The Best Liquor for Coffee – 8 Ways to Kick Your Favorite Drink Up a Notch

Many of us love our cup of hot coffee to meet the morning (and maybe a few more throughout the day to keep us going). While the comforting flavor of your favourite drip coffee or espresso is always reliable, sometimes a liquor shot can transform your cup into a deliciously different coffee drink, with extra kick. So, what is the best liquor for coffee?

Coffee offers more than just a morning boost. It can be the perfect drink in cold weather to being some color back to your cheeks, or maybe even just a comforting beverage to have while watching TV.

Iced versions are perfect when the warmer weather hits. There are lots of ways to enjoy your coffee and give it a boost. That being said, always be mindful of your safety when partaking of a coffee beverage with alcohol. Always enjoy responsibly, with safety in mind.

Coffee Cocktails

Coffee and spirits for creating coffee liqueurs.

Creating coffee cocktails is not limited to basic hot brewed coffee. You can indulge yourself with ice versions or espresso shot mixes. The bold, nutty taste of coffee fits into both hot and cold drinks easily, with milk and cream common additions at any temperature.

Coffee cocktails that mix the effects of alcohol and caffeine have been around for decades. A nice Irish coffee, peppermint mocha or a Hot White Russian are all delightful after-dinner treats.

There are lots of great recipes, and knowing the best liquor for coffee is a great place to start when experimenting on how to best kick your cappuccino up a notch.

Here are some great ideas for creating your new favorite drink.

1. Vodka

For most people, vodka would not be the first choice for pairing with coffee. Vodka offers no sweetness and not enough taste to stand out against the strong flavor of coffee, so why bother adding it at all?

However, when you use vodka with ingredients such as vanilla syrup and milk or heavy cream, it emerges as an awesome flavor boost.

There are many hot and cold coffee recipes that will include vodka and balance off the taste properly. Don't discount vodka and coffee from your list of drink blends.

2. Rum

Rum comes in a wide range of styles, from mellow to sweet and spicy. This gives it lots of potential for interesting drink combinations.

Recipes cover hot and iced espresso coffee, latte mixes, and even coffee milkshakes. Coffee and rum in a milkshake topped with some real whipped cream will offer a great afternoon treat or after-dinner dessert.

3. Hazelnut Liqueur

Since most brewed coffee already has a delicious nutty flavor, hazelnut is a natural compliment. It's a breeze to simply add in a splash of this liqueur to boost your after-dinner drink.

There is no fuss or muss. If you want a little more flair, then add in a topping of whipped cream and shaved chocolate to this decadent combination.

4. Bourbon

This is another type of alcohol that can hold its own alongside the strong flavor of black coffee. A mix of bourbon with a hot brewed coffee or espresso is a classic cafe taste.  

However, for a little more pizzazz you can make a latte or cappuccino with some butterscotch flavor and bourbon. The latte foam along with some drizzled butterscotch syrup makes a great coffee combination.

5. Kahlua

This list would not be complete without Kahlua. This coffee-flavored alcohol is perfect to enhance a cup of java. Whether you add a shot to your espresso drinks or plain drip coffee, it has enough rich flavor and sweetness to make you sigh at each sip.

6. Whiskey

Coffee with liquor doesn't have to be complicated. Whiskey offers the perfect coffee compliment and, of course, brings us the well known and well loved Irish Coffee drink.

There is also Bailey's Irish Cream which will add both cream and Irish Whiskey pre-mixed, but even just a jigger of plain Whiskey works well in your cup too.

As with most alcohol additives, whiskey can be used in hot or cold coffee drinks.

7. Tequila

Here is a type of alcohol that probably did not cross your mind when thinking about a coffee/liquor combination.

The taste of tequila isn't automatically suited to coffee as easily as something like Kahlua or Baileys. However, if you add some cream, sugar and cinnamon, you may find adding a shot of tequila to your coffee is just the kick you need.

8. Brandy

This liquor is an old school taste that has been forgotten by many. However, it can offer some great options for a coffee liquor.

Brandy is a liquor produced by distilling wine and can be a great addition to your caffeinated drink whether it is hot or cold.

There are lots of recipes that add various forms of brandy to drinks including regular coffee, iced coffee and even milkshakes.

Best Liquor for Coffee – The Final Word

A glass of coffee liqueur sitting on top of a wooden table.

When we talk about coffee it often takes our thoughts to waking up with our first hot beverage of the day. However, there are so many other options.

Learning which is the best liquor for coffee helps build a coffee drink repertoire that includes, hot, iced, desserts, milkshakes, and many more.

There is not one perfect liquor that is best to blend with coffee, as it depends on your taste and preferences of both coffee and the form it is in.

However, there are recipes that encompass all types of coffee that can enhance your outdoor activities in the snow and sun or simply allow you to enjoy a relaxing after-dinner drink.

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