sugar is key to achieving the best possible taste.
- 500ml strong coffee (preferably dark roast beans)
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey
- Whipped cream (from a can)
Pour the coffee as hot as possible and then the sugar; that way, it dissolves perfectly. Then just mix the whiskey in and use as much whipped cream as you like on top!
Some people like to add an extra, sweet, ingredient on top of the whipped cream. You could try using chocolate shavings, syrup, or even a maraschino cherry.
We’re getting to the good stuff now. Inspired by the legendary movie starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, this cocktail will give your body a beating – but in a good way, kind of. You’ll definitely feel invigorated and reborn after just one of these!
- 1 shot espresso
- 400ml Coca-Cola (sugar-free helps lessen the inevitable hangover)
- 100-200ml rum
Since Coca-Cola already contains caffeine, this drink is a double-whammy in terms of stimulation. As for the amount of rum, we’ve given you a 100ml window so that you can still enjoy this drink without it being too strong. However, we definitely recommend using as much rum as possible – these three ingredients are a great combination of flavors, and using too little will make it taste just like spiked coke.
F*ck Me Up
Sometimes we just want to get f*cked up, as fast as possible. But drinking straight from the bottle is boring and distasteful. Here’s the best way to get wrecked, fast, with a classy and delicious cocktail:
- Two shots coffee liquor (Kahlúa, etc)
- Two shots Jägermeister
- Two shots of espresso
- Plenty of ice
Serve in a whiskey glass and sip. It’s a delicious, sweet drink that will absolutely destroy you if you don’t watch yourself.