Best Liquor for Coffee: 12 Ways To Pair Alcohol With Coffee

Coffee is a versatile beverage. And with versatility, I mean that it can offer more than just the energy that you need for the day.

Obviously, It depends on what type of coffee you have. For a generic average cup of coffee, Bailey’s Irish Cream works.

On a splendid summer evening, you just need to make coffee extract and it consists of 2 ingredients: alcohol and coffee. The go-to choices are: rum, vodka, gin, whiskey, brandy, and tequila.

Mixing coffee with liquor means combining the best of both worlds. The bittersweet flavour of coffee and the calming effects of liquor are what you need after a long tiring day.

If you want to try these cool creative alcoholic coffee concoctions yourself, you need to know what the best liquor for coffee is!

the best liquor for coffee
The best liquor for coffee varies each person but think vodka, rum, tequila

The Best Liquor For Coffee: 12 Of The Top Choices

1. Brandy


Brandy is a popular liquor that people drink when the day is done, much like coffee. But the best thing is that you can combine brandy and coffee and enjoy them in just one glass.

Sprucing your brew with the best liquor for coffee can be as simple as adding a shot of brandy to it. You can add a little more dimension if you like your coffee liquor fancy.

For instance, you can make the Brandy Coffee by combining 1oz each of brandy, espresso, creme de cacao, and whipping cream. You can also add a cup of crushed ice and half a teaspoon of grated nutmeg.

Simply place the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Finally, put your concoction in a glass and sprinkle some grated nutmeg on top.

2. Amaretto


Adding a hint of nuttiness is one way to amplify your coffee. And if a nutty cup of joe is what you are looking for, the amaretto is the best liquor for coffee.

The amaretto boasts a sweet almond flavour with a little bit of bitterness. This taste makes the liquor blend perfect with hot coffee regardless of its brew level.

If you want to try the amaretto and hot coffee mixture, you can brew your normal cup of coffee and add the amount of amaretto that you please. To make the drink better, you can top it with whipping cream and a dash of cinnamon.

3. Whiskey


Whiskey is a dark and strong beverage, making it ideal for coffee. In terms of whiskey, the best liquor for coffee is either bourbon or Irish whiskey.

One popular coffee and whiskey liquor is Irish coffee. All you need are:

  • 150ml black coffee
  • 50ml Irish whiskey
  • 2tbsp double cream
  • half a teaspoon of brown sugar
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg

For the preparation process, the first thing you need to do is to lightly whip the cream until it thickens a bit. Next, place your hot, freshly brewed black coffee in a mug and add the sugar and whiskey.

Stir to dissolve the sugar and top the mixture with the cream. Finally, sprinkle nutmeg on top and enjoy it while hot.

4. Rum


Just like coffee, rum is a versatile liquor that suits the palate of many people. Baristas use it for fruity, tropical drinks and cocktails.

Since you can combine rum with countless drinks, it makes the best liquor for coffee.

Rum and coffee are the best combinations to drink, especially after a hearty meal.

One popular rum and coffee beverage is the drunken pumpkin spice latte. You just need to combine 2oz of rum, 3/4 cups of coffee, 2tbsp milk, 1tbsp sugar, 1tsp cinnamon, 1oz of vodka, and whipped cream.

Pumpkin spice is a fantastic flavour so you will undoubtedly love this coffee cocktail.

5. Hazelnut Liquor

hazelnut coffee

If the nuttiness of the Amaretto is not enough for you, the hazelnut liquor will surely quench your thirst.

The Hazelnut Liquor has a nuttier flavour than the amaretto. It also has notes of coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.

This liquor is also a great pair for dark roasts and strong brews. For instance, the hazelnut coffee with Irish cream combines your favourite brew, hazelnut liqueur, Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream.

All you need to do is to mix all the ingredients and add milk or sweetener if you want. You can also use decaffeinated coffee if you want to enjoy this coffee cocktail before bed.

6. Cream Liquors

cream coffee liquor

Cream liquors and coffee will never go out of style. They add a gentle alcoholic boost to your already great coffee by replacing the standard creamer or milk.

Any cream liquor will work with coffee, so you will have endless cocktails to try. If you want to try such a cocktail but you do not know where to start, the Bailey’s coffee liquor is a good drink to try.

It uses 6oz freshly brewed coffee, 3oz Bailey’s Irish Cream, sweetened whipping cream, and a pinch of grated cinnamon and nutmeg. You just need to mix the coffee and cream liquor, top it with the sweetened whipping cream and your grated spices, and enjoy while it is warm.

7. Kahlua


Another great liquor for coffee is the Kahlua. While this liquor already has a coffee flavour, it still can make a great pair with the best brew that you have.

Kahlua is a brand of coffee liquor made with rum, so there is no doubt that it will blend perfectly with whatever coffee cocktail you will make. It also has hints of chestnut, which gives your coffee and Kahlua blend a nutty flavour.

You can enjoy your Kahlua by adding a shot of it to your java. Kahlua is already slightly sweet, so you may not need to add sweeteners to your concoction.

But if you like your beverage sweet, you can add sugar or even sweetened cream to it. You can also experiment with what you want to add to your cocktail to make it suit better to your taste.

8. Sambuca


Sambuca is an Italian liquor flavoured with anise. If you are adventurous when it comes to coffee, this herbal liquor will add a zing to your brew.

