Our Favorite Trending Coffee Cocktails
In one form or another, coffee has always been a fixture in restaurants and bars. All bartenders know how to make White Russians, Irish coffees, and possibly even espresso martinis. However, as drinkers and diners eschew sugary drinks, bar programs expand and evolve in response. Sweet and creamy are no longer the standard in coffee cocktails. Today’s options are nuanced and complex, perhaps with a splash of cold brew here or fresh espresso there in place of traditional coffee liqueurs.
Rethinking the Classics
Of course, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to craft a great coffee cocktail. Some bartenders are giving the old classics new life, such as adding a simple shot of cold brew to a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. Others are elevating the espresso martini with house-made coffee cordials and amaro. Even tiki-inspired menus are getting onboard with options such as the house coffee grog featuring a cold coffee reduction, cream, vanilla, and a blend of rums. The Negroni, an Italian aperitif, is being taken to the next level in various ways, such as by adding cold brew, switching out the gin for mezcal, or infusing the gin with warming spices and whole coffee beans.
Alcohol-free and low-alcohol drinks are popular all over right now, and coffee cocktails are no exception. You don’t need a liquor license to leverage the coffee cocktail trend – just fill the increasing demand for a better selection of non-alcoholic drinks. For example, you might serve up a twist on the classic Mojito using botanicals, flavored syrups, fresh citrus, and artisanal soda. Whether they serve their concoctions over ice or shaken and strained, more and more coffee shops are taking notice of the demand for non-alcoholic craft cocktails, and more customers are happy to pay a premium for the experience. Coffee cocktails present the perfect opportunity to stand out with delicious, alcohol-free beverages.
Hot or Not?
Although cold coffee cocktails are currently trending, hot drinks are still, well, hot – especially when it comes to nightcaps and dessert drinks. The Irish coffee, for example, is among the top-selling drinks in many bars. Today, bartenders are putting more of a focus on higher-quality ingredients: hot, fresh-brewed coffee, Irish whiskey, demerara syrup, and lightly whipped cream. Many of these drinks are also getting their own unique spins, such as a seasonal coffee selection, rye, and amaro.
The resurgence of coffee cocktails means that baristas and bartenders are stocking up on cold brew, coffee extracts, syrups, infusions, and coffee ice cubes. You can even make some of your own flavored syrups and infusions using our natural flavor ingredients.