Flat Tire Cocktail Recipe

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Flat Tire 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


The Flat Tire cocktail is a lesser-known concoction that's been gaining traction in speakeasy-style bars. Its origins are murky, but it's believed to have been created by a resourceful bartender who wanted to craft a drink that embodied the spirit of overcoming a common, yet unexpected, hurdle: a flat tire.

  • Who Would Like It: This cocktail is for those who appreciate a bold and robust flavor profile. It's particularly popular among patrons who enjoy whiskey-based drinks with a twist.

How Flat Tire Tastes?

The Flat Tire offers a complex taste that's both earthy and slightly sweet. It has a strong whiskey foundation, complemented by the bitter notes of coffee liqueur and the subtle sweetness of maple syrup.

Interesting facts about Flat Tire

  • The Flat Tire is not a traditional cocktail, and you might not find it on every bar menu.
  • It's a great choice for a nightcap due to its coffee liqueur content.
  • The name 'Flat Tire' can be a conversation starter, as it often leads to patrons sharing their own flat tire stories.


Whiskey (2 oz)

Whiskey is the backbone of the Flat Tire, offering a complex array of flavors ranging from vanilla and caramel to spicier notes, depending on the type. Skimp on it, and you risk a flat flavor profile, not just a Flat Tire. Use too much, and you'll overpower the delicate balance. Substitute: Try rye for a spicier kick, or bourbon for a sweeter touch.

Mary Mitkina

Coffee Liqueur (0.5 oz)

Coffee Liqueur provides a sweet, roasted flavor reminiscent of a fresh brew. It's what gives the Flat Tire its distinctive 'revving' taste. Without it, you'd lose depth and that mocha magic. Substitute: A shot of espresso and a hint of sugar could mimic the liqueur if you're out.

Alex Green

Maple Syrup (0.25 oz)

The Canadian charm in this cocktail! It adds a touch of sweetness and a woody accent, which marries perfectly with the whiskey. Too much could make it cloyingly sweet, whereas too little won't let your cocktail reach full ‘sap-tisfaction’. Substitute: Honey or agave syrup can provide a similar sweetness with their own unique twist.

Emma Rose

Orange Peel (1 garnish)

This is the zest of life in your Flat Tire! The essential oils in the peel add a citrus aroma that brightens the drink. Forget it, and you'll miss out on that sharp turn of flavor at the end of each sip. Substitute: Lemon peel could work in a pinch; it's a different route but the destination is still deliciously aromatic.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Flat Tire Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Pour 2 oz of whiskey over the ice.
  3. Add 0.5 oz of coffee liqueur.
  4. Include 0.25 oz of maple syrup.
  5. Stir the mixture until well-chilled.
  6. Strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass.
  7. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Pro Tips

  • Always use fresh ice when mixing to avoid diluting the drink with melted water from the ice.
  • Chilling the glass beforehand will help keep your cocktail cold for a longer period.
  • When garnishing with the orange peel, make sure to twist it over the drink to release the oils.

Perfect Pairings

Recommended Pairings for the Flat Tire Cocktail


  • Charcuterie boards with a variety of cured meats and cheeses.
  • Smoked almonds or other smoked nuts enhance the smoky tones of the whiskey.

Main Course:

  • Grilled steaks with a peppercorn sauce complement the richness of the cocktail.
  • Barbecue pork ribs work well with the sweetness of the maple syrup.


  • Dark chocolate desserts, like chocolate mousse or brownies, pair nicely with the coffee liqueur notes.
  • Pecan pie or other nutty desserts could match the maple element of the cocktail.

Non-Alcoholic Pairings:

  • Coffee, especially a dark roast, to echo the coffee liqueur.
  • Sparkling water with a dash of orange or citrus can cleanse the palate between sips.

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What you could change in Flat Tire

  • Whiskey: If you don't have a specific whiskey, any good-quality bourbon or rye will do.
  • Coffee Liqueur: Kahlúa is a popular choice, but Tia Maria can also be used for a slightly different flavor profile.

Explore all drinks starting with F here

And of course - twists🍹

The Snowy Road

Substitute maple syrup with white chocolate syrup (0.25 oz), and top with a sprinkle of cocoa powder. This will give the drink a creamy sweetness and a touch of chocolate without overpowering the whiskey or coffee flavors. Perfect for those who want a dessert-like cocktail.

The Off-Roader

Add a few drops of Angostura Bitters and substitute the orange peel with a small slice of smoked bacon as garnish. Enhances the smoky notes of whiskey and adds an extra layer of complexity. A bold move for the adventurous drinker.

The Pumpkin Patch

Mix in a spoonful of pumpkin puree and use pumpkin spice in place of maple syrup. The earthiness of the pumpkin will complement the whiskey's warmth and add a seasonal twist to the cocktail. This version will evoke the feeling of fall harvests and holiday spices.

In case you forgot basics how to make Flat Tire

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

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 Flat Tire

What type of glass is best for serving a Flat Tire cocktail?

A Flat Tire is best served in an old-fashioned glass, which is also commonly referred to as a rocks glass.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Flat Tire?

Yes, you can use non-alcoholic whiskey-flavored syrup and a coffee-flavored syrup instead of the alcoholic components to create a mocktail version.

Is the Flat Tire suitable for large gatherings?

The Flat Tire can be prepared in batches for large gatherings, just multiply the ingredients by the number of guests and mix in a large pitcher or punch bowl.

How can I properly store leftover maple syrup?

Leftover maple syrup should be sealed tightly and stored in the refrigerator. This will prevent it from crystallizing and preserve its flavor.

What does the twist of orange peel add to the Flat Tire cocktail?

The twist of orange peel adds a fragrant aroma and a light citrus note, which balances the robust flavors of the whiskey and coffee liqueur.

How do I achieve perfectly clear ice cubes as mentioned in the prompt?

To achieve clear ice cubes, use filtered water and consider a slow-freezing method or specialized ice molds designed to remove air bubbles and impurities.

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