- Warm a mug by filling with hot water.
- In a cocktail shaker, add ice and four to six ounces of hot coffee.
- Shake vigorously for approximately three to four minutes, until a thick foam forms.
- After mug is warm to touch, pour out the water.
- In warm mug, add almond liqueur and hazelnut liqueur.
- Top off with hot coffee.
- Garnish with coffee foam.
Variations of the Italian Coffee Cocktail
There are plenty of different types of Italian coffee cocktails out there and several ingredients you can explore this drink with.
- Add a splash of bourbon for a bite with notes of caramel.
- A flavored coffee easily adds a twist of flavor. Hazelnut would go incredibly well with the ingredients, but play around with using a light or dark roast and other flavors.
- Give your hot Italian cocktail a creamy touch with a splash of cream, either traditional coffee creamer or Irish cream.
- Sweeten your coffee with simple syrups, such as cinnamon or vanilla.
- You can add a bit of booze with a little coffee liqueur without losing any coffee flavor.
No one will blame you if you're not into shaking coffee for several minutes to make the foam. These garnishes will still complete the look.
- Use store-bought whipped cream. Feel free to opt for the spray can or tub type. Both will yield different results but add a thick and delicious creaminess to the cocktail.
- Sprinkle three whole coffee beans on top of the whipped cream.
- Add a touch of spiced flavor with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Give your drink a little extra sweetness with roughly chopped chocolate, or use delicate chocolate shavings.
About the Italian Coffee Cocktail
A drink as popular and iconic as the Irish coffee was absolutely bound to inspire others to create different flavors and versions. There's not as much of a standard recipe for the Italian coffee as there is for the Irish coffee. In the 1940s or 50s, the Irish coffee as we know it started appearing in bars.
Some Italian coffee cocktails call for a chocolate liqueur, Averna amaro, or Strega. Averna amaro is an Italian digestif, similar to Montenegro, and it's bitter yet sweet. Strega is an Italian herbal liqueur; think yellow chartreuse, Galliano, or Benedictine. There's not an exact window for the invention of the Italian coffee, but that just means there's a bit more freedom and room for interpretation when making one. In a world of set recipes and tradition, a cocktail without as many boundaries tastes like inspiration.
Salute! To the Italian Coffee
Make a toast to a delicious cousin of the Irish coffee: the Italian coffee cocktail. When you're looking for something with a bit more flavor and perhaps something a little less boozy for your morning brunch drink, the hot Italian cocktail will swoop in to make the decision an easy one.