The Ideal Booze in Your Caffeine Boost

3 April 2019

At first thought, coffee and alcohol might not seem like the best mix. After all, coffee is a stimulant and alcohol, a depressant.

But bartenders are getting creative with espresso concoctions and cocktails, unifying the dynamic aromas of coffee beans with the nuanced flavour of spirits.

When enjoyed in moderation and responsibly, adding a dose of booze to your morning pick-me-ups or after-dinner indulgence can take your palate to a whole new level of gratification.

Here are six recommended liqueurs that bring a delicate yet complex set of flavours when added to coffee.


a martini glass filled with espresso martini
The classic espresso martini is a popular cocktail made using Kahlúa. Photo from Indian Food Recipes

Kahlúa, pronounced “kah-loo-ah”, is a semi-sweet, coffee-based rum liqueur. Some proclaim it to be the world’s most premium coffee liqueur, made with a blend of Arabica coffee and the best Sugarcane rum in Mexico.

Many people enjoy Kahlúa as it is, adding a few cubes of ice and sipping it through the night. Coffee with Kahlúa is creamy, comforting and tasty while giving you a buzz that you desire.

Since its creation more than a hundred years ago, Kahlúa has been used for Espresso Martinis, which is a staple classic on most cocktail menus. Make it at home with this step-by-step guide.


  • 50ml Vodka
  • 40ml Espresso
  • 25ml Kahlúa liqueur
  • 10ml Sugar syrup (to taste)


  • Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled martini glass.
  • Add 3 coffee beans on the surface for a classic finishing touch.


A Baileys cocktail in a tall glass mug
Since its launch in 1974, Baileys has been one of the best-selling cream liqueurs across the globe. Photo from Food Lion

When you can’t decide between a coffee, milkshake, or cocktail, Baileys will fit the bill perfectly.

There is no denying the deliciousness of this dairy-based liqueur. Produced by local Irish family farms, it has hints of hazelnut, maple syrup, brown sugar and milk chocolate.

A mere 17% alcohol content, Baileys can kickstart your morning coffee with a little buzz. For an irresistible creamy coffee, try the Baileys Irish Coffee.


  • 50ml Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 shot of Espresso
  • 100ml Milk
  • Whipped cream, if desired
  • Cocoa powder or chocolate shavings, if desired


  • Pour steamed milk and espresso shot into a mug.
  • Gently pour in the Baileys to create layers and prevent curdling.
  • For a fancy finish, gently pipe whipped cream and sprinkle cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.


An affogato in a short glass
The rich texture of Frangelico complements the elements of an Affogato. Photo from Ali Yahya

For a nutty alternative, try introducing Frangelico hazelnut liqueur to your coffee.

Almost akin to sipping on liquefied Nutella, Frangelico has a rich, roasted flavour with hints of vanilla and chocolate.

Made from toasted wild hazelnuts in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, Frangelico can be enjoyed neat, in cocktails or taken as a shot.

Impress your tastebuds with the marriage of two elegant Italian classics – Affogato and Frangelico.


  • A scoop of Vanilla gelato
  • Hot brewed espresso
  • 1 shot of Frangelico (or more if desired)


  • Chill glass in the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Place the gelato into the chilled glass.
  • Pour hot espresso and Frangelico on top of the gelato.


A negroni cocktail served with a slice of orange peel
With equal parts espresso, Gin and Campari, a well-balanced coffee Negroni is created. Photo from Nuff

Campari originated in Italy and is created through the infusion of herbs, aromatic plants and fruits in water and alcohol.

Today, Campari is used as the basis of many cocktails served worldwide and boasts a unique and unmistakable bittersweet flavour.

Campari is a must-have in the Negroni – a bittersweet palate cleanser that offers a solid punch.

The best way to keep yourself level-headed after a few drinks is to balance it out with a coffee-infused Negroni. For the ideal concoction, use good quality, single-origin coffee beans to prevent over-bitterness. The Campari is bitter enough.

Have you been struggling with a bitter-cup of coffee? Here’s why and how to fix it.


  • A teaspoon of caster sugar
  • 25ml Coffee
  • 25ml London dry-style Gin
  • 25ml Campari
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 twist of orange peel, to garnish


  • Chill glass in the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Dissolve sugar in coffee, pour into chilled glass.
  • Add in Gin and Campari.
  • Fill glass with ice and stir, until combined.
  • Squeeze orange peel along glass rim to release the oils then infuse into the drink.

Cherry Brandy

A black forest coffee served with whipped cream in a tall glass wine
The complex blend of Brandy and cherries creates a highly aromatic liqueur that perfects the Black Forest Coffee. Photo from De’Longhi

Great brandy has a distinctive character that makes it versatile and desirable by the rich and famous. Without a doubt, cherry brandy does not go unmatched.

When used in a cocktail, its floral and fruitiness present an incredible creation of regal brilliance.

Production methods and alcohol content often vary across brands. However, most Cherry Brandys are made from a blend of dark red cherries with brandy and distillates of spices.

A cross between an irresistible alcohol-infused cake and a decadent cup of coffee, this Black Forest Coffee is sure to charm your tastebuds.


  • 25ml Cherry Brandy
  • 25ml Italian espresso
  • 25ml Cognac
  • 25ml Whole milk
  • Ice cubes
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate syrup to drizzle, if desired


  • Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled cognac glass.
  • Gently pipe whipped cream on the surface.
  • Drizzle chocolate syrup.


An Amaretto topped with whipped cream in a glass mug
Dubbed as the world’s most romantic liqueur, Amaretto is usually enjoyed as a post-dinner drink. Photo from Josh Sorenson

Amaretto is an almond-flavoured liqueur that has a smooth and well-rounded taste.

Unlike a straight whiskey in an Irish coffee, Amaretto doesn’t give an alcoholic burn to the drink.

Instead, the sweet liqueur rounds the coffee’s edges and brings the nuttier notes out of the beans that you use for your brew.

Using minimal ingredients, sip on the Amaretto Coffee for some luxurious warmth.


  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1½ shots of Amaretto
  • ¼ cup of lightly whipped cream
  • ½ teaspoon of crushed, toasted almonds


  • Pour Amaretto into coffee and mix well.
  • Top with whipped cream and garnish with almonds.


**Disclaimer: Excessive drinking of alcohol presents health risks. Please drink responsibly and with moderation. We do not, under any circumstances, accept responsibility for any damages that result to yourself or anyone else due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages or the use of this site and any materials located on it.

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