English Coffee Cocktail Recipe

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English Coffee Nutrition Facts






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


English Coffee is a delightful twist on the classic Irish Coffee. This warm cocktail is often enjoyed in the colder months and is known for its comforting and invigorating qualities.

  • Origins
    • The drink is inspired by the traditional Irish Coffee, which was created in the 1940s.
    • It has been adapted in England, where whiskey is sometimes replaced with gin or other local spirits.
  • Popularity
    • English Coffee is particularly popular among those who appreciate a good coffee cocktail with a British twist.
  • Occasions
    • It's a perfect after-dinner drink or a pick-me-up on a chilly afternoon.

How English Coffee Tastes?

The English Coffee cocktail is a harmonious blend of rich, bold coffee with the warm, herbal notes of gin. It's sweetened just enough to balance the bitterness of the coffee, and the cream on top adds a luxurious smoothness to the drink.

Interesting facts about English Coffee

  • English Coffee often substitutes gin for the traditional whiskey found in Irish Coffee.
  • It's a versatile drink that can be enjoyed with different types of coffee, from a robust espresso to a milder brew.
  • The cocktail is sometimes garnished with a cinnamon stick or a sprinkle of nutmeg for an extra layer of flavor.


  • Hot coffee: 8 oz(240ml)
  • Gin: 1.5 oz(45ml)
  • Brown sugar: 1tbsp
  • Heavy cream: 2 oz(60ml)

A few good options for English Coffee are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Hot Coffee

Hot coffee is the backbone of this cocktail, providing a rich and aromatic base. Its warmth is essential for dissolving the brown sugar and creating a comforting sensation. Using less coffee could result in a drink that's too strong on the gin, while more could dilate its unique flavor.

Alex Green


Gin offers a botanical touch that can add complexity and a slight kick to the cocktail. Varying the amount of gin can drastically alter the potency and depth of flavor. Less gin can make the drink too mellow, while more can overpower the coffee's aroma.

Emma Rose

Brown Sugar

Sweetness from brown sugar balances the bitterness of the coffee and the punch of the gin. Too little might leave the cocktail overly bitter, whereas too much could make it cloying.

Mary Mitkina

Heavy Cream

The heavy cream provides a creamy, smooth texture that contrasts the coffee's bitterness and nicely complements the gin's botanicals. Using light cream or milk could still work but will result in a less rich mouthfeel.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make English Coffee Drink

  1. Preheat a glass by filling it with hot water. After a minute, empty the glass.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the glass.
  3. Pour in 8 ounces of hot coffee and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add 1.5 ounces of gin to the mixture.
  5. Gently pour 2 ounces of heavy cream over the back of a spoon so it floats on top of the coffee.
  6. Optionally, garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg or a cinnamon stick.

Pro Tips

  • Use freshly brewed hot coffee for the best flavor.
  • When adding the cream, pour it slowly over an inverted spoon to achieve the perfect float.
  • Warm the glass before making the cocktail to keep your drink hot longer.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Cheese Plates: A selection of fine cheeses, particularly aged ones like a sharp cheddar or a creamy brie, pairs beautifully with the robust flavors of the English Coffee cocktail. The creamy texture of the cheese aligns with the heavy cream in the cocktail.
  • Dark Chocolate: The bitterness of dark chocolate complements the depth of the coffee and the sweetness of the brown sugar.
  • Cinnamon-flavoured Desserts: The warm spice of cinnamon will tie in nicely with any additional garnish of cinnamon or nutmeg on the cocktail.

Drink Pairings

  • Cold Water: To cleanse the palate between sips, cold water is always a wise choice.
  • Amaretto: For those wanting an extra kick of almond sweetness alongside their cocktail.

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What you could change in English Coffee

  • Gin: If you're not a fan of gin, you can substitute it with brandy or rum for a different flavor profile.
  • Brown Sugar: Maple syrup can be a delightful alternative for a different kind of sweetness.
  • Heavy Cream: For a dairy-free option, use full-fat coconut milk as a creamy topper.

Explore all drinks starting with E here

And of course - twists🍹

Irish Coffee Twist

  • Follow the original recipe but substitute gin with Irish whiskey. This will give you a classic Irish Coffee with a whiskey warmth that blends splendidly with the coffee.

Spiced Coffee Twist

  • Include a pinch of cinnamon and clove in the coffee brewing process. Switch out brown sugar for a spiced syrup. It will add a whole new level of autumn spiciness to your cocktail.

Mocha Coffee Twist

  • Use chocolate liqueur instead of gin and add a pinch of cocoa powder on top of the cream. This will create a chocolatey twist, which makes for a sweet dessert-like experience.

In case you forgot basics how to make English Coffee

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

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on English Coffee

Can I use decaffeinated coffee to make an English Coffee?

Yes, you can use decaffeinated coffee if you prefer to avoid caffeine. The taste will be similar, though the invigorating effect of caffeine will be reduced.

Is English Coffee suitable for vegans?

As is, English Coffee is not suitable for vegans due to the heavy cream. However, you can make it vegan by using a plant-based cream substitute.

How can I prevent the cream from mixing with the coffee?

To prevent the cream from mixing, pour it slowly over the back of a spoon just above the coffee's surface. This technique allows the cream to gently rest on top without blending.

Can I make English Coffee in advance for a party?

It's best served immediately, but you can prepare the coffee and sugar mixture in advance. Add the gin and cream right before serving to ensure the best layers and temperature.

Are there any non-alcoholic versions of the English Coffee?

Yes, for a non-alcoholic version, you can omit the gin and enjoy a sweetened creamy coffee, or use a non-alcoholic gin alternative for a similar flavor profile.

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