Boozy Iced Coffee

Ideas for Boozy Iced Coffee concoctions, whether the weather is hot, cold, or somewhere in between!

Boozy iced coffee in glasses with metal straws

If you are a coffee love like me, then you simply HAVE to start your day with coffee. I know that I do.

I typically make a lot more coffee than I need to drink in the morning, then save the leftovers in the fridge so I can have iced coffee later on.

iced coffee with alcohol n glasses with metal straws

On the weekends, I sometimes like to stir a little booze into my iced coffee. It’s like flavoring syrup, but BETTER.

I’ve tried quite a few alcoholic coffee drinks over the years, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you so you can make the perfect iced coffee cocktail for you.

Alcoholic Coffee Drinks: A Flavor Pairing Guide

Choosing the right alcohol to blend with your coffee isn’t just about what’s available on your liquor shelf; it’s also about understanding how the unique flavors of each type of alcohol can complement the rich, complex notes in coffee. Here are some insights on popular choices and why they work well.

While you might prefer some of these alcohol suggestions for certain times of the year, like Cinnamon Whiskey in the winter and Coconut Rum in the summer, there are no hard and fast rules here, so feel free to enjoy your drink in any season.

Whiskey: Whiskey, particularly bourbon, has long been a favorite pairing with coffee due to its complex character and undertones of caramel and vanilla. The subtle sweetness and warm, smoky notes of whiskey can bring out the richness in a robust coffee. Use an Irish Whiskey with some heavy cream lightly whipped and a little brown sugar and you will think you are in Ireland with an Iced Irish Coffee.

Rum: Offering a sugarcane sweetness and often hints of tropical flavors, rum makes a delightful companion to coffee. The natural sweetness of rum can balance the bitterness of the coffee, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. Depending on the variety, rum can introduce notes of vanilla, banana, or coconut to your iced coffee, giving it a bit of a tropical twist. For a classic combination, consider using a good quality, aged rum. The deep caramel and toasted sugar flavors of aged rum can bring a richness to your iced coffee, making it taste like a caffeinated dessert in a glass. Rum’s inherent sweetness can reduce the need for additional sweeteners in your coffee. If you prefer your coffee on the sweeter side, however, feel free to add a tsp or tbsp of simple syrup or your preferred sweetener. The result is an iced coffee with a delightful depth of flavor, a touch of sweetness, and a deliciously smooth finish.

Spiced Rum: Spiced rum, like Captain Morgan’s, provides warmth and sweetness, accentuated by spices that resonate beautifully with coffee. This spirit’s sweet, spicy character plays up coffee’s dark, full-bodied nature, making it an ideal cold-weather pick-me-up.

Brandy: The rich, fruity, and slightly sweet depth of brandy beautifully complements the bitter notes of coffee. Brandy, with its warming, oak-aged flavors, can elevate your iced coffee into an indulgent and sophisticated drink. It pairs particularly well with medium to dark roast coffees, which have the strong, bold flavors needed to balance the robust taste of brandy. For a delightful variation, consider creating an Iced Spanish Coffee. While the traditional Spanish Coffee, or carajillo, is served hot, an iced version can be just as enjoyable. To create this cocktail, start by pouring brandy and a coffee-flavored liqueur, like Kahlua, into a glass. Add your chilled coffee and stir to combine these ingredients. Then, add ice cubes to cool the mixture down. To finish, top it off with a generous dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkle some nutmeg or cinnamon on top for added flavor. The resulting Iced Spanish Coffee is a refreshing, creamy, and spiced drink, perfect for a warm afternoon.

Cinnamon Whiskey (like Fireball or Sinfire) or Cinnamon Schnapps (like Goldschlager): The bold, spicy heat of cinnamon can add an interesting twist to your iced coffee. It tends to pull forward the underlying spice notes found in certain coffee roasts, adding a warming sensation that’s particularly delightful in colder months.

Peppermint Schnapps: Peppermint Schnapps (like Rumple Minze) provides a refreshing, cooling counterpoint to the natural bitterness of coffee. The vibrant minty notes make it a great addition to an iced coffee on a hot summer day.

Amaretto Liqueur: This sweet, slightly bitter almond liqueur pairs wonderfully with coffee, providing a nutty flavor and aromatic depth. It can help highlight the natural nuttiness of some coffee roasts for a delicious amaretto coffee.

