The 18 Best Liqueurs for Coffee

Last Updated on January 28, 2022 by brewthatcoffee

Who doesn’t love a spiked coffee during the holiday season? A little liqueur in your morning or after-dinner coffee will get you feeling festive AF in record time. Read on to see the best liqueurs for coffee so you can get into the spirit (yes, pun) ASAP.

The 14 Best Liqueurs for Coffee

Many people wait until after their first cup of coffee to start the day, but some adventurous types enjoy the pairing of a rich liqueur and a robust dark brew. There are many great choices on the market today that add layers of flavor and complexity, unlike any other beverage.

The following list is in no way comprehensive or all-inclusive; it just represents the best initial suggestions for pairing delicious liquors with one of the best beverages on the planet.

How to Spike Coffee With Alcohol

The amount of liqueur you should add to one cup of coffee would depend on how strong you want it. If you want a stronger taste, then use more alcohol. If you are looking for a more subtle taste, use less alcohol.

The bar industry standard is to add a single shot of liqueur per one cup of coffee. However, some may find this too strong and even takes away from the taste of the coffee itself.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to taste their coffee, start with half a shot of liqueur instead of the regular single shot. However, if you are looking to really get into the spirit, add at least one shot.

TDLR: Adding alcohol to your coffee is super easy. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Pour a single shot of your chosen liqueur into a coffee mug.

2. Brew a strong cup of coffee (we recommend using a Moka pot).

3. Pour the coffee into the mug with the liqueur.

4. Stir and enjoy!

The 18 Best Liqueurs for Coffee

Now, it’s time to get festive. Here are the best liqueur pairings for your coffee.

The 14 Best Liqueurs for Coffee

Licor 43

Licor 43 is pretty niche. However, everyone who has tried it swears by it. It’s absolutely delicious! Out of the liqueur options on this list, this is the one you should try first.

For those who haven’t heard of Licor 43 before, it’s a Spanish liqueur that was invented in 1946. This tasty liqueur boasts 43 herbs and botanicals, hence the name ‘Licor 43’.

We recommend using Licor 43 to make a Carajillo, which is an after-dinner spiked coffee. It is also commonly served as a cocktail hour drink and at parties.

Here is how to make a Carajillo:

  • Brew a strong coffee or some espresso. Our favorite method for strong coffee is the Moka Pot. If you don’t want to be up all night, make sure to use decaf espresso beans.
  • Add a shot of Licor 43 to a cup filled with ice and stir. To dress up your cocktail, you can make ice out of coffee.
  • Pour your coffee into your cup. If you want a beautiful foam layer on top, you can pour the coffee into a spoon and let it run down into the cup.

Sunora Bacanora Coffee Mocha Cream

Sunora Bacanora Coffee Mocha Cream is another lesser-known liqueur that many haven’t tried. Let me tell you, this stuff is amazing! It’s a 30 proof bacanora cream blended with dairy cream and mocha flavors.

Next time you are brewing up a delicious cup of coffee, add a shot of this to your mug. If you don’t have any coffee on hand, this stuff is honestly heaven on its own. Since it has lots of mocha flavor, you will still get that coffee taste you are looking for.

Baileys Irish Cream

Baileys is by far the most popular choice for pairing alcohol with coffee and will be your best bet to start with.

Baileys Irish Cream is a cream-based liqueur that has a smooth, velvety texture with hints of coffee and vanilla. It’s a great choice for those who enjoy sweet drinks but still want something with a well-rounded flavor.

It can be enjoyed as is or mixed with other ingredients to create unique coffee cocktails. Here is a fun ice blended frappe idea for you to try out.

Baileys and Coffee Frappe

Ingredients:

1 cup coffee, cooled

1/2 cup Baileys Irish Cream

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup ice cubes

Directions:

1. Combine coffee, Baileys Irish Cream, milk, and vanilla extract in a blender. Blend on medium speed for about 10 seconds or until the mixture is smooth.

2. Add ice cubes and blend at high speed for about 30 seconds or until the desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.

You can also add a hint of rum to complement the flavor.

Kahlua

Kahlua is one of the most popular coffee liqueurs because it makes such an accessible base for several different types of drinks. It can be paired with milk for something simple, but it also mixes well with ice cream or heavy cream to make a delicious dessert drink.

