The Last Thing To Do Before Throwing Out Leftover Brewed Coffee

Leftover coffee — while it might not happen often in your house, when it does, it can feel downright blasphemous to waste it. But whatever the reason, if you end up with a leftover cup or two at the end of the day, there's no need to weep over the loss of your favorite morning pick-me-up. Before you pour it down the sink, there's one last thing you can do before you dump those dregs — save it.

While you might not be the kind of person who likes to drink reheated day-old coffee, you'll be missing out on one of life's greatest coffee pleasures if you decide to toss it. If you're a stickler for that fresh-brewed flavor, you'll probably want to skip making coffee ice cubes or refrigerating it for tomorrow's iced mocha unless you want to be disappointed. But what you can do is get cooking because coffee's rich flavor and versatility make it a winner in a variety of both sweet and savory recipes.

What to do with leftover coffee

When it comes to using up leftover coffee, you're truly only limited by your own imagination and desires. Coffee's deep flavor profile and spicy notes lend themselves beautifully to savory gravies and sauces, while its fruity complexities and bitter balance help complement robust flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and coffee's perfect companion — chocolate. With a mocha-tinged history that is legendary, leftover brewed coffee is ideal for accentuating the lushness of dulcet treats, from coffee, toffee, or chocolate ice creams and gelatos to chocolate cake, brownies, and cookies. In fact, coffee is said to be the one magic ingredient that takes Ina Garten's famous Beatty's Chocolate Cake to the next level.

But don't stop there — try coffee in a range of main dishes from breakfast (like Chef Matt McClure's red eye gravy recipe) to dinner. Bon Appétit recommends pairing coffee, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and dijon mustard to marinate skirt steak, while celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse uses his homemade coffee syrup in dishes ranging from BBQ ribs to chicken mole. In fact, mole's dark flavors and varied regional histories come alive with the addition of a deeply brewed cup of joe.

But what if you've had a long day and you're just too worn out to cook? No worries — if all else fails, the very last thing you can use that leftover coffee in is one of these 11 Absolute Best Coffee Cocktails to pep up your evening and help turn things around.