Coffee Liqueur (like Kahlua): Coffee liqueur doubles down on the coffee flavor, introducing deeper, more intense coffee notes. This can create a delightful layering effect, making each sip a bit more complex and interesting. Add some vodka and heavy cream and you have a White Russian.

Irish Cream (like Bailey’s): Irish cream offers a creamy, rich blend of flavors, including chocolate, cream, and a touch of Irish whiskey. It lends a luxurious texture and a delightful sweetness to iced coffee.

Vodka: Vodka’s relatively neutral flavor makes it a versatile choice for alcoholic coffee drinks. It adds a kick without altering the coffee’s original flavor profile. This makes vodka an excellent option if you really want to highlight the flavor of your coffee itself or any other added flavors like cream or syrup. It pairs well with any type of roast, but particularly with a medium or dark roast where the bold coffee flavors can shine. Consider using a high-quality vodka for a smoother taste.

Flavored Vodkas: Flavored vodkas can bring an additional sweetness and flavor theme to your iced coffee. They’re incredibly versatile and can serve to highlight a variety of coffee’s more subtle notes. Here are a few that work particularly well:

  • Vanilla Vodka: This is a natural fit with coffee. The smooth, sweet vanilla flavor enhances the coffee’s natural sweetness and adds a creamy note that makes the drink feel more indulgent. It pairs well with any roast level.
  • Caramel Vodka: Caramel and coffee are a classic combination. The sweet, slightly burnt sugar flavor of caramel vodka adds richness and depth to your iced coffee, and it pairs particularly well with a medium or dark roast.
  • Whipped Cream Vodka: For a lighter, sweet option, try whipped cream vodka. It’s like adding a dollop of whipped cream, but with a boozy twist!
  • Espresso Vodka: For a double hit of coffee flavor, try espresso vodka. This rich, coffee-flavored vodka enhances the natural coffee flavor and adds an extra punch. It’s a great choice for a particularly robust iced coffee.
  • Chocolate Vodka: If you love mochas, you’ll enjoy chocolate vodka in your iced coffee. The sweet, cocoa flavor of the vodka pairs well with the bitter notes in the coffee for a delicious treat. Try it with a dark roast for a real coffeehouse experience.
  • Citrus Vodka: For a refreshing, summer version of boozy iced coffee, try a citrus vodka. The bright, acidic notes of citrus can lighten up the coffee and add an interesting contrast. It pairs best with a light or medium roast.

Hazelnut Liqueur (like Frangelico’s): Hazelnut liqueur offers a warm, nutty sweetness that matches well with coffee’s naturally robust flavors. The toasty undertones in this liqueur make it a perfect pairing for a cold, crisp day.

Rum + Butter Extract: Trust me on this one. The combination is a sweet, rich surprise, creating a cozy buttered rum effect that’s perfect for chilly days.

Orange Liqueur (Triple Sec or Cointreau): Add a touch of citrus brightness to your coffee with an orange liqueur.

Coconut Rum: Lend a tropical touch to your iced coffee with coconut rum, adding a refreshing and slightly sweet taste.

Gin: Mixing gin with iced coffee creates a unique and sophisticated drink. The botanical flavors of gin, such as juniper, citrus peel, and other herbs, can add a complex, aromatic note to the coffee. It creates an interesting contrast with the rich, roasted flavors of the coffee. This combination works best with a light or medium roast, as the more subtle coffee flavors can complement the gin without overpowering it. For a touch of sweetness, consider adding a bit of simple syrup or honey, or adding a splash of tonic water for a fizzy, gin and tonic coffee twist. Garnish with lemon peel and enjoy this refreshing and surprising mix on a hot summer afternoon for a sophisticated twist on your regular iced coffee.

alcohol coffee drinks in glasses with metal straws

Occasion or Mood-Based Mix-Ins

Holiday Season Mix-In – Eggnog Liqueur: With its creamy richness and warm spices, eggnog liqueur adds a festive twist to your iced coffee.

Summertime Refresher Mix-In – Limoncello: Give your iced coffee a bright and zesty edge with limoncello. It’s like a burst of summer sunshine in your glass!

