“But First Coffee” Cocktail

Posted on February 4, 2017

Question: Will drinking espresso liqueur at night keep you awake into the wee hours?

Answer: We don’t know, but this cocktail tastes so delicious that you won’t much care.

Call it cabin fever. Call it inspiration. We’ve been on a “stocking the bar” kick. That means trying different whiskeys and tequilas, but every trip to the store also seems to result in the acquisition of a new liqueur. On successive visits, we picked up a bottle of Ancho Reyes, an ancho chile liqueur, and Espresso Grind, an espresso liqueur.

We combined both with whiskey, orange juice, bitters and brown sugar, and the result was astounding. This cocktail is robust, malty, slightly piquant and has a hint of caramel. We named it “But First Coffee.”

“But First Coffee” Cocktail


  • Two ounces of rye whiskey
  • Two ounces of ancho chile liqueur
  • Two ounces of espresso liqueur
  • Half an orange, squeezed
  • Two dashes of orange bitters
  • One tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Ice
  • Orange peel, for garnish


In a cocktail shaker, add whiskey, chile liqueur, espresso liqueur, orange juice, bitters, brown sugar and ice. Shake vigorously. Stain into glass. Garnish with orange peel.

Makes two servings.

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