Since this liquor came from Italy, where people are known for pairing fantastic flavours. This flavour-pairing fondness shows in the coffee sambuca, an alcoholic coffee beverage that is very easy to make.

When making coffee sambuca, the only thing you need to do is fill a glass with sambuca and add three coffee beans to it. The beans will slowly infuse with the liquor as you drink it, making every sip a little stronger than the previous one.

Needless to say, the sambuca is the best liquor for coffee if you want to add some herbal kick to it.

9. Chambord

chambord coffee

Some types of coffee have fruity, berry notes in them. So, adding a berry-flavoured liquor will amplify these fruity coffee notes for a better-tasting coffee (with an alcoholic punch, of course.)

The Chambord is a cognac-based liquor with the flavour of black raspberries. It has hints of citrus peel and sweet vanilla that makes your coffee cocktail lively.

This liquor is versatile, so you can customize your coffee and Chambord combination. You can also add cream to it if you like your booze creamy.

10. Fernet-Branca

rich coffee

The Fernet-Branca is a bitter liquor with 29 herbs, spices, and root flavours, making it the best liquor for coffee. This liquor has bold, minty, bittersweet, and spicy notes — all the flavours that you need to make a cocktail drink called the rich coffee.

For the rich coffee, you will need an ounce of creme de cacao, 4oz of coffee, half an ounce of Fernet-Branca, and pistachio whipping cream (pistachio nut paste, heavy cream, and sugar).

Simply mix the coffee, creme de cacao, and Fernet-Branca in a glass, stir to combine, and top it with the pistachio whipping cream.

11. Butterscotch Schnapps

butterscotch coffee

The butterscotch schnapps has a similar flavour to caramel. For this reason, it will undoubtedly be the best liquor for coffee.

If you have a sweet tooth and a penchant for alcoholic drinks, this liquor will be an exceptional replacement for caramel syrup in your coffee. To make a butterscotch caramel coffee, you will need:

  • 10oz freshly-brewed coffee
  • 10z butterscotch schnapps
  • 1tbsp caramel sauce
  • cream
  • whipping cream
  • a bit of grated cinnamon

Put your coffee into a mug and mix it with a little bit of cinnamon, your butterscotch schnapps, caramel sauce, and cream. Then, add the whipping on top, drizzle with caramel syrup, and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon before you enjoy.

12. Aquavit


The Aquavit is a Scandinavian spirit dominated by dill and caraway. It has a neutral flavour with subtle herbal, citrus, and floral notes.

In addition, the flavours found in aquavit may differ depending on the country where you are getting it. If you will use aged aquavit, you will get a pleasant hint of oakiness to your liquor.

The Aquavit makes the perfect Scandinavian coffee. If you want to try this drink, you will need an ounce of aquavit, five ounces of freshly brewed coffee, and a teaspoon of sugar.

You will also need an ounce and a half of whipping cream, and grated nutmeg for topping.

To enjoy the Scandinavian coffee, you need to mix the coffee, sugar, and liquor in a cup, top it with whipping cream and nutmeg, and take a sip.

How The Best Liquor For Coffee Interacts With Caffeine

coffee and alcohol
Coffee and the best liquor for coffee have different effects on the body.

The caffeine that you will find in coffee is a stimulant. On the other hand, alcohol makes you feel less alert and sleepy, especially if you consume it in high amounts.

That said, mixing coffee with alcohol will mask the effects of alcohol, allowing you to remain sober even after drinking a few glasses of it. To put it simply, you will feel less sleepy and more alert and energetic if you combine caffeine with the best liquor for coffee.

However, it is important to note that you need to watch your alcohol intake when mixing coffee with liquor. Since you will not feel much of the alcohol’s effect, you have a risk of drinking more than you should.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Liquor For Coffee

coffee liquor
The best liquor for coffee makes the best booze.

Which between Kahlua and Bailey’s is the best liquor for coffee?

Kahlua and Bailey’s both have a hint of coffee, only that the former is much stronger. Meanwhile, Bailey’s has a creamy flavour that makes it a great replacement for creamer when you are making coffee.

That said, the answer to which is the best liquor for coffee between these two spirits depends on your palate. If you like your coffee cocktail strong, then Kahlua will work best for you.

But if you want your drink creamy, I suggest you go with Bailey’s.

Does Bailey’s curdle in coffee?

Coffee has acid in it. So, combining it with the creamy Bailey’s may cause curdling, especially if your coffee has a high amount of acidity.

To prevent the liquor from curdling when mixing it with coffee, it is ideal to use a type of coffee with a low amount of acid.

Is rum good in coffee?

Rum is the best liquor for coffee if you want to drink some booze after a meal. In particular, vanilla rum makes for a delicious expresso martini when combined with coffee liqueur and cold coffee.

In Summary

You can elevate the bitter notes of coffee by adding the best liquor for coffee into it. If you are a fan of coffee and alcohol, I hope that this coffee guide will inspire you to experiment and make some delicious coffee and liquor combinations yourself.

This article contains everything that you need when it comes to coffee and liquor, regardless if you are looking to impress your friends with a coffee cocktail party or you just want to try a new treat.

Do you have a coffee cocktail that you want to share? Feel free to drop the recipe in the comment section down below!