Coffee Cocktails: 7 Alcoholic Delights to Sip On

Coffee Cocktails: 7 Alcoholic Delights to Sip On

Ahh! So you've had a long week at work and you just want to get home on a Friday and enjoy a coffee cocktail that relaxes you out whilst inspiring your taste buds with a kick?

I know that feeling all too well. 

Thankfully, coffee pairs extremely well with many flavours like orange, Kahlua, milk and cream to give you that evening delight you're after. 

I was luckily enough in my coffee career to attend and support many of the Coffee in Good Spirits Competitions which sees world class cocktail makers get on stage and produce incredibly inspiring coffee cocktails. 

In today's blog post, I'll be bringing these insights to you at home and walking you through the 10 best coffee cocktail drinks.

Don't worry, I've included detailed recipes so you can make it exactly how the champs do. Get ready to wow your friends the next time they're visiting!  

As a sneak peak, we'll be sharing our popular espresso martini recipe, a recipe for a the flat white Russian, as well as our recipe for Irish coffee plus more. 

cold brew coffee cocktail

It's Coffee Cocktail Time

Before we get started, it's important to know that damn tasty coffee cocktails are only possible if you're using the most incredible ingredients to begin with. 

That starts with the coffee itself. So if you haven't found the most incredible coffee yet, then we recommend starting grabbing a bag of Balance Coffee to get you started.

We can guarantee quality, since we only source from the top 5% of coffee farms worldwide and pay 25% more for the beans we source. 

Now let's dive right in!

1. The 'Classic' Espresso Martini

We can't share our complete list of coffee cocktails without first covering the classics.

So why and how does the espresso martini cocktail stand the the test of time? 

Did you know it originated in the UK? Yes. It was first invented by Dick Bradsell in 1983 during his time at the Soho Brasserie. 

Originally christened by Dick as the 'Vodka Espresso' it went on to be renamed to espresso martini since the glass it was served in was the popular martini glass. 

2. Reverse Espresso Martini

Yes, you read that right! This cocktail reverses the espresso martini that you know and love.

The lovely coffee flavour is slowly released as the coffee ice cubes melt. It's a great, creamy cocktail that you can enjoy all year round.


  • 30ml freshly brewed espresso
  • 50ml vodka
  • Garnish with three coffee beans 


  1. Make 30ml of fresh espresso
  2. Freeze the espresso in an ice cube tray until frozen solid.
  3. Pour the vodka and Baileys into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  4. Stir together for about 1 minute then strain into a tumbler.
  5. Put 4-5 coffee ice cubes into the drink to serve.
  6. Enjoy!

Coffee ice cubes aren't just good to have for this cocktail recipe - they're also amazing in cold brew.

This will stop the ice cubes from watering down your coffee. Instead, they'll add to that rich coffee flavour!

3. Siciliano Coffee Cocktail 

This fairly low-alcohol cocktail combines cold brew with tart liqueurs to create a drink that's neither too bitter nor to sweet. It's a fabulous Italian cocktail that is perfect for rounding off your night.

 Siciliano coffee cocktail


  • 60ml sweet vermouth
  • 45ml amaro (a bittersweet liqueur)
  • 45ml strong cold-brew coffee
  • 30ml simple syrup
  • Sparkling water
  • Orange wheel (for serving)


  1. Make the cold brew coffee (for the method for cold brew and simple syrup, go to our recipe for cold foam)
  2. Make the simple syrup
  3. Mix the vermouth, amaro, cold brew and simple syrup in a glass
  4. Add ice to fill it and top with sparkling water
  5. Garnish with an orange wheel

3. Wake the Dead Coffee Cocktail

There's a reason why this cocktail is said to wake the dead... it combines fresh espresso with tequila! It's the perfect drink if you're looking for an alternative to a vodka and red bull - and this cocktail even tastes good.

Ready to try a Wake the Dead?
Ready to try a Wake the Dead?


  • 30ml blanco tequila
  • 30ml coffee liqueur
  • 15ml espresso


  1. Make 15ml of fresh espresso and cool.
  2. Pour the tequila, coffee liqueur and espresso into a cocktail shaker full of ice.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain into two shot glasses
  5. Enjoy!

There are a couple of alternative ways to enjoy this particular cocktail. For example, instead of a shot of espresso coffee, you could use a larger volume of cold brew.

You could also serve the cold brew version with ice to create a gentler on-the-rocks experience. Another option is turning it into a two-part drink. Shake the tequila and coffee liqueur and strain into a shot glass, and pour the espresso into a second shot glass.

Simply drink the tequila shot, then chase it with espresso.

4. Famous Irish Coffee Cocktail 

We couldn't produce this expert list without including this next magnificent cocktail invention.

Irish Coffee

The Irish Coffee, aptly named since Irish Whiskey is used in the ingredient list. The story goes, that Joe Sheridan was working as an airport chef near Limerick and on one evening in 1943 and decided to whip up this coffee cocktail mix to warm up passengers during a storm.

You'll find plenty of great additions inside the caffeinated alcoholic coffee drink including, Irish Whiskey, hot coffee, sugar, stirred and topped with cream (sometimes a cream liqueur). 

The creamy texture of this drink combined with the warm sensation, will leave you wanting more, there's no doubt about it. 

black russian


Pre-heat an Irish coffee glass and pour freshly brewed coffee about 3/4 of the way full. Next you'll want to add in 2 sugar cubes and top the drink with Irish cream.


  • 2 sugar cubes
  • 45 ml Irish whiskey
  • 180 ml hot coffee
  • Whipped Irish cream

5. Espresso Martini with Baileys Twist 

Now this coffee cocktail is honestly one of my absolute favourites. In fact, it's dangerously good. 

6. Black Russian

Ever heard of the Black Russian coffee cocktail? It's one of the simplest cocktails on our list that you can make. 

I recommend it if you enjoy straight up black coffee, because it has the same punchy kick but with a dash of clean cut vodka. 

black russian
Here is the recipe:

Ingredient List

- 45ml of Vodka (Grey Goose or a quality Vodka is recommended) 
- 25ml Kahlua 
- Ice


Thankfully, this coffee drink is so simple, it doesn't need a lofty explanation.

Simply fill an old fashioned glass with ice. Add in 45ml of vodka and Kahua coffee liqueur. Give it a stir and enjoy.

7. Flat White Russian

This is one of my personal favourite coffee cocktails on the planet. Aside from the Espresso martini with a baileys twist. 

But why do I love it so much? 

It could be the fact I love flat whites so much in general, that when you add the booze, it's even more delicious. Or perhaps it's the sensation you get when you sip the flat white russian and you can taste the extra depth from the Kahlua. 

Either way, it's a must try if you're into your winter drinks.

 flat white russian

Ingredient List

- one part Kahlua
- 1 part Vodka 
- 1 part Espresso
- 2 Parts Milk (or plant based)
- Ice cubes


Another pretty simple coffee drink to make. If you're fortunate enough to own an espresso machine at home, you're in for a treat.

You'll taste the full force of this incredible wintery drink. 

- Fill a rocks glass with your ice cubes.

- Next add the Kahlúa coffee liqueur, Absolut Vodka and espresso shot.

- Finish with your choice of milk (Oatly plant-based works really well).

If you try any of these coffee cocktails, tag us on social media and use #balancecoffeerecipes. And if you want to see what else to do with coffee, head to our recipes and specifically our other coffee cocktails!
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