The coffeehouse and the corner bar are natural allies, but at times it’s an awkward friendship. Together, coffee and spirits can occasionally make for an awesome combination. Forget the cream and sugar: Sometimes the best way to improve a cup of coffee is to get boozy on it. The eye-opening Italian tradition of the caffe corretto- ‘’corrected coffee’’- and the cream-topped Irish coffee are notable winners.
Whether it be hot coffee, chilled espresso, a coffee liqueur or one of the newer espresso-infused vodkas, these cocktails all include the great taste of java and are fun to explore. Coffee doesn’t have to be just your early morning pick-me-up. Mix up a cocktail for after hours too.
No matter the spirit, the golden rule in coffee cocktails is not using more distillate or liquor than coffee (a one-to-one ratio maximum). Drier-tasting liquors may need a little bit of sugar to balance the drink.
My favourite “keep it simple” cocktail: Combine 10 ice cubes with one ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of coffee liqueur, and one double espresso (two ounces). Shake vigorously in a cocktail shaker, and serve over ice. Starting with good coffee, it’s a guaranteed winner.