15 Absolute Best Coffee Liqueurs

The espresso martini has been around since a New York City-based bartender first invented it in the 1980s. Initially a smash hit, the caffeinated cocktail's popularity saw a gradual decline after its emergence, but has made a major comeback in recent years. While there are countless ingredient swaps to upgrade your espresso martini, the simplest iteration of this mixed drink involves coffee, vodka, and, of course, coffee liqueur. But coffee liqueur isn't just a key ingredient in an espresso martini. There are numerous applications for this popular spirit — one that's pretty darn tasty on its own, as well.

Coffee liqueur is used in everything from white Russians to Colorado bulldogs to mudslides. Given its versatility, it's not a bad idea to keep a bottle (or two) of coffee liqueur at home for those times you're looking to add a boozy punch along with roasty, toasty coffee flavor. But, with a vast selection of coffee liqueurs available today, it can be tough to tell which bottle to go with. 

As an espresso martini fanatic and lover of all things coffee liqueur, I've sampled my fair share of caffeinated spirits and have curated a list of my absolute favorites. From easily sourced and always delicious Kahlua to boutique small-batch offerings like the impeccable St. George NOLA coffee liqueur (distilled in my favorite city), here are my picks for the 15 best coffee liqueurs around today.

Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur

Produced in Australia, Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur is one of the tastiest coffee liqueurs on the market. Mr. Black's founders strove to produce a spirit that not only embodied the flavors of local Australian coffee, but the community-centric culture of the nation continent as a whole, as well. Frankly, it's pretty clear Mr. Black has achieved that goal.

The company places a premium on high-quality ingredients without artificial flavorings or preservatives. It uses coffee brewed in ice-cold, purified water to capture the delicate, nuanced flavors of Arabica beans. A local-to-Australia wheat vodka serves as the alcohol base for this fine liqueur, while a pinch of cane sugar adds the right amount of sweetness. The end result is an enticing liqueur bursting with strong roasted coffee flavor along with notes of dark chocolate and cherry.

Additionally, Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur doesn't have a strong sugar taste — meaning it's a great choice if you're not a fan of super-sweet drinks. Use it to upgrade a black Russian, espresso martini, or try it in a cold fashioned (or an iced coffee take on the old fashioned cocktail).

Grind Espresso Shot Liqueur

A truly fantastic coffee liqueur requires both exceptional coffee and a world-class spirit — a theory that inspired the team at Grind. By assembling a group of trusted barista and bartender friends, Grind unearthed the best of both worlds and developed the ultimate coffee liqueur with its Espresso Shot Liqueur.

This alcohol combines medium-roasted Arabica beans from Colombia with bold, spicy Caribbean rum for a unique, 60-proof coffee liqueur. While many other coffee liqueurs are made with vodka — which is prized for its ability to blend seamlessly with other flavors without injecting a strong taste of its own — Grind opts for Caribbean rum instead.

The brand's Espresso Shot Liqueur infuses the spirit with a delightfully smooth, tropical, slightly spicy taste, making it a unique choice in the world of coffee liqueurs. The warm flavors of espresso and tropical spices make Grind an excellent choice for cozy winter drinks, daiquiris, or just sipping on the rocks.

Luxardo Espresso Liqueur

Luxardo was founded by Girolamo Luxardo in 1821 and remains owned by his family to this day. Now, if a company has been around for over 200 years, it must be doing something right. On that note, most people likely recognize the Luxardo brand for its cherry products. But while the well-known Italian brand sells some delightful cherry liqueurs, it also happens to make a pretty stellar espresso liqueur — one of the better options out there, in fact.

Luxardo Espresso Liqueur is made with a variety of beans from Colombia, Brazil, and Kenya, with Arabica beans making up the majority. Luxurdo employs a 30-day heated infusion process to produce the liqueur (akin to the brewing process for espresso), then incorporates a sugar beet spirit. Sweet, a little smoky, and slightly bitter, Luxardo Espresso Liqueur is a lovely addition to a mudslide or dirty banana, and can even be enjoyed as a simple digestif.

