Coffee’s a perfect match with whiskey and this Coffee Manhattan is no exception. Whether you’re building an Irish coffee to enjoy or adding a little coffee syrup to an old fashioned (see my Breakfast Old Fashioned here) it’s a combination made in heaven.
If you’ve just jumped in in the middle, each week I’m doing a series of riffs on a classic whiskey cocktail. This week is the Manhattan, and I’ve already got a French Quarter Manhattan and a Chocolate-Ginger Manhattan up.
The coffee liqueur I’ll use for this is Patron’s XO Cafe coffee-flavored liqueur. It’s rich, sweet and bitter coffee flavors are decadent enough that you don’t need a lot of it to punch up the flavor in a cocktail. In addition, I added a smidge of actual cold brew coffee I had on hand.
I attempted the cocktail without the sweet vermouth and with only the coffee liqueurs, but that tiny bit of vermouth did two things. First, it added just a touch of the sourness from sweet vermouth itself and secondly, it thickened the mouthfeel a bit to something closer to a true Manhattan.
Now while I did try this with both bourbon and rye, and both work well, Rittenhouse rye won here as the standout. I think any rye will wok well here, but I would still with a proof around 100 if you have it so it doesn’t have to work so hard to compete with the bitter flavors of the coffee.
While I did add some coffee and cocoa bitters, this would work equally well with a plain angostura or chocolate bitters.
- 1.5 oz rye whiskey (Rittenhouse)
- ½ oz coffee liqueur (I used Patron Café)
- ½ oz sweet vermouth
- ½ oz cold brew coffee or any cold coffee
- 5 drops coffee and cocoa bitters
- 1 dash Bitter Truth chocolate bitters
- Garnish: coffee beans/orange peel
- Combine whiskey, vermouth, coffee liqueur, coffee and bitters in a mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir until chilled and well-combined, about 30 seconds. Garnish with a few whole coffee bean and an orange peel if desired.