Romantic Date Mix-In – Chocolate Liqueur: Chocolate and coffee are a match made in heaven, and a splash of chocolate liqueur can turn your iced coffee into a sweet treat for a romantic date.

Weekend Brunch Mix-In – Prosecco: Pour a splash of Prosecco into your iced coffee for a fizzy twist. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for a lazy weekend brunch.

Fall Festivities Mix-In – Pumpkin Spice Liqueur: Nothing screams fall more than pumpkin spice. A splash of pumpkin spice liqueur can infuse your iced coffee with the cozy flavors of autumn in your favorite coffee mug.

Chill Out Mix-In – Lavender Liqueur: The floral notes of lavender liqueur can add a calming and relaxing dimension to your iced coffee, perfect for a chill-out session.

Tropical Vacation Mix-In – Pineapple Rum or Banana Liqueur: Feel like you’re on a tropical getaway with these fruit-forward liqueurs. Both options lend a fun, tropical twist to your iced coffee.

Remember, the best alcohol for your alcohol coffee drinks might depend on your personal preference and the specific taste profile of the coffee you’re using. Feel free to experiment and find the mix that you love the most. After all, the joy of creating your own spiked iced coffee is in the discovery of flavors and the satisfaction of crafting a drink that’s uniquely yours. Enjoy the journey and feel free to share your coffee cocktails in the comment section below!

Also, if you have a shaker, then shake up an Espresso Martini and pour it into a martini glass, it is so good!

Alright, these coffee alcohol drink recipes are starting to make me pretty darn thirsty.

I hope you see some new ideas here to expand your caffeinated joy from the standards of vodka and coffee or whiskey and coffee.

Maximizing Flavor: Coffee Roast and Alcohol Pairing Guide

Creating the perfect boozy iced coffee involves more than just mixing coffee and your chosen spirit. The specific roast of your coffee can dramatically affect the overall flavor of your drink. By thoughtfully pairing the roast with your chosen alcohol, you can enhance both flavors for a more complex, enjoyable beverage. Here’s a guide to help you pair your coffee roast with the right alcohol:

Light Roast: Light roast coffee tends to have a more acidic, brighter flavor with subtle fruity or floral notes. Spirits like gin, which also have floral elements, or vodka, which adds little flavor of its own, can pair well with light roast coffee. A citrus-flavored liqueur like Limoncello could also complement the bright notes of a light roast.

Medium Roast: Medium roast coffee is balanced in flavor, aroma, and acidity. It often has more pronounced flavor characteristics that can range from fruity to spicy. Consider pairing with whiskey or rum, which have complexity and depth but won’t overpower the coffee’s flavor.

Dark Roast: Dark roast coffee is bold and robust, with a full body and often notes of chocolate or nuts. Rich, flavorful spirits like coffee liqueur, chocolate liqueur, or nut-flavored spirits such as amaretto (almond) or Frangelico’s (hazelnut) can stand up to and complement the strong flavors of a dark roast.

Espresso Roast: Espresso roast is dark and bold, but also has a slight sweetness to it. This roast pairs well with sweet and creamy liqueurs like Bailey’s Irish Cream or a sweet rum like Spiced Rum.

spiked iced coffee concoctions in glasses on a table

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use decaffeinated coffee for this recipe?

Yes, you can. The type of coffee you use, whether caffeinated or decaffeinated, won’t affect the flavor of the drink. It just depends on your personal preference or caffeine sensitivity.

What kind of cream should I use?

Any type of cream can be used for this recipe. Heavy cream will provide a rich and creamy texture, while half-and-half or milk will be lighter. For a dairy-free option, you can use alternatives like almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk.

Can I use flavored coffee instead of plain?

Yes, using flavored coffee can add another dimension to your boozy iced coffee. Just be sure to choose a flavor that complements your chosen alcohol.

Can I use hot coffee instead of chilled?

While you can use hot coffee, it’s recommended to chill it first so that it doesn’t melt the ice too quickly. If the ice melts too fast, your iced coffee may become watered down.

What if I don’t like my coffee sweet?

The recipe is adaptable to your taste. If you prefer your coffee without added sweetness, simply omit the simple syrup or any other sweeteners.

Can I make a large batch ahead of time?