New Deal Coffee Liqueur

Portland's New Deal Distillery has made a name for itself in serving up one-of-a-kind, organic, and all-natural craft spirits. The distillery strives to imbue each of its bottles with Portland's farm-to-table, from-scratch attitude — and its coffee liqueur product provides a perfect example.

New Deal partners with local coffee roaster Marigold Coffee to source beans for a rich cold brew, which is then combined with house-made spirits, organic cane sugar, and agave for a delicate, complex liqueur. Decadently flavored, this liqueur carries a pleasant nuttiness that hums with notes of honey and balsamic vinegar.

Although this is a small-batch spirit, New Deal Coffee Liqueur can be found in liquor stores around the United States, and the distillery also offers shipping. It's not likely to come with a hefty price tag even though it's a handcrafted spirit (though the precise cost will depend on your location). Try it out in a revolver, a white Russian, or whip up Bobby Flay's espresso martini.

St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur

Chicory coffee is one of New Orleans' best-known exports. There's nothing like sipping on a nutty, toasty chicory coffee while munching on a powdered sugar-loaded beignet on the patio at Cafe du Monde in the morning. With that in mind, if you're looking for a little taste of the Big Easy's most famous coffee — one pre-loaded with a boozy kick? Look no further than St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur.

This sweet, earthy liqueur is made from a base of mostly dark and medium coffee beans, specifically Yirgacheffe, which are imported from Ethiopia before being roasted in the Bay Area. The roasted beans are then transported to St. George Spirits, where they undergo a grinding and cold-infusion process with neutral grain spirits.

As a final step, roasted chicory root, rich Madagascar vanilla beans, and cane sugar are blended with the infusion. With a bold flavor containing dark fruit notes and a pleasant bitterness underneath, St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur is the perfect addition to a classic black Russian or a frosty mudslide.

J. Rieger & Co. Caffè Amaro

When it comes to coffee liqueurs, one common complaint regarding the category as a whole is that they're too sweet. To each their own, we say; after all, just as super sugary coffee appeals to some folks, other people enjoy sweeter-tasting coffee liqueurs. But if you're on the fence about coffee-infused spirits and prefer your drinks on the bitter side, J. Rieger & Co.'s Caffè Amaro might win you over.

This distiller's product is rather different from many other coffee liqueurs available today. J. Rieger steeps a mix of botanicals (like juniper berries, orange peel, and star anise) in a corn syrup spirit, then blends this with coffee from Thou Mayest, a coffee roaster located in Kansas City. The mixture is then allowed to sit in whiskey barrels and absorb additional flavor, before cane syrup is added as the final step.

The company's finished Caffè Amaro is a brilliantly nuanced liqueur with a pronounced herbaceousness along with notes of mint, pine, and black licorice. Sip it neat or light on the rocks to fully explore and enjoy the complex flavors.

Caffè Borghetti Caffe Espresso Liqueur

Now, if you like your coffee drinks sweet as pie, Caffè Borghetti's Caffe Espresso Liqueur is probably just what you're looking for. The liqueur — which dates back to the year 1860 — has a fascinating history attached to it. Ugo Borghetti owned a sports bar in Station Square in Ancona, Italy when he developed the caffeinated beverage to provide boozy energy to workers on the Pescana-Ancona rail line.

Caffè Borghetti — which is still based on the namesake's original recipe — is produced by roasting, grinding, and brewing a batch of espresso using premium Arabica and Robusta beans. The coffee is then mixed with alcohol and sugar. Though fairly simple, the process has clearly been successful given the well-loved liqueur's 160-year track record. With rich espresso flavors compounded by the taste of bitter chocolate, sweet vanilla, and hickory, Caffè Borghetti is delicious straight or in cocktails like the mudslide, a tiki Coffee, or the Russian-esque brave bull cocktail.

