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Good liquors/liqueurs with which to spike coffee

I have been in a coffee mood since the weather turned cold, and I was wondering what ideas others have for what liquors to add.

Two I have tried so far that really stand out are grappa and sambuca. Bourbon and spiced/dark rum have also been good.

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  1. Years back, someone brought a bottle of Tuaca to a party we had and left it. It wasn't until I started spiking coffee with it a few months back that I found a decent use for it. Also, Grand Marnier is surprisingly nice in coffee.

    1. My old man always made his "Irish Coffee" with Irish Mist.

      You can argue it is/is not an Irish coffee but it is inarguably tasty.

      1. bailey's irish cream

        1 Reply
        1. re: alkapal

          Al's are three of my go-tos.


          Last year a friend of mine gave me a bottle of Kahlua peppermint mocha, which was very good. I just got another bottle of that from the clearance rack.

          ETA: How did I forget Jameson's? The original Irish coffee.

          1. Thirding Kahlua, it's a natural match! For a little more punch, Jack Daniels. They make a honey one now that would be very nice.

            1. I'll throw this out there for a little extra "kick" several vodka makers have flavored vodkas but I really like Van Goh's espresso vodka. They have an espresso and a double espresso, the double is dark the single is clear. During the summer when it's too warm for me to have sambucca with my coffee I have found these to be lighter and VERY tasty after dinner sipping vodka's.

              Anisette if you like something sweeter. Drambui and or Amaretto are nice as well.

                1. Hiram Walker Coffee Flavored Brandy

                  1. I guess I'm something of a "purist," in that the only thing I add to coffee is Irish whisky and partially beaten whipping cream. I'll add grappa to an espresso from time-to-time, but for the most part, I prefer my liqueurs (Sambucca, B&B, Grand Marnier, Amaretto, etc., etc.) straight up, to sip along side my coffee/espresso. They act as a nice counter-point to one another.

                    Besides, espresso often gets cold too fast, unless I use my double-walled stainless steel cups.

                    Admittedly that might not be the case were I, say, ice fishing or sitting, wet and cold, in a duck blind . . . but I don't do that either.

                    / / / / /

                    QUESTION FOR THE GROUP:

                    I find that I rarely make pourover (brewed) coffee at home, preferring to use the commercial espresso machine I have installed in my kitchen. But the *other* drawback to ordering "coffee drinks" out is the quality of the coffee -- which I find, in bars and restaurants, is often so poor that I can't stand to drink it . . . think of something like having cheap Armenian brandy instead of your usual Cognac, or Early Times instead of Pappy Van Winkle.

                    Anyone else have that issue with coffee?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: zin1953

                      My Dad's secret to perfect Irish coffee was whiskey plus Kahlua,instead of Demararra sugar. Guess you can tell I'm a Kahlua nut, it runs in both sides of the family.

                      Too bad they started adding corn syrup, now I think twice before picking up a bottle.

                      1. re: zin1953

                        I agree, most restaurants use a commercial grade Columbian coffee that was pre ground. Why bother?

                        In response to the original post, I typically add cognac to my coffee. Tia Maria is not bad but I don't use sugar so the sweet stuff is not my first choice.

                      2. Sambuca is my favorite, and the only thing that could make my mother's percolated Maxwell House coffee drinkable, as far as I was concerned. Amaretto and Frangelico were also popular additions to coffee around the holidays.

                        1 Reply
                        1. Bourbon
                          Spanish Brandy de Jerez
                          Licor 43
                          I'm not really a cream liqueur fan and like my coffee black, but at Thanskgiving last year my friend served coffee spiked with Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream liqueuer that he bought at the distillery. It was surprisingly tasty. I haven't seen it in PA or NJ, but if you see it in a store near you maybe try it out.

                          1. I've found that many spirits and liqueurs, once added to hot coffee, get much rougher and "hot"/alcoholic tasting and it ruins them.

                            1. An interesting one is Xtabentun, a honey-anise liqueur made in the Yucatan. Very inexpensive there, a bit higher here if you can find it.