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Ahead of International Coffee Day on the 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 drinks 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 1940’s in Foynes Airport in Ireland when passengers from a rerouted flight were greeted with this warm and appetising drink. In the 1950’s 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!

In 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

The benefits of coffee mixers and cocktails

With coffee growing in popularity there is a big opportunity to capitalise 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 bespoke 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


25ml SMIRNOFF® NO 21

25ml Espresso


Add all the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice.

Shake until cold and strain into a martini glass.

(1.9 standard drinks – 2.4 units per serve)

Iced Coffee



90ml Cooled coffee

Cubed ice

Shavings of coconut


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.

(1.7 standard drinks – 2.2 units per serve)

Coffee & BAILEYS®


110ml Coffee


Once the coffee is brewed and the BAILEYS™ is measured, pour both of the ingredients into a mug.

(0.4 standard drinks - 0.8 units per serve)

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!

Downloaded the menu and recipe cards? Show us it in your bar. Tweet us at @diageobarac, share your photos on Instagram @diageobarac or post on our Facebook page.
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The BAILEYS, SMIRNOFF, RON ZACAPA, and CAPTAIN MORGANwords and associated logos are trademarks ©Diageo 2016.

(*One standard drink contains 8g of alcohol)