Coffee-based liqueurs and spirits aren’t a new idea, but in recent years the category has expanded, with numerous brands releasing their own high-end versions.
Coffee liqueurs make for a surprisingly versatile addition to your drinks cupboard. Use them in an espresso martini, in a white russian (or a black russian) cocktail, or spike hot chocolate for a boozy mocha. Try mixed with tonic for a low-ABV tipple, or sip neat with ice after dinner. They also work in the kitchen, from drizzling over ice cream to using in a tiramisu (go one step further and try our espresso martini tiramisu here, replacing the kahlua with your coffee liqueur of choice).
Best coffee liqueurs to try
This liqueur uses cold brew Arabica coffee, coconut rum, cacao nibs and cardamom to delicious effect, with lovely toasted coconut and dark cocoa notes. Sip while nibbling on a chocolate Bounty bar.
A collaboration with coffee brand Climpson & Sons, this features ELLC’s Rarer Rum, Brazilian coffee beans, vanilla and cacao nibs. We loved its potent, rich coffee flavour.
Made on the island of Anglesey, this Welsh coffee liqueur has a vibrant roasted coffee bean flavour, creamy notes from tonka bean and well-balanced sweetness. Drink neat over ice as a digestif, or try adding a tiny dash to an old fashioned or manhattan for a coffee-flavoured twist on these classic cocktails.
Amaro is a bitter Italian after-dinner herbal liqueur and in this iteration the addition of coffee makes for a very satisfying drink indeed. Botanicals including angelica, coriander, macadamia, caraway and cardamom work with the coffee to add that requisite bittersweet character, as well as more rounded, roasted and caramel notes, while bright citrus comes through thanks to grapefruit, orange and lemon. Sip on its own – over ice – or with tonic.
A winning marriage between coffee and tequila, this is wonderfully complex – with sweetness at the start developing into full-bodied coffee flavours and agave notes that complement each other well. Sip on a night out.
Made with speciality Ethiopian and Brazilian coffee, and British wheat vodka, this is a clean and not-too-sweet liqueur with caramel notes. Try drinking as part of an espresso martini.
All the way from New Zealand and made from a blend of three different coffees (plus a touch of cinnamon), we loved this Kiwi bottle’s dark bitter chocolate notes. Try drinking with a dash of cream after dinner.
Made using arabica coffee beans sourced ethically from small producers in Mexico, this has a distinct earthy coffee character, with subtle smokiness. Delicious drizzled over vanilla ice cream.