How to Soak Coffee Beans in Alcohol: A Quick Guide 


These days, liquor is flavored like just about anything, from gummy bears to cotton candy and Swedish Fish. Coffee lovers who also like adult beverages can combine the two by soaking their coffee beans in alcohol. How is it done?

Here’s how to soak coffee beans in alcohol:

  • Pour your preferred alcohol into a glass 
  • Add coffee beans, up to .25 ounces per 1.5 ounces of alcohol
  • Let the beans soak for at least 24 hours 
  • Pour the coffee beans through a sieve
  • Enjoy your beverage

You might still have more questions about soaking coffee beans in alcohol, such as which alcohol to use or what the coffee-infused alcohol will taste like. Make sure you keep reading, as we’ll answer those questions and more ahead!

Why Soak Coffee Beans in Alcohol?

Coffee has long been the beverage of choice for those who need a caffeinated jolt to wake them up in the morning or to get through a slow afternoon slump. Yet you don’t always have to drink coffee to get caffeine.

No, we’re not talking about sodas or energy drinks. You can infuse your favorite alcohol with the caffeinated goodness of coffee beans. 

But why do this? Well, for one, coffee and alcohol have always been good bedfellows. Bailey’s Irish Cream, for instance, is a coffee-tasting alcoholic beverage. 

Plus, soaking coffee beans in alcohol is a nice way to get some energy without drinking coffee. We do want to temper your expectations here a bit though. If you’re expecting your alcohol to be as caffeinated as a cup of coffee, that won’t be the case.

Why? Alcohol depresses the caffeine in coffee beans. It will still be in there, possibly enough to increase your energy, but not to the same extent as if you just drank straight coffee. 

Which Liquors Do You Soak Coffee Beans in? 

Before we get into the steps on how to soak your coffee beans in alcohol, you have to select the type of alcohol you want. Liqueurs and certain alcohols tend to taste great with the roasty dark notes of coffee. Here are some options you can try.

Brandy

The fruity flavor of brandy might become a little less apparent by steeping in coffee beans, but the new flavor profile you get is so much more interesting. Might we recommend vanilla-flavored cognac, a type of French brandy? Your beverage will taste like you’re sipping on a creamy, delicious milkshake! 

Rum

Rum and coffee make a fantastic couple, especially when you mix your caffeinated alcoholic beverage with some whipped cream. You might save a few coffee beans, cover them in chocolate, and add them as a garnish to the beverage. 

Sambuca

This liqueur from Italy tastes like anise, a spice with a natural licorice-like flavor. It pairs up nicely with soaked coffee beans. You’ll quite like the taste they impart after being left in a glass of sambuca for a while. 

Whiskey 

Considering that Bailey’s is made with whiskey, you might know from experience that whiskey and coffee are a match made in heaven. To make your whiskey taste more original than a Bailey’s, try experimenting by soaking all sorts of coffee beans in the alcohol. 

Tequila

The spicy sweetness of tequila might not seem like it’d be a good complement to coffee, but quite the contrary! You might want to offset some of the spiciness by stirring in a dash of cinnamon sugar and maybe a touch of cream. 

Bourbon

Both bourbon and coffee are strong flavors, yet when melded, they go together surprisingly well. To make coffee-infused bourbon even more delectable, try adding a drizzle of butterscotch, but don’t go overboard! 

Vodka

Vodka might seem like a strange choice for soaking coffee beans, but it really isn’t. By adding a touch of sweetness with cardamom spice or vanilla, vodka with coffee tastes perfectly palatable. 

Here’s How to Soak Coffee Beans in Alcohol

Okay, you’ve chosen the alcohol you want and now you’re quite eager to soak coffee beans in it. Per the intro, here’s how it’s done.

Step 1: Transfer the alcohol to a glass. If you want to share your coffee-infused alcohol with a lucky recipient, then you can pour a large glass. Otherwise, you just need enough for one.

Step 2: Pour in your coffee beans. If you have 1.5 ounces of alcohol, then you need up to .25 ounces of beans. Of course, you can use fewer if you want a subtler coffee flavor, but don’t use more. The coffee will overpower the alcohol and the beverage won’t taste as you were expecting.

Step 3: The coffee beans can’t impart their flavor if they only soak for five minutes, so give them upwards of 24 hours. You can wait even longer than that if you want, as this could increase the depth of flavor further.

Step 4: Pour your beverage through a sieve into another glass. Collect the coffee beans in the sieve. Don’t throw them away though. You can always snack on them but do keep in mind they will contain a lot of alcohol!

Step 5: Garnish your alcoholic beverage as you prefer and then enjoy.

Can You Add Alcohol to Coffee?

As great as alcohol tastes when infused with coffee, it goes both ways. Here are some of our favorite alcohol-infused coffee recipes to try this weekend!

Old-Fashioned Coffee

This bourbon and espresso beverage is peppy, so you can sub out bourbon with rye whiskey if necessary. You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Lemon peel (an inch-long piece)
  • Bitters (just a dash)
  • Simple syrup (.25 ounces)
  • Rye whiskey or bourbon (1 ounce)
  • Double-shot espresso (2 ounces)

Mix the bitters, simple syrup, bourbon or whiskey, and espresso in a shaker, adding ice. Stir for up to 30 seconds using a bar spoon. Then strain the beverage in an ice-filled rocks glass. Add the lemon garnish by applying it around the glass rim and then putting the peel over the top of the glass.

Siciliano

This Italian-inspired beverage features Italian vermouth and cold-brew coffee, so its flavor is certainly quite strong. Gather the following ingredients to make the Siciliano:

  • Orange wheel
  • Club soda
  • Simple syrup (1 ounce)
  • Cold-brew coffee (1.5 ounces, strong)
  • Amaro (1.5 ounces)
  • Italian vermouth (2 ounces, sweet)

In a tumbler, pour the simple syrup, cold-brew coffee, amaro, and vermouth. Toss in some ice and club soda, as much as necessary. Add the orange wheel for garnish.

Gingerbread Breakfast

This recipe is a little more advanced, as you have to butter some Captain Morgan’s rum, but the results are worth it, especially around the holidays! Here are the ingredients you should have:

  • Ginger snap 
  • Whipped cream
  • Black coffee 
  • Half and half (1 ounce)
  • Ginger syrup (.75 ounces)
  • Captain Morgan rum (2 ounces, spiced)

To butter the rum, you’ll need:

  • Cloves (10)
  • Cinnamon (2 teaspoons)
  • Granulated sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • Maple syrup (2 tablespoons)
  • Unsalted butter (4 ounces)

Take the ingredients from the second section (minus the rum) and put them on the stove in a pot. Let the ingredients simmer. When the butter melts, turn off the stovetop. Add the rum in small quantities. 

Then transfer the ingredients to a casserole dish. Let everything freeze for approximately 35 minutes. When the ingredients come out, remove the butterfat with a knife and then pour through a fine sieve. 

Colorado Bulldog

This vodka and Kahlua mix is sure to be a hit at your next party. It only requires four ingredients too, which is great! You’ll need:

  • Cola
  • Cream (1 ounce)
  • Absolut Vodka (1 ounce)
  • Kahlua (1 ounce)

In a shaker, combine the cream and alcohol with ice and then shake. Fill a short glass with more ice and strain the beverage, leaving the glass only partially full. Add cola until the glass is full. 

Final Thoughts

Soaking coffee beans in alcohol makes a more caffeinated boozy drink that’s augmented by the unique flavor notes of the coffee. You can always pour some alcohol into your favorite coffee as well. With so many combinations of alcohol and coffee, you can have lots of fun trying them all! 

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