We’ve all experienced that feeling of dread around 9 p.m. on a Friday, when those plans we made earlier in the week begin to feel less and less appealing. If you’re down for the count but can’t cancel for the third time, it’s time to caffeinate your cocktail.
While the Red Bull vodka is a great dive bar staple, why not elevate your cocktail game (and mood) with a cool, icy drink infused with coffee? From classic coffee cocktails to creative libations with a kick, these boozy drinks are the perfect way to jumpstart your night out — or upgrade your day-off cup of Joe.
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Everyone loves a classic G&T. But if you’re in the mood to explore, espresso is a great ingredient to elevate the drink and up your brunch game. For a version that is essentially an espresso G&T, combine gin, espresso, tonic, and brown sugar syrup in a Highball glass, and stir. Garnish with a lemon wheel for added freshness.
Add a thunderbolt to your cocktail with the Zesty Zeus. Made with Cognac, rye, cold brew coffee, and maple syrup, this cocktail is a whiskey lover’s take on the Espresso Martini. Garnish with an orange twist for extra brightness and aromatics.
This modern classic was reportedly invented at the request of an ‘80s model, and became a staple in ‘90s cocktail bars. If you have an espresso maker at home, it’s easier than you may think to make this drink: Simply combine espresso, vodka, coffee liqueur, and simple syrup in a shaker, serve in a coupe glass, and garnish with a few coffee beans. If you don’t have an espresso maker, strong dark-roast coffee will do.
Invented in 1949 and popularized in the late ‘90s by “The Big Lebowski,” the White Russian is a simple combination of vodka, half and half (milk and cream), and coffee liqueur. If you’re looking to go dairy-free, the Black Russian uses the same recipe, minus the cream. Either way, the cocktail has a boozy kick and no shortage of rich coffee flavor.
For a drink that would impress Santa Claus and The Dude alike, this take on the White Russian has a holiday flair. The mixture of coffee liqueur, vodka, cream, milk, and peppermint extract — topped with a mini candy cane — is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.
Inspired by the sweet and spicy flavors of Mexican chocolate, Amanda Reed, beverage director at Seattle’s Heartwood Provisions, uses a coffee-infused mezcal as the base of this cocktail. With the addition of ruby port, Amaro Ramazzotti, and crème de cacao, this smoky and slightly bitter drink is the ideal drink to complement sleepy summer afternoons, or as Reed suggests, “dark, cold winter days.”
Bourbon alone can have notes of coffee, so it only makes sense to infuse the spirit with your favorite beans. Made with medium-roast coffee-infused bourbon, Lazzaroni Amaro, and crème de pêche, the Banker’s Choice was originally conceived at Philadelphia’s Bank & Bourbon. Whether drunk at brunch or as a nightcap, this cocktail is a perfectly bittersweet way to start or end the day.
Your childhood Yoo-hoo just got an upgrade. The Dream Potion No. 9, created by Matt Labarge of Norfolk, Va.’s The Public House, is a silky-sweet mixture of cold brew coffee vodka, half and half, honey syrup, and orange bitters shaken together. The foamy concoction is easy to make, and home mixologists averse to vodka can substitute any coffee-infused neutral grain spirit.