7 Rich and Refreshing Cocktail Recipes for International Coffee Day

The Starward Old Fashioned, featuring Starward Nova Australian whisky.

The return of pumpkin beers isn’t the only sign that fall is almost upon us. There’s another signal that’s as powerful a force of nature as the changing of seasons.

The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte officially returned this week.

This means a few things: coffee is on people’s brains, it’s time to put coffee cocktails on your menu, and you have enough time to prepare promotions and drinks for International Coffee Day on September 29.

We’re all familiar with the warming, relaxing magic an Irish Coffee can provide. But coffee can do much more than just warm up a splash of Irish whiskey.

Check this out: Beat the Heat with These Buzzy Cold-Brew Coffee Cocktails

As the cocktails (and one coffee-flavored poptail) below make clear, coffee is an essential cocktail ingredient. Its richness and complex flavors work well to enhance the flavors of a multitude of spirits.

This International Coffee Day, you and your bar team would be wise to feature local coffee in drinks on your menu. There are also excellent coffee liqueurs that can make whipping up cocktails with inviting, roasted flavors a breeze, like Caffè Borghetti.

Check this out: Send Summer Off in Style with These Labor Day Cocktails

Coffee is an obsession around the globe. Pumpkin Spice Lattes returning to market gives operators a beverage trend they can leverage.


A Proper Coffee cocktail made with Proper No Twelve Irish Whiskey

A Proper Coffee

Created by Sonny Verdini, Bar Manager, TRADE (Boston, MA); Image: Amanda Lewis

  • 2 oz. Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
  • 1.5 oz. Boston Harbor Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Mandarine Napoleon Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz. Bénédictine
  • Hand-whipped cream to garnish
  • Coffee beans to garnish

Shake and strain into a Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with hand-whipped cream and coffee beans.

The Mad Mac coffee cocktail made with Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey

The Mad Mac

Gavin McMonigle, Piss & Vinegar (Philadelphia); Image: Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey

Hard shake all ingredients in a tin with crushed ice. Strain into 6 oz. Irish coffee glass and serve.

Topsy Turvy coffee cocktail made with Caffè Borghetti, Carpano Antica Formula and Lock Stock & Barrel Rye

Topsy Turvy

Recipe by Jeremy Oertel; Image: Carpano

  • 2 oz. Carpano Antica Formula
  • 1 oz. Lock Stock & Barrel Rye
  • 1 tsp. Caffè Borghetti
  • 1 dash Mole Bitters (preferably Bittermens)
  • Orange twist to garnish

Stir and strain into a Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

The Dorthaquiri Game of Thrones coffee cocktail made with Caffè Borghetti

The Dorthaquiri

Recipe and image courtesy of Caffè Borghetti

  • 2 parts Strawberry-infused rum
  • 1 part Caffè Borghetti
  • 1.5 parts Cold-pressed espresso
  • 0.25 Cinnamon syrup
  • Mini biscotti to garnish

All ingredients to a shaker and strain into glass. Garnish with a mini biscotti.

Starward Old Fashioned coffee cocktail made with Starward Nova Australian whisky

Starward Cold Fashioned

Recipe and image courtesy of Starward Whisky

Combine all in a mixing glass with ice and stir until very cold. Serve in a rocks glass over one large rock with an orange zest.

Chipotle Irish Coffee cocktail made with Tanteo Chipotle Tequila

Chipotle Mexican Coffee

Recipe and image courtesy of Tanteo Tequila

  • 2 oz. Tanteo Chipotle Tequila
  • 5 oz. Freshly brewed coffee
  • 0.5 tsp. Granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp. Brown sugar
  • Whipped cream for topping

Add fresh coffee to glass. Stir in white and brown sugars until dissolved. Add Tanteo Chipotle Tequila and stir. Top with whipped cream.

Espresso Martini Poptail alcohol pops made with Caffè Borghetti and Crystal Head Vodkaicles

Espresso Martini Poptail

Recipe and image courtesy of Crystal Head Vodka

  • 0.5 oz. Crystal Head Vodka
  • 0.5 oz. Caffè Borghetti
  • 0.5 oz. Water
  • 1 oz. Cold-brew coffee

Mix each pop individually in mixing cups. Fill popsicle molds (silicone is best). Place in freezer for approximately 5 hours. Remove from mold and serve immediately or place in freezer bag for later.

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