Absolutely, you can make a large batch of the coffee and store it in the refrigerator. However, it’s best to add the alcohol and cream just before serving to ensure the best flavor and texture.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of this drink?

Yes, for those who prefer to skip the alcohol, there are plenty of non-alcoholic mix-ins that can add a burst of flavor and excitement to your iced coffee. Let’s explore a variety of delicious options that can transform your everyday iced coffee into an extraordinary treat:

Syrups: Simple syrup, vanilla syrup, caramel syrup, or even more unique flavors like lavender or coconut, can add sweetness and extra flavor to your iced coffee. You can easily purchase these at the store, or make your own at home for a more customized flavor.

Spices: Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom can add warmth and complexity to your iced coffee. They can be mixed directly into the coffee or sprinkled on top for a burst of flavor.

Extracts: Flavor extracts such as vanilla, almond, mint, or coconut can add a powerful punch of flavor to your coffee. Just be cautious as extracts are quite concentrated – a little goes a long way!

Dairy and Non-Dairy Creamers: Regular milk, half-and-half, or a flavored creamer can add creaminess to your iced coffee. For a dairy-free option, consider almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, or coconut milk. These can also provide additional flavors that complement the coffee.

Chocolate or Caramel Sauce: For a dessert-like treat, try mixing in some chocolate or caramel sauce. They pair excellently with coffee and can make your drink feel like a decadent indulgence.

Whipped Cream: A dollop of whipped cream on top of your iced coffee not only adds sweetness and creaminess but also makes it look fancy and appealing.

Fruit Purees: For a unique twist, try adding a small amount of fruit puree like strawberry, peach, or raspberry. This will add a touch of fruity sweetness and can pair well with many of the above additions.

Remember, everyone’s taste preferences are different, so feel free to experiment with these mix-ins to find your favorite combination. Happy mixing!

Can I use a different type of alcohol than those suggested?

Of course! While the suggested alcohols pair particularly well with coffee, feel free to experiment with others according to your personal preferences. Remember, it’s all about discovering what you enjoy!

Do I need to adjust the amount of alcohol if I’m using a flavored vodka?

Not necessarily, the quantity of alcohol mostly depends on your taste preference. If you want a stronger alcohol flavor, you might add a little more, or if you prefer a more subtle taste, add a bit less.

Can I use this recipe for a coffee cocktail party?

Absolutely, this recipe is perfect for a coffee cocktail party! You can create a DIY alcoholic iced coffee bar with different types of roasts, alcohol, and mix-ins so your guests can make their own personalized drinks.

Can I use cold brew coffee for these drinks?

Absolutely, you can use cold brew coffee in these drinks. In fact, cold brew coffee can make your boozy iced coffee even more delicious. Cold brew is known for its smooth and slightly sweet flavor, making it a perfect base for these boozy iced coffee mix-ins.

Cold brew coffee is less acidic than regular brewed coffee, which can help to highlight the flavors of the alcohol and any additional mix-ins you choose. It’s a particularly good choice if you’re using an alcohol with complex flavors, like whiskey or spiced rum, as the smooth flavor of the cold brew won’t compete with the alcohol.

To use cold brew coffee in the recipe, simply replace the chilled strong coffee with cold brew. Everything else in the recipe can remain the same. If you’re making your own cold brew, remember that it needs to steep for a longer period of time (usually 12 to 24 hours), so plan accordingly!

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Coffee Alcohol Drinks

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Alcoholic coffee drinks with ice on table

Boozy Iced Coffee Recipe

Ideas for boozy iced coffee concoctions, whether the weather is hot, cold, or somewhere in between!
4.3 from 23 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Beverages
Cuisine: European
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 168kcal
Author: Linda
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  • 8 ounces chilled strong coffee
  • 1 ounce booze of choice
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cream - if desired


  • Place the coffee and booze in a tall glass. Stir with a spoon, then top with ice. Drizzle cream over the top (if desired) and enjoy!


If you like your coffee sweet, you can also add some simple syrup.
If you don’t have simple syrup, just add regular sugar to your coffee when it is still hot so it dissolves. Then, pop it in the fridge to cool and use it as directed in the recipe.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 15mg | Sugar: 1g

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  1. 5 stars
    Great info. Was looking for something to cool me down after I got home from work. I also save brewed coffee I don’t finish in a tumbler in the fridge.