Today’s Coffee Brandy Cocktail is a simple yet sophisticated after-dinner drink that promises to elevate your evenings. The combination of freshly brewed black coffee and the smooth notes of brandy, finished off with a sweet touch of whipped cream, create one of my long-time favorite winter cocktails.
And the best part is that this recipe comes together with blissful ease. Combine the ingredients in your favorite cocktail glass or coffee mug. Brew some strong black coffee, preferably with robust coffee beans, pour that over the brandy, frothed whipped cream, and sugar. Then garnish with a cinnamon stick, nutmeg, or chocolate shavings, and you’re done. Pair this Coffee Brandy Cocktail with your favorite desserts – perhaps a slice of velvety chocolate cake, vanilla bean ice cream, or delicate pastries.
Whether you're hosting a gathering or simply winding down after a long day, our Coffee Brandy Cocktail is the epitome of an easy-yet-elevated, drink. It combines the familiarity of a cup of coffee with the allure of an espresso martini or a Brandy Alexander cocktail, and the simple comfort of an Irish coffee – all with the least fuss possible.
Read on for an ingredient checklist to ensure you have everything you’ll need, pairing suggestions, tips for making the best possible coffee cocktail, and a printable recipe card.
Ingredient Checklist – Everything You’ll Need
This is one of the simplest coffee cocktail recipes out there, and it’s so much fun to make. This recipe features only simple ingredients, so there’s no need fuss with things like a complicated coffee machine or whipping up homemade kahlua.
Here's what you'll need:
- 6 ounces strong coffee:
- Notes & Tips: Use freshly brewed, robust coffee for the best flavor. Consider using espresso for a bolder taste. French Press or moka pot coffee are also great brewing choices for this coffee. While this recipe ‘can’ be made with cold brew coffee, I nevertheless do recommend hot coffee.
- Substitutions: Espresso, dark roast coffee, strong instant coffee.
- 1 teaspoon sugar:
- Notes & Tips: More or less sugar according to your sweetness preference. The right amount of sweetness is entirely personal preference. I’m using white sugar simply because that’s what I had on hand.
- Substitutions: Brown sugar or simple syrup.
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream, frothed:
- Notes & Tips: Froth the cream until slightly thickened, but not whipped.
- Substitutions: Half-and-half, whole milk.
- 1 tablespoon brandy:
- Notes & Tips: This brandy coffee recipe doesn’t need to be made with brandy. It’s entirely preference.
- Substitutions: Whiskey, cognac, dark rum, sweet vermouth, aged rum.
- Get Creative: You may also use a chocolate liqueur for added decadence.
- Grated nutmeg or cinnamon, for topping:
- Notes & Tips: Freshly grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon adds a delightful aroma and flavor.
- Substitutions: Ground nutmeg, cinnamon powder, or chocolate shavings.
Pairing Suggestions – What to Serve
While you moght enjoy this cocktail alongside pretty much anything you would serve alongside coffee, here are my personal go-to pairings for this cocktail.
- Chocolate Desserts:
- The ideal pairing, in my opinion. Rich chocolate cakes, brownies, or chocolate truffles all complement the coffee and brandy flavors deliciously.
- Serve the cocktail with buttery pastries like croissants, danishes, or cinnamon rolls for a delightful breakfast or brunch pairing.
- Vanilla Ice Cream:
- The creamy and cold texture of vanilla ice cream contrasts beautifully with the warm and robust coffee-brandy-combination.
- Caramel Treats:
- Caramel desserts like flan, caramelized apple pie, or caramel popcorn are all great pairings for this coffee.
- Crisp biscotti with flavors like almond or hazelnut are perfect for dipping, creating a delightful combination.
- Spiced Desserts:
- Explore pairings with spiced desserts like gingerbread cookies or spiced carrot cake for a festive touch.
Ten Prep Tips – Achieving the Perfect Coffee Brandy Cocktail
Here are some tips for making the best coffee brandy cocktail possible:
- Quality Coffee Beans:
- Start with decent quality coffee beans or a robust coffee blend for the best flavor in your cocktail.
- Freshly Brewed Coffee:
- Brew a strong and robust cup of black coffee. You don’t want the coffee to be overpowered by the brandy.
- Frothing The Cream:
- You want the heavy cream to be frothed as opposed to whipped. For this, I recommend using a milk frother or simple whisk to froth the heavy cream until slightly thickened. Avoid over-whipping; you want a creamy, not whipped, consistency.
- Brandy Selection:
- Choose a decent-to-good quality brandy with flavors that complement the coffee. A smooth and aged brandy works well in this cocktail.
- Garnish with Freshly Grated Nutmeg or Cinnamon:
- Grate nutmeg or sprinkle cinnamon on top just before serving for a fragrant and visually appealing finish. This also works to enhance the flavor.
- Serve in a Heat-Resistant Glass:
- This should go without saying, but if you’re using a cocktail glass, be sure that it’s heat resistant.
- Slow Pouring Technique:
- When adding coffee, pour it slowly over the back of a spoon or along the side of the glass to allow the cream to rise to the top.
- Experiment with Vanilla Bean:
- For an extra layer of flavor, consider adding a touch of vanilla. You can either use a dash of vanilla extract or a vanilla bean infusion.
- Temperature Balance:
- Ensure that the coffee is hot, the brandy is at room temperature, and the cream is slightly chilled for a well-balanced temperature profile. Yes, this matters.
- Presentation Matters:
- Present the cocktail elegantly by serving it in a clear glass, showcasing the layers of coffee and cream.
And that’s our Coffee Brandy Cocktail. If you enjoyed today’s post, or have any questions or suggestions, be sure to let us know in the comments below, we always love hearing from you.