20 best Coffee liqueur cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

Photography by Dan Malpass

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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.

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Affogato Cocktail
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.

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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.

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Alexander The Great
With: Vodka, coffee liqueur, white crème de cacao, and single cream.
We say: A vodka-laced mocha coffee.

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Bahama Mama
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.

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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.

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With: Aged rum, coffee liqueur, and single cream.
We say: A very tasty rum-based White Russian.

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Espress Ya'self
With: Aged rum, coffee liqueur, and cream.
We say: Rum-laced coffee topped by a velvety layer of cream.

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Espresso Martiki
With: Pineapple rum, coffee liqueur, orgeat syrup, pineapple juice, and espresso coffee.
We say: An Espresso Martini with pineapple and almond.

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Espresso Martini
With: Vodka, espresso coffee, coffee liqueur, and saline solution.
We say: One of the world's most popular cocktails – for good reason.

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Flying Frenchman
With: Absinthe, coffee liqueur, and espresso coffee.
We say: An energy drink on steroids – absinthe.

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Italian Chocolate Martini
With: Espresso coffee, amaro, and coffee liqueur.
We say: Chocolaty without actually having chocolate as an ingredient.

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With: Cognac, coffee liqueur, Lapsang Souchong tea, orange bitters, and Boston Bittahs.
We say: Reminiscent of a cognac old-fashioned with coffee and tea.

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With: Vodka, cognac, coffee liqueur, and espresso coffee.
We say: A splash of brandy adds character to this Espresso Martini riff.

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Lotus Espresso
With: Vodka, coffee liqueur, maple syrup, and espresso coffee.
We say: A maple Espresso Martini.

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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.

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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.

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Pura Vida
With: Mezcal, amaro, coffee liqueur, and orange bitters.
We say: Lightly smoked earthy coffee with hints of zesty orange.

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With: Cognac, coffee liqueur, brown crème de cacao, cream, egg yolk, and mascarpone cheese.
We say: Chef meets bartender in the rich dessert cocktail.

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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.

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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.

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