Java Jivin': 6 Great Coffee Cocktails

Are you a Caffiend?

If you're a spirits enthusiast and you love coffee, the last few years have been a java-sipping paradise for you.

Coffee cocktails have been one of the hottest trends to hit the American bar scene in recent years. Sure, the ubiquitous Irish Coffee has been a bar and restaurant staple for generations, but coffee cocktails have now even evolved way past espresso martinis and coffee cordials. Now, you're likely to find some sort of coffee concoction on almost any cool bar menu you encounter. Cold brew Negronis. Coffee Old Fashioneds. Affogato Martinis. The coffee buzz can simply not be ignored.


Scandinavians have long known that coffee and aquavit are a great match. In fact, many Nordic folks simply add aquavit directly to their coffee and call it a day (or night). We've found that Batch 22 is an exceptional partner for coffee, and we've developed a bunch of coffee-centric aquavit cocktails that we'd like to share with you here.


We've spent the last couple of years telling people that we don't like the traditional aquavit flavors of fennel and anise, but in some cases, those flavors are actually a positive addition for us. For coffee cocktails in particular, an anise component combines beautifully with the coffee and the aquavit base to create a wonderfully rich and luxurious dessert elixir.

In a shaker with ice combine:

2 oz. Batch 22
.5 oz. Sambuca
.75 oz. First Light Coffee Whiskey
1.5 oz. espresso, freshly brewed
3 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes chocolate bitters

Shake until well-chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with coffee beans.

Bon Giorno

Here's a great coffee cocktail that packs a punch and works as well after dinner as it does as an eye-opener in the morning. The cocktail was inspired by a recipe that originally used cognac, but we wanted it to be a bit less heavy, sweet, and boozy, so we used Batch 22 instead. Fantastico.


1.5 oz. Batch 22
1/2 oz. Mario's Hard Espresso
1/2 oz. Averna amaro
1/2 oz. Xila liqueur (like a spicy mezcal)
1/2 oz. cold-brew coffee*
2 dashes chocolate bitters
Mint leaf for garnish

Add the Batch 22, Mario's coffee liqueur, amaro, Xila liqueur, cold-brew coffee, and chocolate bitters into a shaker with ice and shake briefly to chill. Strain into a double rocks glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with a large fresh mint leaf.
*Use your favorite bottled cold-brew coffee or make it yourself by soaking 140 grams ground coffee beans in a coffee filter with 32 oz. water for 12 hours. After steeping, remove the grounds from the coffee filter.


When we found out that San Diego-based Seven Seas Coffee Roasters was going to join Batch 22 as part of the K9 Foundation Gala in New York City last year, we added a special espresso drink to the menu. This one is a hazelnut riff on the classic White Russian.

In a glass with ice mix:

1.5 oz. Batch 22
1 oz. Frangelico
.5 oz. Cream
2 oz. Espresso

Garnish with coffee beans, if desired.

The Chi Town Brick

Tracy, the wife of Downtime Cocktails co-founder Bruce, spent a good part of her childhood in Chicago. She remembers one of her favorite ice cream treats was called "Chicago Brick," a version of which combined the flavors of coffee, orange, and vanilla in layers, much like the more common Neapolitan, which is chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.

While R&D-ing coffee cocktails that use Batch, this recipe became an instant winner with Tracy, so Bruce had no choice but to put it in the permanent rotation.



In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine:
1.5 oz. Batch 22
1 oz. Mario's Hard Espresso
.5 oz. Cointreau (or other quality orange liqueur)

Shake to chill well and strain into a chilled martini or Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Maui Sunset

Most coffee cocktails incorporate cream or egg whites in some form. Very few combine coffee with soda, which creates an entirely different experience. This recipe is a wonderful and unique mélange of tropical notes, smoke, and herbaceousness that is simultaneously lux but refreshing.


1 oz. Batch 22
1 oz. Drambuie
2 oz. Cold brew concentrate
1 oz. Pineapple juice
1-2 dashes smoke bitters (start with 1, add more if desired)
Club soda (to top)
Garnish: 3 fresh basil leaves
Combine all the ingredients, except the club soda, in a shaker with ice and shake. Double-strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass, and top with club soda. Garnish with 3 fresh basil leaves.

Mario's Esperanto

We created this cocktail as a collaboration with our good friend Joe Grasso, who's the founder of Mario's Hard Espresso. Joe founded his company with a recipe that his father created, and everything Joe does—the core identity of his brand—is, in some way, an homage to his dad. We like that.

We recently featured this cocktail as part of our Father's Day lineup, but it's so good we couldn't leave it out here.

Like classic espresso, this dessert cocktail combines flavors of coffee and lemon with some of the added zing of Batch's herbs and botanicals.


In a shaker with ice, combine:

2 oz. Batch 22
2 oz. Mario's Hard Espresso
1 oz. Limoncello

Shake well to chill. Pour into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel twist.

RECIPES NOTE: Downtime Cocktails is proud to be a founding member of the SoCal Spirits Collective, which promotes and supports local, independent SoCal spirits brands. Because we seek to bolster our fellow members wherever possible, we will suggest SCSC brands in the recipes we publish. For information on all the participating brands and the wonderful spirits they produce, go to