Specialty Coffees

Continuing my last post, I’m now going to delve a little into the coffee-based drinks the restaurant industry likes to call Specialty Coffees.

Coffee cocktails are served in glass “goblet style” cups to showcase the nuances of the drink. With a sugar rim and topped with whip cream, your imagination is the limit.

This chose name may cause a little confusion outside of Ontario. Specialty coffee is also the name used to describe artisanal or craft coffee brands that are developed by small roasters mostly with a local reach. These type of brands are often known as Gourmet Coffee as well as Specialty Coffees. Since there’s no official guideline on the subject, we’re left to guess based on the environment we ‘re located.


Specialty Coffees or coffee-based drinks are composed by the combination of a good cup of coffee with alcoholic beverages. Of those, the most famous would be the Irish Coffee, a combination of Baileys Irish cream and Irish whiskey.

Espresso Martini, a delicious and refreshing coffee-based cocktail. Source

They are not only delicious they also provide a welcoming extra sweetness and “heat” on cold Sunday mornings (or any morning, afternoon or evening if you ask me). Mind you these are still alcoholic drinks, so please abide by your local legislation when serving or drinking some of them.


The recipe measurements vary according to who is making the drink, but I personally recommend limiting each drink to a 1 or 2oz (max) shot of alcoholic per cup of coffee (8oz). That’s because I like being able to taste the coffee and I’m not trying to get drunk I’m simply looking for a little extra flavor.


The presentation is also a strong reason why these drinks are so much fun. It’s become traditional for these drinks to be served in tall ornamented glass cups, with a sugared rim and whipped cream, sprinkles, cinnamon sticks, you name it.


Here are some of the most common recipes:


Irish Coffee – brewed coffee + Irish cream + Irish whiskey

Spanish Coffee – brewed coffee + Brandy + coffee liqueur (Kahlua)

Bavarian Coffee – brewed coffee + peppermint schnapps + coffee liqueur (Kahlua)

Montecristo – brewed coffee + orange peel liqueur (Grand Marnier) + coffee liqueur (Kahlua)

Pick me Up – espresso + Baileys Irish cream

Christmas Morning – brewed coffee + hazelnut liqueur (Frangelico) + Irish cream (Baileys) + SPRINKLE OF NUTMEG


Many other variations are possible and commonly requested: Bailey’s coffee, Amaretto coffee, Cointreau coffee, etc. Those are basically mixing your favorite flavor profile liqueur with an expertly brewed cup of coffee to enhance its flavor and increase your pleasure.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s