Night and Day Cocktail Recipe

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Night and Day 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 Night and Day cocktail is a classic and elegant drink that was first created in the 1930s. It was popularized in upscale bars and lounges, where patrons would enjoy the sophisticated combination of flavors while dressed in their finest evening attire. The cocktail is said to represent the transition from day to night, with its dark and light layers symbolizing the setting sun and the rising moon.

  • Origin: 1930s
  • Popularized in upscale bars and lounges
  • Symbolizes the transition from day to night

How Night and Day Tastes?

The Night and Day cocktail is a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors, with a smooth and velvety texture. The rich and robust taste of the coffee liqueur is balanced by the bright and zesty notes of the citrus juice, while the herbal undertones of the gin add depth and complexity.

Interesting facts about Night and Day

  • The Night and Day cocktail is often served in a martini glass, which showcases its beautiful layers and adds an air of sophistication to the presentation.
  • The cocktail can be garnished with a twist of lemon or orange peel, which not only adds visual appeal but also enhances the aroma and flavor profile of the drink.
  • The Night and Day cocktail is sometimes referred to as a 'sundowner' due to its association with the transition from day to night.


  • Gin: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Coffee liqueur: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Lemon juice: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Orange juice: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Simple syrup: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Ice: As_needed

A few good options for Night and Day are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Gin is the backbone of this cocktail. The botanicals in gin provide a complex base that pairs well with the other flavors. 2oz is just the right amount to assert its presence without overpowering. Without gin, we'd lose the spirit of the cocktail—literally and figuratively! An alternative could be vodka for a cleaner taste, but that would make a very different cocktail.

Alex Green


At 1oz, the coffee liqueur adds a rich, dark sweetness and depth. It's crucial for the 'Night' aspect of 'Night and Day'. Less would make the coffee note too subtle, and more could be cloying. A possible alternative is a chicory-based liqueur which would be less sweet but still provide a coffee-like bitterness.

Mary Mitkina


0.5oz gives the cocktail a sharp citrus tang that brightens up the drink. Without it, the drink could become too heavy and sweet. An alternative is lime juice, which would give a slightly different acidic kick.

Emma Rose


The other half of the citrus pair, 0.5oz orange juice, adds sweetness and complements the gin's botanicals. If omitted, the drink would lose some complexity. An alternative could be grapefruit juice for a more bittersweet citrus note.

Alex Green


This sweetener (0.5oz) is crucial for balance. It smooths out any sharpness from the citrus and complements the coffee liqueur. Without the syrup, the drink might be too tart. Maple syrup could be used as an alternative for a richer, earthier sweetness.

Mary Mitkina


Ice is essential for dilution and chilling; the right amount ensures a smooth, cold drink without too much water down. No ice, no chill—turning this cocktail into a lukewarm disappointment.

Emma Rose


The garnish isn't just for looks! A lemon or orange twist adds a burst of aromatic oils to the drink, enhancing the nose and the first sips. No garnish means missing out on this layer of flavor.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Night and Day Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the gin, coffee liqueur, lemon juice, orange juice, and simple syrup to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled martini glass, creating a layered effect with the coffee liqueur settling at the bottom.
  5. Garnish with a twist of lemon or orange peel, expressing the oils over the surface of the drink before placing it on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Chill your martini glass before pouring the cocktail to keep the drink cold for longer.
  • Express the oils from the citrus peel garnish over the surface of the drink to enhance the aroma and flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese Plate: The rich and creamy textures of cheeses such as Brie or Gouda can complement the botanical profile of the gin while balancing the sweetness of the coffee liqueur.
  • Spicy Nuts: The spiciness of the nuts will be a nice contrast to the cocktail's sweetness and can enhance the drink's complexity.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Steak: The robust flavors of a grilled steak will stand up to the strong flavors of the 'Night and Day' without overpowering it.
  • Barbecue Pork: The sweetness of the barbecue sauce can harmonize with the coffee liqueur and the citrus notes will resonate with the lemon and orange juice in the cocktail.


  • Chocolate Torte: Chocolate and coffee are a classic pairing, and the richness of the torte will be cut through by the citrus elements of the cocktail.
  • Lemon Tart: The tartness of the dessert will complement the lemon juice in the cocktail, creating a cohesive citrus theme.

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What you could change in Night and Day

  • Gin: You can substitute gin with vodka for a smoother taste.
  • Coffee Liqueur: If you don't have coffee liqueur, you can use a shot of strong brewed coffee.
  • Citrus Juice: You can use grapefruit juice instead of lemon and orange juice for a different flavor profile.

Explore all drinks starting with N here

And of course - twists🍹

Espresso Martini Hybrid

Replace coffee liqueur with 1oz of freshly brewed espresso and change simple syrup to vanilla syrup (0.5oz). This will give you a punchier coffee flavor with a hint of vanilla, creating a more intense 'Day' aspect.

Citrus Burst

Use blood orange juice in place of regular orange juice and add an additional 0.25oz of lemon juice. Top with a splash of soda water. This twist amplifies the citrus notes and adds effervescence for a lighter, more refreshing version.

Spiced Night And Day

Add a cinnamon stick to the shaker and a pinch of cayenne pepper. This creates a spicier, more aromatic drink that warms you up, perfect for a chilly evening when you want the 'Night' to embrace you.

In case you forgot basics how to make Night and Day

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 Night and Day

What type of gin is recommended for the Night and Day cocktail?

A London dry gin would be ideal for the Night and Day cocktail. This gin variant has a strong juniper flavor that works well with the coffee liqueur and citrus juice.

Can I use a different type of glass instead of a martini glass?

Yes, you can. However, the martini glass is preferred due to its shape, which helps to display the beautiful layers of the cocktail.

What type of coffee liqueur is best to use for this cocktail?

Kahlúa is a popular choice due to its rich coffee flavor and sweet undertones. However, any coffee liqueur can be used.

Can I replace the simple syrup with something else?

Yes, you can use honey or agave syrup as a substitute for simple syrup in this cocktail.

Is the Night and Day cocktail served shaken or stirred?

The Night and Day cocktail is served shaken. This mixes the ingredients well and helps achieve the layered effect.

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