For a long time coffee liqueur was defined almost entirely by Kahlúa. Cast your mind back to 2004 and see if you can even name another bottle. But today, other wonderful coffee spirits dot the landscape, like House Spirits, Mr. Black and J. Rieger’s coffee amaro—all of which are worth swirling into a White Russian—but it’s also remarkably easy to make your own. And it’s especially delicious and foolproof when you make it with cold brew coffee.
By using cold brew coffee instead of hot, you get a completely different result. The flavor profile of cold brew is richer and more chocolatey than hot coffee, so you’ll end up with a liqueur that can work in cocktails (like the aforementioned White Russians as well as Espresso Martinis, Mudslides or Dirty Bananas). It can also be sipped on its own after dinner or even dumped on ice cream, if that’s your thing. If you want to try your hand at a little caffeinated DIY, here’s how to make your own cold brew coffee liqueur: