Velvet Hammer Cocktail Recipe

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Velvet Hammer 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 Velvet Hammer is a classic cocktail that dates back to the 1960s. It was popularized in the disco era and has been a staple in cocktail bars ever since. This creamy, rich cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a sweet, dessert-like drink. It's often enjoyed after dinner or as a nightcap.

  • Origin: 1960s
  • Popularized: Disco era
  • Ideal for: Sweet tooth, dessert lovers

How Velvet Hammer Tastes?

The Velvet Hammer is a creamy, sweet, and slightly citrusy cocktail. It has a rich, velvety texture with a hint of chocolate and orange. The taste is balanced, not too strong, and the coffee liqueur adds a subtle depth of flavor.

Interesting facts about Velvet Hammer

  • The Velvet Hammer is often served in a martini glass, but can also be served in a highball glass over ice.
  • Despite its sweet taste, it does pack a punch with a high alcohol content.
  • The Velvet Hammer is sometimes confused with the Harvey Wallbanger, another cocktail that also uses Galliano.



Cointreau is a clear, orange-flavored liqueur made in France. It adds a sweet citrus punch to the Velvet Hammer, balancing the rich flavors of the cream and coffee liqueur. Using 1 oz provides just the right amount of sweetness without overpowering the drink. If omitted, you'd lose that bright citrus note. An alternative could be Triple Sec or Grand Marnier, which are also orange liqueurs, but note that Grand Marnier can be sweeter and more potent.

Alex Green

Tia Maria

Tia Maria is a coffee liqueur with a deep and rich flavor. It's vital for that mocha-like profile in this cocktail. With 1 oz, it ensures a harmony between the coffee tones and the creamy sweetness. Skipping it would leave the cocktail unbalanced and lacking depth. You could switch it out for Kahlúa if needed, which is a tad sweeter but still very appropriate.

Emma Rose


Cream plays the role of smoothing out this cocktail, giving it a luxurious texture and rich mouthfeel. The 1 oz measurement is perfect for achieving the desirable silkiness without turning the drink into a dairy bomb. Leave it out, and your cocktail turns harsh, missing its signature 'velvet' character. For a lighter version, you might try half-and-half or full-fat milk, but the creaminess will be less pronounced.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Velvet Hammer Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add 1 oz of Cointreau, 1 oz of Tia Maria, and 1 oz of cream.
  3. Shake well until chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • For a creamier cocktail, shake the cream before adding it to the shaker.
  • For a colder cocktail, chill the glass before serving.
  • For a stronger cocktail, add more Cointreau and Tia Maria.

Perfect Pairings


The Velvet Hammer is a sweet and creamy cocktail, hence it naturally complements dessert dishes exceptional well. It's best paired with items that have chocolate, caramel, or vanilla flavors, to echo its own flavor profile.

  • Chocolate Truffles: The richness of chocolate truffles complements the cocoa notes from Tia Maria.
  • Tiramisu: A classic Italian dessert that will harmonize with the coffee and cocoa undertones of the cocktail.
  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: For a creamy delight, this cocktail with vanilla ice cream can be a simple yet perfect pairing.


This cocktail can also be served alongside coffee or as a decadent after-dinner drink.

  • Espresso: The strong flavors of a freshly brewed espresso can cut through the sweetness for a balanced taste experience.

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What you could change in Velvet Hammer

  • Cointreau can be substituted with any other orange liqueur.
  • Tia Maria can be replaced with any coffee liqueur.
  • Cream can be substituted with half-and-half or milk for a lighter version.

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Espresso Velvet Hammer

  • Add 1/2 oz of espresso to the original recipe.
  • The espresso will provide an extra kick of coffee and a slightly bitter contrast that complements the drink's sweetness.

White Velvet Hammer

  • Replace Tia Maria with white crème de cacao.
  • This will create a more chocolate-forward cocktail with a subtler coffee hint.

Spiced Velvet Hammer

  • Add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg to the shaker before mixing.
  • The spices will bring a warm and aromatic dimension to the cocktail, perfect for holiday seasons or chilly evenings.

In case you forgot basics how to make Velvet Hammer

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

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Frequently Asked Questions on Velvet Hammer

Is the Velvet Hammer cocktail suitable for vegans?

No, the Velvet Hammer cocktail isn't vegan since it contains cream. However, you may replace the cream with a non-dairy creamer if you desire a vegan version of this cocktail.

Can I make a Velvet Hammer without any alcohol?

The traditional Velvet Hammer cocktail contains alcohol from Cointreau and Tia Maria. You could use non-alcoholic substitutions, although it might alter the taste somewhat.

How can I make this cocktail less sweet?

You can reduce the sweetness in the Velvet Hammer by adjusting the proportion of the ingredients. Consider using a bit less Cointreau and Tia Maria or more cream to tone down the sweetness.

What kind of garnish is suitable for the Velvet Hammer cocktail?

Typically, you can garnish the Velvet Hammer with a twist of orange peel.

Can I use ice in the Velvet Hammer cocktail?

Yes, you can add ice to the Velvet Hammer cocktail to bring a chill to the drink. However, do bear in mind that it might dilute the cocktail slightly.

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