15 Cozy Hot Coffee Cocktails

Easy Ways to Spike Your Cup of Joe

Adding a little liquor to fresh-brewed coffee is a great way to give it an extra kick. Hot coffee cocktails are flavorful, a pleasure to sip, and, quite often, incredibly easy to mix up. You can follow tradition and mix up an Irish coffee or get decadent with alcoholic coffee drink recipes that use multiple spirits.

Many types of alcohol go great with coffee, and dark spirits like whiskey, rum, and brandy are among the best choices. Amaretto, butterscotch schnapps, Irish cream, and several other liqueurs are excellent as well, sweetening the coffee while adding delicious flavors.

  • 01 of 15

    Irish Coffee

    Original Irish Coffee Recipe

    The Spruce

    A true classic, Irish coffee is the one drink that every coffee lover should taste at least once. The recipe was created in Ireland and set the standard for what a great coffee cocktail should be. It's quite simple but very specific: The base is rich, strong coffee spiked with a shot of Irish whiskey and sweetened with brown sugar. To keep it authentic, top it with freshly whipped double cream. 

  • 02 of 15

    Caramel Irish Coffee

    Caramel Irish Coffee With Baileys Irish Cream

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    The caramel Irish coffee is made much the same way as the original, but it appeals to those who like creamy, sweetened lattes. This recipe pairs Irish cream with Irish whiskey, adds a little butterscotch schnapps, and cuts back on the coffee. Top it with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle for a truly indulgent drink.

    A Great Cocktail Begins With Great Coffee

    While you can make coffee cocktails with the same brew that gets you going in the morning, upgrading your coffee will create the best cocktails. Alcohol won't make up for bad coffee, and additives actually accentuate any impurities. Starting with a good cup of coffee will make the difference between a decent drink and a spectacular one.

    • Quality Beans: High-quality roasted coffee beans that are freshly ground for each cup or pot produce more flavorful coffee.
    • Skip the Drip: Drip coffee machines are convenient, but you can get richer, more flavorful coffee with other brewing methods. Consider coffee brewers like a drip cone, French press, AeroPress, or moka pot and use filtered or bottled water.
  • 03 of 15

    Irish Winter

    Irish Winter - whiskey spiked hot coffee

    Matt Bowman / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Admittedly, there are times when you want a less complicated version of Irish coffee. For these moments, turn to the pour-and-drink Irish winter recipe. Deliciously simple, it requires your favorite Irish whiskey, while coffee liqueur serves as a sweetener and Irish cream plays the role of a creamer.

  • 04 of 15

    Café Royal

    Cafe Royal - Hot Coffee Cocktail
    Lew Robertson / StockFood Creative / Getty Images

    Coffee liqueur may be too obvious of a companion for coffee, but some are more suitable than others. The café royal recipe is designed for one with a tequila base and rich, off-dry profile. Of course, other coffee liqueurs will work, too. With just two ingredients, this hot drink is an ideal venue to discover the subtle differences between brands.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Maple Pecan Latte


    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo 

    When it's cold outside, this maple pecan latte should be on everyone's must-drink list. The recipe begins with a homemade maple pecan syrup, which is mixed with espresso and steamed milk. The seasonal flavors are amazing, and all it needs is a shot of whiskey.

  • 06 of 15

    French Connection Coffee

    Cafe Amore hot coffee cocktail
    Jupiterimages / Stockbyte / Getty Images

    The French connection series of cocktails feature the soothing combination of cognac and amaretto. When mixed into a cup of strong, black coffee, you have French connection coffee, otherwise known as the café amore. Adjust the ratio of the two liquors to taste; the more amaretto you pour, the sweeter it will become. You can even deck it out with whipped cream and shaved almonds.

  • 07 of 15

    Café Brasileiro

    Cafe Brasileiro
    Kris Timken / Photodisc / Getty Images

    Spiking coffee with the Brazillian spirit cachaça is a fabulous idea, and the café Brasileiro is a great recipe to try. This is not merely a shot of cachaça in a cup of coffee; it's sweetened with a hint of simple syrup and dark chocolate liqueur. Add freshly whipped cream infused with vanilla, and your after-dinner coffee experience will never be the same.

  • 08 of 15

    Café Caribbean

    Cafe Caribbean Cocktail - Hot Coffee and Rum Mixed Drink
    creacart / E+ / Getty Images

    With a name like café Caribbean, you know there's rum in this drink. It's a recipe you may be able to pull off with what's already in your bar because it simply adds rum and amaretto to the best cup of coffee you can brew. As with most of these, you can stop there or dress it up with whipped cream and almonds (or any topping you like).

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Italian Coffee

    Italian Coffee with Strega Liqueur

    Brian Lestart / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Continuing an exploration of international coffee cocktails, it's time for Italian coffee. The recipe calls for a very specific liqueur, and it's one of the more interesting choices. When Strega (a gold herbal liqueur with a unique flavor) hits piping hot coffee, its botanicals open up and fill your senses with an aromatic bouquet. It's an inviting and comforting experience.

  • 10 of 15

    Spiked Mexican Coffee

    mexican coffee in a mug

     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Mexican coffee isn't necessarily intended to include alcohol, but a little tequila and coffee liqueur certainly doesn't hurt. For this one, ground cinnamon is added to the stovetop coffee pot. While it brews, you'll steam milk and cream sweetened with brown sugar and chocolate syrup. It's as tempting as it sounds and worth every minute of effort.

  • 11 of 15

    German Coffee With Rum

    German Coffee With Rum - Pharisaeer Kaffee
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    The story of Pharisäer kaffee gives you something to talk about over coffee. It's amusing to think of parishioners in the 1870's disguising their dark rum-spiked coffee behind whipped cream so their pastor didn't think they were drinking. This classic German recipe is also pleasantly simple and a delight to drink.

  • 12 of 15

    Flaming Spanish Coffee

    Flaming Spanish Coffee
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Spanish coffee is one of the best-known spiked coffee recipes, and an excuse to (cautiously) play with fire. To make it, have your coffee and coffee-friendly liqueur of choice ready to pour. Then light overproof rum on fire inside the glass and let the flame caramelize the sugar rim. Add some spices, then pour the rest of the drink. It's an adventure and a light show in one.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Kentucky Coffee

    Kentucky Coffee With Bourbon Whiskey

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    You would be correct in assuming that bourbon goes into Kentucky coffee. It's another simple two-spirit recipe that is best with the biggest, boldest bourbon you can find. Honey liqueur serves as the sweetener and tames the strong whiskey flavor perfectly.

  • 14 of 15

    Nutty Irishman

    Nutty Irishman Shooter

    The Spruce

    If you're familiar with the nutty Irishman, you know that it can be made as a "martini," shooter, or lowball. Have you tried that tempting combo of Frangelico and Irish cream in a cup of hot coffee? It's as tasty as the others, and the hazelnut flavor against the rich cream liqueur is a perfect way to flavor your coffee. It also works well with a double shot of espresso for a cappuccino-like cocktail.

  • 15 of 15

    Spiked Christmas Coffee

    Spiked Christmas Coffee

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Get in the holiday spirit with spiked Christmas coffee. The recipe is a mint-chocolate delight, mixing chocolate and cream liqueurs into freshly brewed coffee. Don't skip the whipped cream in this one! It's infused with créme de menthe for a minty flavor and festive color.