Kahlua is also great with coffee, as the flavor of the liqueur complements the bitterness of the coffee and creates a well-rounded beverage. Next time you decide to have a coffee, spike it with Kahlua by adding a single shot to your cup.

Kahlua Coffee

Ingredients:

1 shot of Kahlua

1 cup of coffee

Directions:

1. Combine Kahlua and coffee in a glass. Stir well to combine.

2. Serve immediately

Tia Maria

Tia Maria is another classic coffee liqueur that has a deep, rich flavor. It goes especially well with espresso or Turkish coffee, but it can also be enjoyed on its own or mixed with other ingredients. Tia Maria often contains hints of vanilla and chocolate, making it a delicious choice for those who enjoy sweet drinks.

Tia Maria Coffee

Ingredients:

1 shot of Tia Maria

1 cup coffee

2 Tablespoons of Cream

Directions:

1. Combine Tia Maria and coffee in a mug. Stir well to combine.

2. Add cream on top.

Cafe Granita Coffee Liqueur

Cafe Granita Coffee liqueur is a great buy as it will usually only set you back 15 bucks or less. The Beverage Tasting Institute has given it a 90 pt score, so you know it’s quite good. If you don’t like a coffee liqueur to be too sweet, you may want to give this a try.

Frangelico

Frangelico is a hazelnut-flavored liqueur that pairs perfectly with both coffee and cocoa. It has a smooth texture and a rich, nutty flavor that is sure to please any palate. Frangelico can be enjoyed as a sipping liqueur or mixed with other ingredients to create unique cocktails.

Frangelico Coffee

Ingredients:

1 shot of Frangelico

1 cup coffee

Directions:

1. Combine Frangelico and coffee in a glass. Stir well to combine.

2. Serve immediately.

Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier is a well-known orange-flavored liqueur that pairs exceptionally well with coffee. The sweet and tangy orange flavor compliments the bitterness of the coffee, and the two flavors work together to create a delicious beverage. Grand Marnier can also be mixed with other ingredients to make cocktails, or it can simply be enjoyed on the rocks.

Grand Marnier and Coffee

Ingredients:

1 shot of Grand Marnier

1 cup coffee

Whipped Cream

Directions:

1. Combine Grand Marnier and coffee in a glass. Stir well to combine.

2. Add whipped cream as desired.

Sambuca

Sambuca is another popular liqueur that compliments the flavors in both coffee and cocoa. Its distinct licorice flavor has made it a welcome addition to many drinks, and it has even found its way into dessert recipes. If you’re looking for an interesting take on coffee, consider adding half a shot of Sambuca to your coffee.

Keep in mind that Sambuca is an acquired taste, so there is a good chance you’ll love it or hate it.

A great way to enjoy Sambuca is to chill it in the fridge and serve it neat (plain, by itself) with a garnish of three coffee beans. There is a widely held tradition that you must serve Sambuca with exactly three coffee beans. Otherwise, you may experience bad luck.

Rumchata

Rumchata is a rum and cream-based liqueur that is perfect for those who enjoy the flavors of coffee and horchata. It’s also popular because it can be easily substituted for milk or cream, making it extremely versatile. Rumchata mixes well with hot chocolate as well as coffee, so you can pair multiple drinks together to complete your drink menu.

Butterscotch Schnapps

Butterscotch Schnapps is a liqueur that tastes similar to salted caramel. It’s buttery and creamy, with a rich texture and sweet flavor. Butterscotch Schnapps can be enjoyed as a sipping liqueur or mixed with other ingredients to create tasty cocktails.

Amaretto

Amaretto is yet another sweet almond-flavored liqueur that pairs well with coffee. It adds a hint of dryness to the drink, and it can be consumed on its own or mixed with other ingredients. Popular Amaretto cocktails include the Amaretto Sour and the Rusty Nail; however, they can also be used to create drinks like Irish coffee.

Using Amaretto, specifically Disaronno, is recommended for those who enjoy very high-quality, but also very sweet beverages. There is a lot of hard work that goes behind producing their Amaretto, and it comes with a worthy high-end price.

Pisco

Pisco is a South American Brandy that has become popular in recent years for making delicious cocktails. Many people enjoy drinking straight shots of this clear liquor, but it works especially well in cold weather drinks. If you’re looking for something unique to serve at your next get-together consider adding Pisco to your guests’ coffees.

Brandy

Brandy is a spirit that is made from distilled wine. It has a smooth, mellow flavor that goes well with both coffee and cocoa. If you prefer drinks that aren’t overly sweet, Brandy is a good starting point.

Next time you make a brandy and coffee drink, consider adding a touch of cream. Brandy pairs very well with cream, and will give your coffee an instant upgrade.

Cointreau

Cointreau is a triple sec liqueur that is made from orange peels. It has a sweet and sour flavor that pairs well with coffee, and it can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with other ingredients. Cointreau is often used in cocktails like the Margarita and the Cosmopolitan, but it also makes an excellent addition to coffee drinks.

If you want a Caribbean style to your coffee, you should try this combination. Like Grand Marnier, Cointreau is an orange-flavored liqueur, however, the nuances are different. Cointreau seeks to re-create the more tactile sensation of eating an orange. For example, you can expect to taste an orange zest flavor.

Chambord

Chambord is a raspberry-flavored liqueur that is made in France. It has a sweet berry flavor that works well with coffee, and it can be mixed into cocktails or enjoyed on its own.

Many people enjoy pairing Chambord with Irish cream to create a tasty, creamy cocktail. If you’re feeling ambitious, why not try your hand at creating this delicious drink yourself?

Vegan Bailey’s Irish Cream

Vegan Bailey’s Irish Cream is an option for people who are lactose intolerant or follow vegan diets. It is also a great choice for anyone seeking to make their drink healthier because it does not contain any dairy products.

Since Vegan Bailey’s Irish Cream is a dairy-free alternative to the traditional version, you can expect a similar taste. It has a creamy, smooth texture and a sweet, nutty flavor.

Vodka

Adding vodka to coffee is a great way to add a little bit of excitement to your morning routine. Although vodka isn’t the most flavorful alcohol, it is definitely one of the stronger ones you can add to your coffee.

There are many different ways to make vodka coffee. One popular recipe calls for adding one shot of vodka to a cup of coffee. However, feel free to experiment with different ratios until you find one that you like.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make vodka coffee, try using an espresso machine. Espresso machines can quickly create a strong cup of coffee that is perfect for adding vodka.

Another option is to use a French press. This brewing method allows the flavors of the vodka and coffee to infuse, resulting in a mixture that tastes great.

FAQ About Choosing Liqueurs for Coffee

The 14 Best Liqueurs for Coffee

What hard liquor can you put in coffee?

Out of the hard liquor options, brandy is the best option. Whiskey could work, but the flavor of brandy lends itself well to coffee in general.

What is the name of a coffee liqueur?

Tia Maria and Kahlua are both coffee-flavored liqueurs.

What is an alternative to Kahlua?

Tia Maria is a great alternative to Kahlua if you’re feeling like trying something different.

Is fireball good in coffee?

If you enjoy fireball, then it could work in coffee. However, it is very strong in flavor so if you want to taste your coffee, start with a half shot.

Is Kahlua a coffee liqueur?

Yes.

Is Amaretto a coffee liqueur?

No, Amaretto is an almond-based liqueur. It tastes fabulous in coffee and is worth trying.

What is Frangelico?

Frangelico is a hazelnut-based liqueur.

Is whiskey good in coffee?

Whiskey wouldn’t necessarily be bad in coffee, but it isn’t the first choice for many. If you love whiskey, by all means, experiment.

However, if you aren’t sure and want a hard liquor option, try brandy. If you are open to other options, try Liqueur 43 or Kahlua.

What is the best Amaretto?

Disaronno is the best Amaretto hands down. There isn’t even a close second competitor.

Kahlua is by far the most popular coffee liqueur option.

What can I use instead of coffee liqueur in espresso martini?

Actual espresso can be used instead of coffee liqueur.

A fantastic recipe for an espresso martini is equal parts espresso, vanilla vodka, and Baileys. Shake vigorously (this is important). Enjoy!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many different liqueurs that you can use in coffee drinks. Whether you’re looking for a sweet and creamy option or something with a bit more of a kick, there’s sure to be a liqueur that suits your taste. So the next time you make yourself a cup of joe, why not jazz it up with one of these delicious liqueurs? You won’t be disappointed.

So what are you waiting for? Start experimenting today! And let us know in the comments below which liqueurs are your favorites to use in coffee drinks. We would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading! As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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