You'll Be Sipping This Refreshing Coffee-Spiked Cocktail All Summer Long

Originally Published: 
The Rogue Brussel Sprout/Shutterstock

Two of your favorite things to drink — cocktails and coffee — are no strangers to one another. From White Russians to espresso martinis, beans and booze have been commingling for some time now, but if you thought you knew all this duo had to offer, think again. The latest crop of coffee cocktails don't just offer a caffeinated buzz, they're also creative and incredibly refreshing options to sip all summer long.

Whether it's due to the temporary closing of bars or just a renewed interest in stepping up your mixology skills, lately it seems like everyone's seeking unique new concoctions to whip up for drinking in the privacy of your home — be it during your virtual happy hours or just while enjoying a quiet moment on your newly revamped outdoor area. And if you previously thought coffee-plus-booze was a combination reserved for hot drinks and classic throwbacks (Irish coffee, et al), some seriously inventive creations will surely change your mind.

From tropical, tiki-inspired libations to a boozy twist on trendy barista-favorite, the five cocktails ahead are anything but basic. Try one for your next at-home happy hour if you're looking to catch a buzz in more ways than one.


Coffee Cocktail: You Up?

If the concept of a coffee margarita gives you pause, just wait until you try this mezcal-spiked creation from Ronan in Los Angeles. The cocktail, which also combines averna, cold brew coffee, and both pineapple and lime juices is actually for summer sipping. "Subbing mezcal for tequila, the smoky notes play against the varieties of citrus, the bitter tones from the averna, and the chocolate-y notes from the cold brew for a refreshing, well-balanced cocktail," says owner Caitlin Cutler.

Coffee Cocktail: Coffee Talk

Love Negronis? Think of this coffee cocktail as a caffeinated spin on the classic. To make it, combine coffee-infused Aperitivo Select, sweet red vermouth, and gin (you can use the same ratio as you would a Negroni). Then shake with ice, strain, and garnish with an orange peel. "By infusing the Aperitivo Select (instead of the more common Campari) with coffee it balances the vanilla, cardamom, and ginger notes," shares Gabe Briseno, a bartender at Employee's Only, which offers this creative concoction.

Coffee Cocktail: Marvelous Ketel Cold Brew

Take your cold brew up a notch with the addition of Ketel One vodka, hazelnut orgeat syrup, and fresh pineapple juice to create this tropical treat, dreamed up by Matt Landes, Founder of Cocktail Academy. "Both robust and refreshing, the combination of tangy and rich flavors creates a cocktail ideal for day drinking in the sun," he says.

Coffee Cocktail: Coffee Old Fashioned

Coffee and bourbon are actually a match made in flavor heaven, hence the appeal of this take on the classic Old Fashioned. To make one, combine your booze with cooled espresso or coffee, a bit of simple syrup, and a dash of bitters, then serve on the rocks with a citrus peel to garnish. There are actually a number of variations (including this one from Bon Appetit) online, so feel free to put your own spin on it, using flavored bitters, different types of whisky, etc.

Coffee Cocktail: Espresso Gin & Tonic

Espresso tonics have been a huge trend for boutique coffee shops in the last few years, and gin and tonics are a forever classic. That said, merging these two drinks seems like the perfect marriage of old and new. Simply add a double shot of espresso to your G&T and add an orange wheel, or try this honeyed version from Imbibe (via Julia Momose of Chicago's Kumiko).

This article was originally published on