11 Liqueurs Your Coffee Mug is Crying Out For

My Fellow Inebriates,

The cat likes it too.

For anybody who isn’t in retail, this is a lazy week. And what’s the best way to start a lazy day? Why, a booze/coffee combo. Even if you’re about to get on the bus for work, a little shot of something in your java can mellow out your morning in the very best way. And it’s a great way to delay any workout resolutions—it’s pretty hard to get through an aerobics class with a headful of crème de menthe. Working out is for next year. There’s precious little time left in 2011 to drink.

So what shall we pour?

We’ve got a zillion choices, so let’s break it down.

Chocolate liqueurs. A natural with coffee, these elixirs include crème de cacao, Godiva white chocolate, and a host of flavored variants that morph coffee from a workaday wake-up tool to an earth-shattering tango in the mouth. Yes, do it! Pour Mozart into your coffee (better still, pour a small amount of coffee into your Mozart) and start your day on a high. Have to work? Take your flask on the bus. Mmmmmmmm.

Fruit liqueurs. From orchard to pineapple grove, these products delight and surprise. But will they work in your coffee? Absolutely! Think Cointreau or Malibu or—for sporting tastebuds—Midori melon or Limoncello. It’s not gross; it’s breakfast, and it will make your day better.

Honey liqueurs. Honey and coffee are another natural pair, so up the ante by adding Drambuie or Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey. You’ve nowhere to go, right?

Too strong to drink without alcohol.

Coffee liqueurs. Coffee + Coffee = Yum. Especially if your parents make nuclear coffee the way mine do. When a spoon can stand up in your coffee, there’s no point trying to make something stand out in it. Add some Kahlua, Tia Maria or Starbucks.

Flower liqueurs. I dare you to add one of these weird things to your coffee: Crème de Rose, Lavender Liqueur, or Shan Hibiscus. Why not? You know I would.

Nutty liqueurs. These do the dance with coffee better than most liqueurs, and you may need some to help you recover from your lavender experiment. Frangelico, Amaretto, Peanut Lolita—all of these are go-for-takeoff.

Whiskey liqueurs. Sometimes you just want the taste of booze in your coffee. Wild Turkey, Irish Mist, Glenturret liqueur are all good add-ins when you just want a hit but you feel too socially constrained to drink the stuff straight.

Bust out and wear a dress.

Cream liqueurs. If you normally add cream to your coffee, these are a logical substitute. Booze manufacturers make cream of everything. Some Dulce de Leche? Mmmm. Heather Cream? No doubt. Any of the Irish cream array? You bet your widening ass. Tequila Rose? I probably get to keep that for myself 😉

Berry liqueurs. Weird alone, never mind with coffee, these are a must-serve when your guests have stayed the night after New Year’s and you just want them to get the hell out.

Anise liqueurs. As natural as these are with coffee in many areas of the world, Ouzo java might knock you out with its shocking heaviness and ineradicable aftertaste. Also good for giving sleepover guests the heave-ho.

Herbal liqueurs. You thought Pernod and Crème de Cassis were weird with coffee? Try Jagermeister in your mug. Or Minttu (peppermint). How about Everglo (tequila/vodka/caffeine/ginseng)? Whoa! I love these drinks when I have absolutely no other options.

When in doubt and all else fails, add Southern Comfort. Ahhhhhh.

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