Coffee liqueur is a year-round favorite at our house and the best part is that it always pairs well with bourbon – especially in this Coffee Butterscotch Martini. I used Grand Brulot’s coffee Cognac with a little bourbon and some fun butterscotch syrup to class things up for you all today.
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Coffee Cognac is a Thing
I hadn’t heard of coffee Cognac until Grand Brulot sent me a bottle to try, but I must say, it’s quickly disappearing in our house. What I enjoy about it is that although it has rich, dark coffee flavors, unlike other coffee liqueurs, Grand Brulot celebrates the Cognac base of the spirit.
Cognac, a grape-based distillate aged in used French oak barrels, comes from the Cognac region in France, thus the name. As all aged spirits, it picks up baking spices, sweetness, and aromatic notes from its time in the barrel, adding to its complexity and breadth.
The product is blended with Ecuadorian coffee, made from the Robusta coffee bean. It’s 80 Proof VSOP Cognac and each 1.5 oz. serving has the caffeine content of a shot of espresso. Which might explain why I was up until 2 am working on it.
Fun fact: The Brulot is an old French tradition of blending fine Cognac with espresso. This would be dangerously easy to sip just over the rocks with a little cream. It’s got a lovely sweetness to it, but it’s a still a dry liqueur with baking spices and nutmeg aromas and flavors.
All About that Butterscotch Syrup
I’ve been wanting to make butterscotch syrup at home for a while. How hard could it be? Let me preface this story by saying I know nothing about making candy.
I decided the easiest way to make a syrup would be to heat up whole hard butterscotch candies over the stove with a little hot water. Do not recommend. It melted enough to turn into a butterscotch cement that nearly ruined my saucepan. Lesson learned: do a little research before heating up hard candies.
Instead, I ground up some butterscotch candies in the blender until very fine, weighed them, then added in the same weight of warm water. A little shaking and by butterscotch syrup was done. It’s great in coffee, tea, or drizzled on desserts.
How to Garnish a Coffee Butterscotch Martini
With butterscotch infused cream, of course. Coffee and cream are a perfect combination for me, even when working with cold cocktails.
In this case, I took four ounces of whipped cream, added about 3/4 oz of the butterscotch syrup, and shook it in a jar until very thick for layering. It won’t have an overwhelming butterscotch flavor, but it’s a nice complement to the flavors in the cocktail.
You can also add a splash of bourbon if you want a little bourbon infusion in there, too.
Mixing up the Coffee Martini
I’m calling this a martini because you can use any base spirit you like to match with the coffee Cognac. Aged spirits pair particularly well, but vodka will work as well. Gin, well, not so much. I used bourbon. But rye, Cognac, aged brandies, anejo tequila, and aged rums would all work fabulously here.
I added the Grand Brulot to a mixing glass with some bourbon, a bit of the butterscotch syrup and some bitters. After adding ice and stirring to dilute I strained it into a chilled glass and carefully layered that thick, infused cream on top.
A sprinkle of crushed butterscotch on top made it perfect.
Other Coffee Cocktails You Might Enjoy
- Bourbon Affogato
- Coffee Cherry Smash
- Travel Mocha Old Fashioned
- Tiki Coffee Old Fashioned
- Rum Tiramisu Old Fashioned
Recommended Bar Tools
You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:
You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:
Coffee Butterscotch Martini
- 1.5 oz Grand Brulot Coffee Cognac
- 1 oz bourbon or any aged base spirit
- 1/2 oz butterscotch syrup
- 3 dashes coffee bitters
- Butterscotch syrup infused whipped cream**
- Garnish: coffee beans, butterscotch crumbles
- Add coffee Cognac, bourbon, butterscotch syrup, and bitters to a mixing glass. Add ice, stir until well chilled and strain into a chilled coupe. Layer heavy cream on top and garnish with a sprinkle of butterscotch crumbles.
- ½ cup whipping cream
- ¾ oz butterscotch syrup