‘Freedom Day’ is on the horizon, and what better way to celebrate than to finally dust off your new cocktail coupes. We’ve got a lot of plans lined up- Summer BBQs, dinner parties (indoors!) and catch-ups with old friends that go on well into the wee hours.
If you’re thinking of hosting over the next couple of weeks, I’m sure you’re already planning the menu- particularly the drinks! A staple of any summer party has to be the undisputed cocktail, and nothing says sophisticated like a boozy coffee concoction. From the original Espresso Martini, to White and Black Russians, or just something to sip straight, coffee liqueurs have quickly become the trendiest option out there. Great for when you fancy something with a bit more bite for dessert, or just want to show off to your post-pandemic audience.
We’ve rounded up the best coffee liqueurs to get you started…
Conker Coffee Liqueur (25%)
The fruitiness of Grade 1 natural processed coffees combined with vanilla and hints of stoned fruits makes Conker Coffee Liqueur the perfect contender for a Saturday night cocktail.
In April 2014 Conker founder Rupert Holloway left his day job as a chartered surveyor, and founded Dorset’s only distillery. Since then they have stocked their gins and liqueurs all over the UK, earning them a 3 Star Great Taste Award in 2018.
Try this: For an Espresso Martini without the hassle, simply add ice, shake, and serve!
Patron XO Café, 35%
Patrón XO Café is an ideal addition to any drinks trolley, and the blend of Patrón Silver and fine coffee means it can be used as an ingredient in cocktails, desserts or solo.
Dry and not as sweet as other coffee liqueurs, this choice is perfect for anyone who prefers a more bitter flavouring.
Try this: Grab a shot glass and add some Patron XO Café, with a topping of Irish Cream. This baby stout is delicious in hot weather!
Caffé Borghetti, 25%
Still holding the title of the best-selling coffee liqueur in Italy, Cafe Borghetti is used in Espresso Martini recipes all across London. Over 150 years later it is still created with the same ingredients as chosen by bar owner Ugo Borghetti in 1860.
Borghetti served this liqueur to customers at the Cafe Sport, beside Ancona railway station, in celebration of the new railway line between Pescara and Ancona.
Try this: For a boozy twist on an Italian dessert, drizzle some Cafe Borghetti over your favourite gelato. We’ve got the best selection of fancy freezer delights, in case you need any inspiration.
Manly Spirits Co. BlackFin Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, 25%
Early morning surfs on Australia’s Northern beaches- followed by a good espresso- were the inspiration for this bitter chocolatey liqueur.
Using sustainably and responsibly sourced coffee beans, distilled native botanicals and sea minerals, infused into smooth wheat vodka, this coffee liqueur is perfect served straight over ice.
Try this: If you’re looking to try something other than an Espresso Martini, why not try a White Russian? Add a generous amount of coffee liqueur with some ice, vodka and cream for a classic cocktail with a kick.
Hotel Chocolat Velvetised Espresso Martini Liqueur, 15%
If the name alone doesn’t have you hooked, I don’t know what will. Vodka, espresso, white chocolate and cream, blended together for that undeniably velvety texture, makes this tipple dangerously easy to sip on.
Hotel Chocolat is the only chocolatier to run two bars: one on their Saint Lucian cocoa farm, and the other at their restaurant in London’s Borough Market. It’s safe to say they have a great appreciation of which spirits work well with chocolate.
Try this: Hotel Chocolat recommend adding this smooth liqueur to your milky coffee, or a splash into your hot chocolate for a warm evening drink.
Dead Man’s Fingers Coffee Rum, 37.5%
If you fancy a change of pace from the classic coffee liqueur, then this is the rum for you.
Dead Man’s Fingers Coffee Rum joins an extensive list of spirits created by the Rum and Crab shack, a famous seafood joint, down in St. Ives.
With traces of clove and a good wallop of cumin this is sure to give the traditional espresso martini a run for it’s money.
Try this: Cold N’ Dark is cocktail of choice with this rum. Combine 50ml of Dead Man’s Fingers Coffee Rum, 60ml of coffee and a spoonful of honey. Strain and garnish with coffee beans.
Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, 23%
Deep black in colour, this digestif is one to remember. Bitter notes range from strong espresso to comforting chocolate, so it’s a winner for any evening.
Often hailed as the benchmark for coffee liqueurs, Mr Black’s has the caffeine kick that so many other’s of it’s kind often lack. The best part? Drink through this bottle to reveal a hidden illustration!
Try this: Add equal parts Mr Black & Rye Whiskey with 2 dashes of orange bitters. Pour over ice & stir in rocks glass- Voilà, you have a ‘Cold Fashioned’ Cocktail.
Cold & Blac Coffee Liqueur, 21%
Dalston is the birthplace of London’s own Cold & Blac, and it’s exactly what it says on the tin. Tem Mellese launched this botanical brew that matches fresh coffee with caramel and chocolate, to create a no-fuss liqueur.
Ethiopian coffee tradition is at the heart of this tipple, and helps to preserve the earthiness of the coffee while retaining the zesty, fruity flavours.
Try this: Not in the mood for a Gin and Tonic? The mixologists at Cold & Blac recommend adding some tonic water to their coffee liqueur for a sharp and refreshing alternative to a regular G&T.
So whether you’re planning a post-lockdown birthday (last year doesn’t count), or getting more than 6 friends together, these coffee liqueurs are a great one to have on hand. Chill them in the fridge for a refreshing digestif, or include them in desserts and watch everyone come back for seconds.