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Ahead of International Coffee Day on 1st October take a look at our top serves and tips on how to make the most of this cultural moment in your bar—make sure you download our free menus and recipe cards at the end of the article!

Coffee and spirits history

Coffee is an integral part of many people’s lives, whether that is a cup of coffee first thing in the morning or a cup after dinner. As the popularity of this hot drink continues to grow, there is an opportunity to incorporate coffee into our drink menus.

Coffee has been combined with alcohol since the mid-nineteenth century when Viennese coffee houses served drinks such as the Fiaker, a combination of coffee and Cherry Brandy.

In more recent times, the Irish Coffee is one of the best-known coffee and spirit serves. It all started in the 1940s in Foynes Airport in Ireland when passengers from a rerouted flight were greeted with this warm and appetizing drink. In the 1950s a travel writer for a San Francisco newspaper tasted it and loved it so much he persuaded his local bar, Buena Vista Café, to add it to their menu!

The 1970’s, with the creation of the Cream Liqueur category and the introduction of Baileys Irish Cream in 1974, there was a growing interest in combining coffee and liqueurs.

In 1983, the creation of the Vodka espresso (now better known as an Espresso Martini) by bartender Dick Bradsell brought coffee into the world of cocktails, and alcohol, and coffee have been combined in mixed drinks and cocktails by skilled bartenders ever since.

The benefits of coffee mixers and cocktails

With coffee growing in popularity there is a big opportunity to capitalize on this trend and upsell coffee based cocktails and mixed drinks. Coffee based drinks can allow you to tap into different customer occasions, for example, as an after-dinner drink where you could offer a coffee based cocktail rather than a cup of coffee. Coffee cocktails and coffee mixed drinks also give your customers even more variety and choice and could provide a point of difference for your bar.

Making the most of this cultural moment

Occasions like International Coffee Day are not just a day to use a different ingredient in your drinks, they are also a great opportunity for you to showcase new serves in your bar.
A great way to do this is to offer guests a specially curated menu for the day and showcase different drink options that they may not have thought of trying before. It is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and for guests to try something new. A customer may have not tried an Espresso Martini before, but maybe on International Coffee Day they may be more open to the idea.

Take a look at our recommended serves for International Coffee Day.

Flat White Martini

1.75 oz. BAILEYS® Irish Cream Liqueur

0.75 oz. SMIRNOFF® NO 21 Vodka

.75 oz espresso


Add all the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice.

Shake until cold and strain into a martini glass.

Iced Coffee


Brew the coffee and allow it to cool.

Pour the BAILEYS, RON ZACAPA and coffee into a tall highball glass over cubed ice.

Garnish with coconut shavings.

Coffee & BAILEYS®

.75 oz. BAILEYS™ Irish Cream Liqueur

. 4 oz. Coffee


Once the coffee is brewed and the BAILEYS™ is measured, pour BAILEYS and coffee into a mug and enjoy.

Downloadable menu and recipes cards

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

The BAILEYS, SMIRNOFF, RON ZACAPA, and CAPTAIN MORGANwords and associated logos are trademarks ©Diageo 2016.

(*One standard drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol)