Caribou Cocktail Recipe

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Caribou Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:20

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Caribou cocktail, a delightful blend of whiskey, coffee liqueur, and milk, is a popular drink in Quebec, Canada. It's named after the Caribou, a species of deer native to the region. This cocktail is a favorite among those who enjoy a creamy, coffee-infused drink with a kick of whiskey. It's perfect for sipping on a cold winter night, or as a pick-me-up after a long day.

How Caribou Tastes?

The Caribou cocktail is a creamy, rich, and robust drink. The whiskey provides a strong, smoky undertone, while the coffee liqueur adds a sweet, aromatic depth. The milk softens the flavors, making it smooth and easy to drink.

Interesting facts about Caribou

  • The Caribou cocktail is often served during the Quebec Winter Carnival.
  • It's named after the Caribou, a species of deer native to the region.
  • The cocktail is traditionally served in a short glass, over ice.



Using 1.5oz of whiskey provides a robust base for the cocktail. Too much, and you'll overpower the other flavors; too little, and you won't feel its warming embrace. If you skip it, well, you've lost the heart of the Caribou – it wouldn't be the same robust creature. An alternative like bourbon will add a sweeter, more vanilla note.

Mary Mitkina

Coffee Liqueur

At 1oz, the coffee liqueur brings a sweet and slightly bitter depth, giving the cocktail a rich, velvety texture. Without it, you lose the night's gentle whisper. You could try a chocolate liqueur for a more dessert-like cocktail or a clear coffee spirit for a stronger coffee punch.

Alex Green


2oz of milk turns this drink into a smooth, creamy delight. Too much milk, and it's a dairy farm run amok; too little, and the drink remains coarse. Remove it, and you've denied yourself the cocktail's soothing silkiness. Almond or soy milk can be a lactose-free alternative that maintains the creamy texture but alters the taste slightly.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Caribou Drink

  1. Fill a short glass with ice.
  2. Pour 1.5oz of whiskey into the glass.
  3. Add 1oz of coffee liqueur.
  4. Top off with 2oz of milk.
  5. Stir well to combine.
  6. Serve and enjoy.

Pro Tips

  • For a smoother taste, you can shake the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker before pouring into the glass.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or a coffee bean for an extra touch.

Perfect Pairings

Sweet Treats

  • Chocolate Desserts: The richness of chocolate pairs nicely with the whiskey's complexity and the sweetness of the coffee liqueur.
  • Cheesecake: The creaminess of cheesecake complements the smoothness of the milk in the Caribou.

Savory Snacks

  • Salted Nuts: The saltiness can help cut through the sweetness and richness of the cocktail.
  • Charcuterie Board: A selection of cured meats and cheeses offers a variety of flavors that work well with the drink's profile.

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What you could change in Caribou

  • If you don't have coffee liqueur, you can substitute it with a shot of strong brewed coffee.
  • For a dairy-free version, you can use almond milk or coconut milk instead of regular milk.

Explore all drinks starting with C here

And of course - twists🍹

Caribou on Fire

  • Substitute regular milk with cinnamon-spiced milk.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • This twist brings a spicy kick, warming you up twice as fast, like a Caribou with a jetpack!

The Nutty Caribou

  • Replace coffee liqueur with a hazelnut liqueur.
  • This will lend a nutty twist, turning the Caribou into a creature of the forest, with a taste as deep as the woodland's secrets.

The Coconut Caribou

  • Use coconut milk instead of regular milk.
  • Add a dash of chocolate bitters.
  • Your Caribou now trots on tropical beaches, with a flavor that's as refreshing as a sea breeze and as exotic as an island getaway.

In case you forgot basics how to make Caribou

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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Frequently Asked Questions on Caribou

Can I use any type of whiskey for this cocktail?

While the type of whiskey isn't specified in the recipe, different types can add different flavors. Bourbon tends to be sweeter, Scotch can add smoky notes, and rye can add spiciness.

How can I make a vegan version of the Caribou?

You can replace the milk with any dairy-free alternatives like oat milk or soy milk. Do check the labels of the whiskey and coffee liqueur for any animal products.

Is Caribou a traditional Canadian cocktail?

Yes, it is popular in Quebec, Canada, particularly during the Quebec Winter Carnival.

Can this cocktail be served warm?

Although traditionally served cold, you could possibly serve it warm as a comforting winter drink.

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