20 best Coffee liqueur cocktails
Words by Simon Difford
Photography by Dan Malpass
From a B52 to an Espresso Martini, coffee liqueur may not feature in as many cocktails as some other liqueurs but it seems to play an essential role in a top ten cocktail every decade. Few of these 20 best coffee liqueur cocktails made the hit parade but not all great songs are hit records either.
With: Grappa, coffee liqueur, brown crème de cacao, espresso coffee, and vanilla ice-cream.
We say: An after-dinner cocktail based on the eponymous dessert.
Aged Grappa Espresso Martini
With: Aged grappa, espresso coffee, coffee liqueur, brown sugar syrup, and saline solution.
We say: With grappa's intense flavour, it does more than just fortify this Espresso Martini.
Alexander The Great
With: Vodka, coffee liqueur, white crème de cacao, and single cream.
We say: A vodka-laced mocha coffee.
With: Jamaican rum, overproof aged rum, coconut rum, coconut liqueur, coffee liqueur, lemon juice and pineapple juice.
We say: The holy trinity of rum, coconut and pineapple served in a well-balanced, not overly sweet Tiki-style cocktail.
Chocolate Orange Espresso Martini
With: Orange vodka, crème de cacao, coffee liqueur, espresso coffee, and saline solution.
We say: As the name suggests, an orange and chocolate flavoured Vodka Espresso.
With: Aged rum, coffee liqueur, and single cream.
We say: A very tasty rum-based White Russian.
With: Aged rum, coffee liqueur, and cream.
We say: Rum-laced coffee topped by a velvety layer of cream.
With: Pineapple rum, coffee liqueur, orgeat syrup, pineapple juice, and espresso coffee.
We say: An Espresso Martini with pineapple and almond.
With: Vodka, espresso coffee, coffee liqueur, and saline solution.
We say: One of the world's most popular cocktails – for good reason.
With: Absinthe, coffee liqueur, and espresso coffee.
We say: An energy drink on steroids – absinthe.
Italian Chocolate Martini
With: Espresso coffee, amaro, and coffee liqueur.
We say: Chocolaty without actually having chocolate as an ingredient.
With: Cognac, coffee liqueur, Lapsang Souchong tea, orange bitters, and Boston Bittahs.
We say: Reminiscent of a cognac old-fashioned with coffee and tea.
With: Vodka, cognac, coffee liqueur, and espresso coffee.
We say: A splash of brandy adds character to this Espresso Martini riff.
With: Vodka, coffee liqueur, maple syrup, and espresso coffee.
We say: A maple Espresso Martini.
Midnight Over Tennessee
With: Tennessee whiskey, coffee liqueur, brown crème de cacao, green crème de menthe, and single cream.
We say: Whiskey, coffee and chocolate sipped through a layer of minty cream.
Mr Bali Hai
With: Jamaican rum, light white rum, coffee liqueur, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and sugar syrup.
We say: The signature cocktail of the Bali Hai restaurant which opened in 1955.
With: Mezcal, amaro, coffee liqueur, and orange bitters.
We say: Lightly smoked earthy coffee with hints of zesty orange.
With: Cognac, coffee liqueur, brown crème de cacao, cream, egg yolk, and mascarpone cheese.
We say: Chef meets bartender in the rich dessert cocktail.
Triumph of Aniseed
With: Absinthe, star anise, cognac, Bénédictine, coffee liqueur, and fino sherry.
We say: a cognac-based coffee and sherry after-dinner cocktail.
Vanilla Espresso Martini
With: Vanilla vodka, espresso coffee, coffee liqueur, vanilla syrup, and saline solution.
We say: A cocktail to appeal to those who opt for splash of favoured syrup at the coffee shop. Vanilla please.