Close up espresso martini in a martini glass

Blogs & Inspiration

Using Coffee in Cocktails

The increasing popularity and variety of coffee inspired us to dive a little deeper into the role of this much-loved beverage in cocktails. Enjoy our top tips and suggested serves for inspiration on making coffee the hero of your drinks.


Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


Coffee and Cocktails: The Perfect Blend

For many of us, coffee is the first thought of our day; an integral part of our daily lives. Aside from a morning brew or a cup after dinner, coffee can also be enjoyed in creative cocktails – a combination that has been in existence since the mid-nineteenth century.  

Here’s a whistle stop tour on how the coffee cocktail combination came about: 

Mid 1900s – Viennese coffee houses kick-started the revelation by serving the Fiaker – a delicious combination of coffee and cherry brandy.  

1940s – Enter the Irish coffee. Passengers traveling through Foynes airport in Ireland were greeted with the now well-known drink as a warm welcome home.  

1950s – Irish Coffee goes global. An American travel writer had his first taste of the Irish Coffee, and it was love at first sip; so much so that he persuaded his local bar, the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco, to add it to their menu!  

1970s – Creation of the cream liqueur. With that, the world-renowned Baileys Irish Cream stole hearts globally and sparked a growing interest in combining coffee and liqueurs.  

1980s – Enter the Espresso Martini (previously known as the vodka espresso). A delicious creation by world-renowned bartender Dick Bradsell.


In its many forms, coffee has boomed in popularity over the last decade and provides an opportunity for bartenders to mix up cocktails with the familiar flavor we all know and love.    

Gain inspiration from our recommended serves and downloadable menu, the perfect read for International Coffee Day. 

Downloadable Menu and Recipe Cards

Get ready for International Coffee Day now and download our free ‘Baileys & Coffee’ menu and recipe cards for your bar! 

Key Takeaways

  • Coffee and alcohol have been combined since the mid-1900s when Viennese coffee houses served drinks such as the Fiaker.
  • The Espresso Martini that we know and love today was created by bartender Dick Bradsell in the 1980s.  
  • There is an opportunity for bartenders to incorporate coffee into their drinks menus to mark cultural moments such as International Coffee Day.


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