Since this Cold Brew Bourbon Cocktail combines two of my favorite things, cold brew coffee and bourbon, it couldn't really go wrong! Although it's served chilled, this cocktail definitely highlights the warm and cozy flavors.
This drink, to me, is the perfect bridge between seasons. When you're wanting to get into fall flavors, but it's still a little bit too hot out to go for the full on PSL!
I took a little inspiration from the Dalgona coffee craze and whipped the cold brew concentrate up with some sugar for a nice foam on top. This not only gives a great presentation, but really keeps the coffee aromas front and center for the whole drink.
Looking for more cocktail ideas? Try out this tasty Rumchata Coffee for a creamy and delicious warm coffee cocktail. Bourbon lovers will also love this Apple Cinnamon Bourbon cocktail! This Gingerbread Old Fashioned is another great whiskey based fall drink.
I decided to pair the bourbon with Licor 43, a sweet, marshmallow-y liqueur. With its vanilla flavors, it goes perfectly in so many coffee based cocktails. Then, I layered in a homemade cinnamon vanilla infusion to complement the other flavors.
Here is what you'll need to make this cocktail:
- Bourbon - I used Maker's Mark Bourbon, which is on the sweeter side and goes really well with the coffee.
- Licor 43 - I used Licor 43 liqueur, which has a sweet vanilla flavor.
- Infusion of cinnamon and vanilla - You can make your own Cinnamon Vanilla infusion by letting a few cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans soak in vodka. Make sure they are completely covered with the liquid, and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of days before straining out the cinnamon and vanilla.
- Cold Brew concentrate - either homemade or store bought. Make sure it is a concentrate, not ready-to-drink.
- Granulated sugar
- Chocolate Bitters - I used Woodford Reserve Chocolate Bitters here, which is delicious and uses a bourbon base.
- Cinnamon to sprinkle on top
There are two main parts to building this cocktail: whipping the coffee, and stirring the rest of the ingredients with ice.
To whip the coffee, combine the cold brew concentrate together with the sugar and water in a bowl. Use a whisk or an electric mixer to whip it up.
Then, combine the other ingredients in a cocktail stirring glass, or other heavy-bottomed glass, along with ice. Stir to dilute and then strain the mixture into the serving glass.
Then, top the drink off with the coffee foam, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Hint: don't stir with ice for too long, or you will dilute the drink too much. Stir it around 20-30 times. If you're not sure if it's right, you can put a little drop on the back of your hand and taste it.
Here are some ways you can substitute the ingredients:
- Sugar - If you are looking to cut back on sugar, you can substitute the granulated sugar for another type of sweetener. My choice here is allulose because it has the best, most sugar-like flavor.
- Cold Brew Concentrate - If you don't have cold brew concentrate, you can use instant coffee granules, like in a Dalgona coffee recipe.
- Infusion of cinnamon and vanilla - if you don't have this on hand, you can actually use just a few drops of vanilla extract, plus a pinch of ground cinnamon. Or, try using a spiced rum, like Largo Bay Vanilla Spiced Rum.
- Licor 43 - If you want to substitute the Licor 43, you can swap in any vanilla liqueur. You can also use a vanilla vodka, like Veil Vanilla Vodka.
Here are a few ways to change up this recipe:
- Cream version - instead of the Licor 43, try using a cream liqueur, like Rumchata cream liqueur or Bailey's Irish Cream.
- No whipped coffee - you can omit the whipped coffee part of the recipe if you want. It will still be super tasty! Just add the coffee concentrate to the mixture that you're stirring with ice, and increase the Licor 43 if you want some extra sweetness.
- Non-alcoholic version - try using Monday Whiskey and some Amoretti vanilla syrup in place of the bourbon and Licor 43.
I would personally always go with an electric mixer or whisk if you have access to one (this one is Amazon's Choice). I haven't tried it, but think it would take a really long time to get the consistency you want using a hand whisk.
Top Tip - Garnish
You can garnish this drink by sprinkling cinnamon on top, or putting in a whole cinnamon stick. Serve immediately after making it for the best foam!
Cold Brew Bourbon Cocktail
- 1 tablespoon sugar or 1 ⅓ tablespoon allulose
- ½ oz water
- ¾ oz cold brew concentrate
- 1 ½ oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon or your favorite bourbon
- ½ oz Licor 43 or vanilla liqueur (around 31% ABV)
- ½ oz cinnamon vanilla infusion homemade, see Notes
- 3 dashes chocolate bitters
- Cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon for garnish
- Place the sugar in a bowl along with the coffee concentrate and water.1 tablespoon sugar, ½ oz water, ¾ oz cold brew concentrate
- Use an electric whisk or mixer to whip the mixture. This could take several minutes until it foams up nicely.
- Set the foam aside while you mix the rest of the drink.
- Measure the bourbon, liqueur, infusion and bitters into a cocktail stirring glass or other heavy-bottomed glass.1 ½ oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon, ½ oz Licor 43, ½ oz cinnamon vanilla infusion, 3 dashes chocolate bitters
- Add ice to the glass and stir 20-30 times to dilute.
- Strain the mixture into your serving glass.
- Carefully pour the foam on top of the rest of the mixture.
- Garnish with ground cinnamon on top or a cinnamon stick and serve immediately.Cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon for garnish
- You can make your own Cinnamon Vanilla infusion by letting a few cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans soak in vodka. Make sure they are completely covered with the liquid, and let it sit for a couple of days before straining out the cinnamon and vanilla. Store it in a tightly sealed bottle.
- If you don't have the infusion, try using either a few drops of vanilla extract and ground cinnamon, or you can use a little spiced rum. Largo Bay Vanilla Spiced Rum would be a good one to try.