The Story Behind The Dream Potion No. 9

Bar manager Matt Labarge of The Public House, a gastropub in Norfolk, Va., jokes that his Dream Potion No. 9 cocktail tastes like a grownup version of the nostalgic childhood classic Yoo-hoo.

With only four ingredients — coffee-infused vodka, half and half, a salted honey syrup, and orange bitters — The Dream Potion No. 9 is simple to put together but doesn’t skimp on sophistication. “I wanted something easy to make at home with easily affordable and accessible ingredients, while allowing people to explore and experiment with new flavors,” Labarge says.

The salted honey syrup adds a unique depth to the cocktail. “I love the way it pairs with dark spirits especially, with it's butterscotch and caramel overtones,” he says. According to Labarge, the cold-brew coffee vodka can be substituted with any coffee-infused neutral grain spirit, even moonshine, and aspiring mixologists can easily make it at home.


  • 2 ounces cold brew coffee vodka
  • 1 ½ ounces half and half
  • ¾ ounce salted honey syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 dashes orange bitters


  1. Shake ingredients over ice.
  2. Strain into a coupe cocktail glass.
  3. Add orange bitters.

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Updated: 2020-05-07

Salted Honey Syrup Ingredients

  • 2 cups honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons salt

Salted Honey Syrup Directions

  1. Combine honey and water.
  2. Add the salt and stir until mixed.
The Dream Potion No. 9 Recipe