Cantera Negra Café

Generally speaking, coffee liqueurs made with tequila are less common than those made with other types of alcohol. But that doesn't mean they don't exist — and, lo and behold, Cantera Negra has one such coffee liqueur. The family-owned distillery produces a number of ultra-premium, award-winning tequila bottles, and its Cantera Negra Café is no exception. Now, tequila and coffee might sound like an odd couple, but something about it works. More than that, some bars and restaurants offer tequila-based espresso martinis, so it's certainly not unheard of.

Cantera Negra Café is made with 100% small-batch agave tequila and rich, Arabica coffee beans. This coffee liqueur offers a luxurious, velvety smooth mouthfeel and complex flavors of stone fruit and hazelnut, without the typical bite of tequila. Cantera Negra Café doesn't need much dressing up, either. It's excellent neat, but it can also make a nice addition to Mexican hot chocolate or a standard black Russian.


While it might not be everyone's favorite spirit, to write about coffee liqueurs and fail to mention Kahlúa would be blasphemy. Kahlúa is easily the most recognizable and commercially available coffee liqueur on this list, after all. Kahlúa's original coffee liqueur flavor is what put the brand on the map. It's long been the coffee liqueur of choice for everyone from regular Joe enthusiasts to professional bartenders. Its silky-smooth texture and deep flavors of hazelnut, sweet cream, and maple work well in sweeter cocktails such as white Russians, mudslides, and Colorado bulldogs.

Additionally, Kahlúa coffee liqueur was first produced in Mexico in 1936, meaning it's been around longer than one might think. Made with 100% Arabica coffee and a sugarcane-based rum, the brand produces a wide range of flavors beyond the original, with varieties such as mint mocha, blonde roast, and salted caramel available to consumers in the 2020s.

Jägermeister Cold Brew

With its stag logo and rectangular green bottle, Jägermeister is a well-known botanical digestif. However, the folks at Jäger haven't stopped at the brand's signature spirit over time, and also produce a darn good coffee liqueur: Jägermeister Cold Brew.

Just like the original herbal liqueur, Jägermeister Cold Brew is made with 56 botanical herbs and spices (only the master distillers know the precise recipe), along with 100% cold-brewed Arabica beans. Consequently, notes of bitter black licorice, baking spices (like ginger and cardamom), and citrus are present in the cold brew version — and someone with an advanced palate will likely be able to pick those out.

Now, you can drink Jägermeister Cold Brew as an ice cold shot (as recommended by the brand). But this coffee liqueur is also enjoyable over ice or blended into your favorite frozen coffee-based cocktail. If nothing else, since this cold brew liqueur from Jägermeister tends to be fairly affordable, it might be worth picking up a bottle simply for the price tag.

Costa Tequila Café

Artisanal distillery Costa Tequila made a name for itself after creating what it describes as "the world's first hi/lo tequila." Made with two different types of blue weber agave — one from Mexico's highlands area, the other from the lowlands — the liquor's combination of generally different-tasting tequila base ingredients makes it fairly unique. The brand offers four varieties of tequila as of May 2024 (it prefers to focus on quality over quantity), including a tequila-based coffee liqueur known as Costa Tequila Café.

Costa Tequila Café comes from a blend of 100% Mexican coffee beans and the distiller's specialty tequila. Given this, its alcohol content is considerably higher than the average coffee liqueur at 35% ABV, but the quality of the spirit absolutely shines through. Hints of caramel and vanilla pair well with the subtle floral notes of the milder Mexican coffee. Costa Café works well when it's permitted to shine as the star of a cocktail versus just a mix-in, and this newer coffee liqueur brand offers a lot of fun possibilities to an enterprising bartender.

