This Kentucky Bourbon Coffee is a Southern take on an Irish coffee, and is the perfect drink to keep you warm on chilly days. This caffeinated cocktail is made with freshly-brewed coffee, coffee liqueur, bourbon, and cream.
Last fall, on one of our Bourbon Trail escapades, the husband and I found ourselves dashing through a Lexington parking lot on a blustery, stormy day.
We hurried inside the Town Branch distillery, also toured the brewery next door, and relied on their bourbon tastings to keep us warm as we made our way to the different buildings in the tour.
The tour ended with their delicious, warming, smile-inducing Bluegrass Sundown, a bourbon-ized version of the classic Irish Coffee.
When I came home, I was convinced that I could make my own bourbon-licious coffee!
This Kentucky Bourbon Coffee is the perfect winter cocktail, an easy-to-make, Southern version of the classic Irish coffee.
Want more coffee in your life? Check out our picks for the best small espresso makers!
Can I Use Decaf Coffee?
Absolutely. Decaffeinated coffee is a perfectly acceptable solution to the "caffeinated cocktail conundrum."
If you, like me, are somewhat "caffeine sensitive," you may gaze at caffeinated cocktails in confusion. When does one drink these rich, earthy drinks?
If you're like my husband-- you drink them whenever you want, and never ever find yourself staring at the ceiling at 3am, cursing your poor caffeine-decision-making skills.
If you're like me, you drink them in the early afternoon, or swap the coffee out for decaf.
I'm wild and crazy like that, y'all.
Once you've decided on regular or decaf coffee, and are ready to start cocktailing it up, you're going to need some bourbon, coffee liqueur, a little sugar (if you want!), and cream.
Making Kentucky Bourbon Coffee
Once you've gathered all your ingredients, start mixing your cocktail!
Simply pour coffee into a mug (fill it about halfway), and add the bourbon and coffee liqueur. Stir it all up, and sweeten to taste.
How to Float Cream on a Cocktail
Next, hold a spoon, curved side up, against the inside rim of the mug.
Pour the cream slowly over the spoon so that the cream settles on the top of the drink.
Serve immediately, and sip slowly to stay warm on even the most blustery days!
Can I Make This a Mocktail?
Sure! It won't be exactly the same as the cocktail version, but making this a mocktail is fairly simple.
First, find some bourbon-flavored coffee. How easy this coffee is to find will depend on where you live, but we often find bourbon coffee at bourbon distilleries in the gift shop.
Next, follow the recipe directions as written, but swapping unflavored coffee for bourbon coffee and omitting the bourbon and liqueur.
Kentucky Bourbon Coffee
- 4-6 oz freshly brewed coffee
- 1 ounce bourbon
- ½ ounce coffee liqueur
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional, sweeten to taste)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ ounces heavy cream
- Pour hot coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and coffee liqueur into a mug. Stir, and sweeten to taste with brown sugar (optional).
- Hold a small metal spoon, curved side up, against the inside wall of the mug and just above the coffee drink. Pour cream over spoon. (Spoon will help the cream remain mostly on the top of the drink). Serve immediately.
This cocktail was inspired by Alltech's 'Bluegrass Sundown.'