Coffee kicks off your day and powers you through a mid-afternoon slump. But why stop there? Coffee cocktails, especially as we’re in the dead of winter, are worthy at brunch, as an après-ski indulgence, or enjoyed as an after-dinner treat.
You’re already familiar with the iconic coffee cocktails, like a traditional Irish coffee made with Irish (obviously) whiskey, hot coffee, sugar (syrup or raw), and heavy whipped cream. That’s just as good at home by the fireplace as it is in a ski lodge after you click out of your boots for the day. For a cold cocktail, the espresso martini is a revered standby. Without any vermouth or gin, it takes liberty with the name “martini” and follows a formula of vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup, garnished with espresso beans.
But with the surging popularity of cold brew and the stamina of the craft cocktail movement, coffee has more potential than ever as a cocktail staple. Bartenders are re-inventing classics with cold brew or making their own whipped creams. They’re proving gin and java can, surprisingly, be a dream team. And a chipotle-infused tequila turns up the heat even higher on a spiked coffee.
From riffs on classics to creative cocktails that call on java, here are eight coffee cocktails you can perfect at home; no formal barista or bartending experience required. You can count on these cocktails to warm up a crowd after a dinner party or make the recipe for one and enjoy it during a cozy night in.
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