Iced Coffee Cocktail Recipe

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Iced 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


Iced Coffee cocktail, also known as a Coffee Cooler, has its origins in the early 20th century when people started experimenting with coffee and alcohol. This refreshing beverage is perfect for coffee lovers who want a little kick in their drink. It has gained popularity over the years and is now a staple in many bars and coffee shops around the world.

  • The first recorded Iced Coffee cocktail was in the 1920s
  • It became popular in the 1940s and 1950s as a refreshing alternative to hot coffee
  • Today, it is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds

How Iced Coffee Tastes?

The Iced Coffee cocktail is a delightful combination of rich, bold coffee flavors with a hint of sweetness and a smooth, creamy texture. It has a robust coffee taste, balanced by the sweetness of the liqueur and the cooling effect of the ice. The alcohol adds a subtle warmth and depth to the drink.

Interesting facts about Iced Coffee

  • The Iced Coffee cocktail can be made with various types of coffee, such as espresso, cold brew, or even instant coffee
  • It can be customized with different liqueurs, such as coffee liqueur, chocolate liqueur, or Irish cream
  • The Iced Coffee cocktail is sometimes garnished with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, or a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg


  • Coffee: 180ml
  • Coffee liqueur: 45ml
  • Vodka: 45ml
  • Simple syrup: 30ml
  • Heavy cream: 30ml
  • Ice: 1 cup
  • Whipped cream: optional
  • Chocolate shavings: optional

A few good options for Iced Coffee are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


Why? The base of our Iced Coffee cocktail, coffee adds deep, rich, and robust flavors. What if it's not there? No coffee, no coffee cocktail, simple as that!

Mary Mitkina

Coffee Liqueur

Why? To intensify the coffee essence and bring sweetness and depth. Go without? You'd lose the complex notes and boozy kick. Substitute? Try a chocolate liqueur for a mocha twist!

Mary Mitkina


Why? It's the clear, crisp spirit that gives the punch without altering the flavor profile. Skip it? You'll miss the cocktail's backbone. Go lighter on it to reduce the kick if desired.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

Why? It dissolves easily, offering a touch of sweetness to balance the bitterness of the coffee. Too much? Overly sweet and cloying. Too little? Rough around the edges. Find your sweet spot!

Mary Mitkina

Heavy Cream

Why? For a touch of luxury and creaminess. Forget it? The drink would feel a bit thin. Vegan? Coconut cream could swing in as a plant-based understudy!

Mary Mitkina


Why? It chills, it dilutes, it refreshes! No ice? You'd have a lukewarm dilemma. Crushed or cubed? Cubed for less dilution, crushed for a quicker chill.

Alex Green

Whipped Cream (optional)

Why? It's the cloud on top, a creamy, dreamy garnish. Next? Going without just means less extravagance.

Mary Mitkina

Chocolate Shavings (optional)

Why? For an indulgent, Instagram-worthy decoration, plus an extra hint of sweetness. No shavings? No harm done, your cocktail is still delish.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Iced Coffee Drink

  1. Brew a strong cup of coffee and let it cool to room temperature
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the cooled coffee, coffee liqueur, vodka, simple syrup, and heavy cream
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds
  4. Strain the mixture into a tall glass filled with ice
  5. Optional: Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings for garnish

Pro Tips

  • Use freshly brewed coffee for the best flavor
  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all the ingredients are well combined
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail into it to keep the drink cooler for longer

Perfect Pairings

Sweet Desserts

Pair your Iced Coffee cocktail with chocolate brownies or cheesecake to complement the coffee flavor.

Salty Snacks

Try some salted nuts or pretzels, the salt will cut through the sweetness and enhance the cocktail's coffee notes.

Brunch Favorites

Serve alongside eggs benedict or French toast for a boozy weekend brunch.


Bold cheeses like Gorgonzola or Aged Cheddar can stand up to the rich flavors of this cocktail.

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What you could change in Iced Coffee

  • Coffee: You can use any type of coffee, but a strong, dark roast will give the best flavor
  • Coffee liqueur: Can be replaced with chocolate liqueur or Irish cream for a different flavor profile
  • Vodka: Can be replaced with rum or whiskey if preferred
  • Simple syrup: Can be replaced with honey or agave syrup for a natural sweetener
  • Heavy cream: Can be replaced with half-and-half or milk for a lighter option

Explore all drinks starting with I here

And of course - twists🍹

Espresso Martini Twist

*Replace regular coffee with a shot of espresso for a bolder kick. *Use a coffee-infused vodka. *Garnish with a few whole coffee beans. This will result in a more concentrated coffee flavor, perfect for those looking for a stronger caffeine buzz.

White Russian Iced Coffee

*Swap out the vodka for Kahlua and add a splash of milk. *Float the cream on top instead of shaking it in. This twist adds a silky texture and a hint of vanilla, making it creamier and less coffee-forward.

Salted Caramel Iced Coffee

*Substitute simple syrup with salted caramel syrup. *Drizzle caramel on the inside of the glass before straining in the cocktail. *Crown with sea salt for a savory touch. A sweet and salty concoction that pairs delectably with the bitterness of coffee and the richness of cream.

In case you forgot basics how to make Iced Coffee

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

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

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 Iced Coffee

Is it acceptable to use decaffeinated coffee for this cocktail?

Sure, you may use decaffeinated coffee in this cocktail recipe. The taste would be equivalent, minus the caffeine.

Is this cocktail considered to be a dessert?

Although it is sweet and could be served after a meal, the Iced Coffee cocktail is typically enjoyed as a refreshing beverage and not classified as a dessert.

Is there a non-dairy substitute that I can use instead of heavy cream?

Yes, you could use coconut cream or almond milk as a non-dairy substitute in this cocktail recipe.

Can I make this cocktail without any alcohol?

Absolutely, you can skip the alcohol to make a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail. It will still be refreshing and delicious.

Does this cocktail need to be served immediately?

It is best served immediately after preparation to preserve the integrity of the ingredients and the chill from the ice.

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