Patrón XO Cafe

Coffee liqueur connoisseurs all over were greeted with bad news from Bacardi in 2021, when the parent company of Patrón tequila announced it would be discontinuing its popular Patrón XO Cafe. The 70-proof coffee liqueur, made from silver tequila and Arabica coffee, was beloved by its fans, who went so far as to start a Change.org petition begging Bacardi to keep it on store shelves. Sadly, these efforts were unrewarded, and the coffee liqueur was discontinued as planned.

However, XO Cafe fans can rejoice, because this now-cult-favorite coffee liqueur has made a comeback ... kind of. Bacardi has decided to re-issue the bottle as a one-time, limited-quantity release. Both rich and dry, with flavors of chocolate, honey, and vanilla, Patrón XO Cafe makes a delightful after-supper sipper. Alternatively, try it out in an espresso martini or when baking desserts. While it's unclear how long it will remain available, as of June 2024, residents in select states can purchase a standard 750-milliliter bottle of the spirit directly from Patrón.

Skip Rock Distillers Coffee Liqueur

The sustainability movement is beginning to affect the food and beverage world in a major way. In the spirits world, it's often small operations leading the charge, as is the case with Skip Rock Distillers. Based in Snohomish, Washington, Skip Rock is highly regarded for creating excellent spirits in an eco- and community-friendly manner. Partnering with local farmers for ingredients wherever possible, Skip Rock Distillers offers a number of small-batch whiskeys, vodkas, gins, brandies, and liqueurs, including its standout coffee liqueur.

Skip Rock partners with a local coffee roaster, Vista Clara, to procure a blend of coffee beans for the liqueur, emphasizing the distillery's commitment to local partnerships and sustainable sourcing. The coffee liqueur is deep and rich, with notes of roasted nuts, molasses, and faint traces of tropical fruit. It's also won quite a few awards since 2016, and took home a gold medal from the Beverage Tasting Institute in 2021. Skip Rock's coffee liqueur works well in a Bahama mama, a cold fashioned, or caffeine-laced chocolate martini.

Jameson Cold Brew

Jameson is best known throughout the world for its triple-distilled Irish Whiskey, which has been gracing home bar carts and restaurant shelves for what feels like an eternity. But the Irish distillery produces more than just its signature liquor. It offers a handful of additional bottles and flavors, including a cold brew whiskey and coffee liqueur product.

Jameson Cold Brew involves a combination of Arabica coffee beans from both Brazil and Colombia with the distillery's classic triple-distilled whiskey. As a result, this coffee liqueur has a full body and a strong finish (not unlike that of the standard Jameson bottle). Toeing the line between sweet and bitter, each bottle packs notes of chocolate, caramel, and a light smokiness. While Jameson Cold Brew may not be for everyone, it's a pretty affordable option — one that's decent enough to serve as an add-in for an Irish coffee or a mudslide.

Galliano Espresso Liqueur

Galliano is yet another popular distillery with a legacy dating back to the 19th century. The Italian company produces a handful of infused spirits — though not nearly as many as one might expect from such an established brand — and among them is a fantastic espresso liqueur.

Galliano Espresso Liqueur has a fairly unique flavor profile. Arabica and Robusta coffee beans from Colombia, Brazil, India, and Kenya all make an appearance, so the coffee portion is something special. Galliano Espresso Liqueur is also sweet, but there's enough bitterness to balance things out quite nicely. It's full-bodied with notes of chocolate, roasted nuts, and burnt sugar, but there's also a vague — yet perceptible — herbaceousness in the mix.

Galliano Espresso Liqueur makes a great secret ingredient for a Bahama Mama, adding more nuance and layers to the tiki drink. It's also delicious in a black Russian, where the simplicity of vodka allows the complexity of the coffee liqueur to shine.


The coffee liqueurs included in this roundup were selected based on the writer's personal opinions and experience with these products, along with online customer reviews, and are listed in no particular order. The writer has sampled the majority of the liqueurs on this list either at home or in cocktails at bars and restaurants. Included here are personal favorites based primarily on tasting notes. However, other factors taken into consideration included pricing, availability, and customer reviews on product sites.