What alcohol products go well with a particular type of coffee?

I enjoy the odd Irish Coffee occasionally.

Desiring to expand my coffee/alcohol combos, I would like to know what types of coffee goes well with what type of alcohol?

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    Most people do Bailey's, but I could see Kahlua being a good option. Basically any cream/sugar based liqueur.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 16:13
  • 2
    Wow. This is a broad question. I believe there is a wide variety of acceptable answers (aka Bailey's Irish Cream in coffee). However, this is largely going to be based on your taste buds. My recommendation is experiment! I like adding Crown Royal to Dragon's Milk (a beer) but hate other whiskey's in Dragon's milk. Try balancing flavors - Sweet or "malty" beers (Porter/Stouts) offset the bitter of coffees. If you like "creamy" textures try adding Nitrogenated beers to your coffee.
    – BryceH
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 18:52
  • I regularly put licor 42 in coffee, and my friends also think it tastes very well. It's the best but afforable liqueur in my opinion.
    – Bart
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 11:36

5 Answers 5


Generally, you'll want to avoid things with brighter, more acidic fruit flavors (apple, lemon) as those will mess with the inherent acidity of the coffee (although it should be noted that cherry is sometimes used)

Kahlua and Baileys are commonly used, as are more woodsy whiskeys. Avoid anything with carbonation, as the carbonic acid will again mess up the flavor of the coffee (beer is a no-no) and you should also avoid scotches, rye, or other peaty-earthy whiskeys.

Also, rum is pretty good with coffee, if you're using raw sugar in your coffee - demerara and rum are best friends.


Rumpleminze (peppermint schnapps) and coffee and cream creates a smooth and potent alcoholic drink. Add a Godiva Chocolate Liquor for a first class-after dinner cocktail.

Grand Marnier(something like an orange flavored brandy) goes well with both black coffee and coffee and cream. If you like your coffee black Grand Mariner adds flavor and potency without adding a lot of sweetness. Of course it goes just as well with cream, which results in something a lot like a chocolate orange.

A Tuaca(people often describe it as tasting something like butterscotch) Macchiatto(my own recipe) is an alchololic twist on the classic coffeeshop favorite. Mix a shot of Tuaca into a shot of steamed milk. Top with Coffee. This tastes mild but packs a decent punch, and if you take the time to do it properly ("mark it"), it looks pretty cool. (This also tastes great with regular milk or cream.)

A second variation on this, which is far less potent is to replace Tuaca with 1/2 a shot of Chambord and 1/2 a shot of Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur and mix thoroughly . This will an tasty adult white chocolate mocha.

Finally, a classic cocktail combination is coffee (with or without cream) and Sambuca. Sambuca is often served with 3 coffee beans, but it works very well with an entire cup. Sambuca contributes a lithe sweetness that delicately lingers in the mouth. Avoid if you don't like Anise or Licorice.

For a seriously potent version of Sambuca and Coffee swap out Sambuca for Absinthe(not refined). In addition to the alcohol content, Absinthe also offers a jolt akin to what caffeine provides.

Be responsible and Enjoy!

  • +1 for the sambuca Commented May 25, 2019 at 17:12

I just shove any cheap whisky (usually grouse) into espresso coffee and add a little caster sugar - thats good!

Other combinations are espresso coffee with a shot of baileys and a shot of bourbon topped up with whipped cream and a little sugar to your taste.

The type of coffee in my experience (which is plentiful!) dosent really make much of a difference, buy mid range espresso coffee and you can create beautiful things.

I also add liqueur into coffee for people at work (barman - coffee liqueurs arent my thing) but theres plenty of people on youtube who will show you how to make the perfect coffee liqueur. Enjoy the beautiful combination that is coffee and alcohol.


I like the sweeter liqueurs like Glayva, Grand Marnier and especially Galliano with espresso. If you have a milk-based coffee, combine with a cream-based liqueur. I have never liked alcohol mixed directly in the coffee, it gives conflicting tastes. Coffee and liqueur should be sipped separately to fully enjoy each.


I will add here an Italian recipe that I recently discovered and enjoyed a lot!

The drink called Moretta Fanese is referenced on both Italian and English Wikipedia.

In a transparent coffee or punch glass, one spoon of sambuca (anisette), one spoon of rum and one spoon of brandy or cognac are mixed with sugar and a lemon zest and heated with steam. Then, one espresso is added in a way to leave three layers visible in the hot cocktail: bottom to top liquors mix, coffee and coffee foam.

A super flavour, really recommended!


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