Coffee Loves Cocktails More Than You Thought

06/13/2014 07:58 am ET
The Little Epicurean

The greatest thing has happened, people. Coffee and booze have gotten together and it has resulted in the most beautiful cocktails. We're not talking about Irish coffee here. That's just a spiked cup of coffee (which we also love). No, we're talking about lovingly crafted, beautifully balanced cocktails that incorporate everything we adore about coffee -- the buzz and flavor alike.

Coffee cocktails incorporate cold-brew coffee and espresso syrups made with locally roasted beans; and they're making brunches even better. We love Bloody Marys for their slap-in-the-face hangover curing ability. And we adore mimosas for making us feel giddy. But when coffee cocktails become an option on the brunch menu those two classics don't stand a chance. These caffeine-spiked cocktails haven't truly taken off quite yet, but they will soon, we can feel it.

You can find coffee cocktails at some of the best eateries and cocktail bars in the country. Amor y Amargo, a Manhattan cocktail venue, has been hosting an iced coffee and amaro program every Saturday and Sunday (daytime hours) with a host of coffee spiked cocktails. (Check out some of their recipes.)

Head on over to Chicago, and you'll come across many more renditions of the coffee cocktail. The Berkshire Room has one that incorporates wheated bourbon, Dark Matter coffee essence and a hint of pipe tobacco -- three vices, one glass. It's pure genius. To take the coffee cocktail trend to the next level, someone has to start incorporating cold-brewed cannabis-infused coffee. It'll bring a whole new meaning to wake and bake.

Until coffee cocktails make it to your city, try your hand at making one yourself.

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  • One of the most popular espresso drinks, a cappuccino done right should be equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk (about 60 ml each).
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  • With 60 ml of espresso, 60 ml of chocolate and 30 ml of steamed milk, a mocha is a the right choice if you want something sweet.
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  • The latte gets its name because it's full of milk. It is generally just a 60 ml shot of espresso with 300 ml steamed milk -- and only 2ml foamed milk.
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  • If you prefer brewed coffee over espresso, cafe au lait is for you. It's just a pampered cup of coffee -- calling for warm, steamed milk in place of cold milk.
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  • If you like the taste of espresso, but don't like how quickly it goes you'd be happy with an Americano. It's a shot of espresso (30 ml) with twice the amount of water (60 ml).
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  • The noisette is one step between the machiatto and the latte. It's a big shot of espresso with half of that amount in hot milk.
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  • With a macchiato you get a shot of espresso (or sometimes two) with just a dot of foamed milk.
  • 3 Doppio
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  • Doppio means double in Italian, and that's exactly what you get with espresso. Rather than the expected 30 ml shot of espresso, a doppio gets you a 60 ml shot.
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  • A small shot of caffeine -- but more than enough to get the job done -- usually about 30 ml.
  • 1 Ristretto
  • A ristretto is the coffee choice for those who like to get straight to the point. It's a very concentrated espresso shot -- only 22 ml.