Washington’s Award-Winning Coffee Liqueurs Wake Up the New Year

Put a bit of pep in your step with these coffee liqueurs
| Updated: November 27, 2018

If you have a little bit of a post-holiday malaise, or just feel a little sleepy after a lot of holiday merry-making, there’s no better way to give yourself a tasty kick in the pants then by sipping or having a drink made with one of our awesome local coffee liqueurs. It’s probably no surprise that Washington, renowned for amazing coffee, has not one but two award-winning coffee liqueurs–especially since the majority of mass market coffee liqueurs are pretty lacking in flavor and overall awesomeness.

So give the below a try (there are suggested cocktails for each, to help get you started). Even if you woke up on January 1 feeling peppy, you’ll still be impressed.

Seattle Distilling Company Coffee Liqueur

This Vashon-island distiller keeps it local with their rich coffee liqueur, using the Vashon Island Coffee Roasters Orca Blend coffee (which is a medium roast made to support the Vashon Hydrophone Project for Puget Sound whale research) combined with their vodka. Their coffee liqueur’s been getting some great notice lately, including a nice shout out and recipe from NBC's Today, and also received a Gold award at the 2014 Great American Distillers Festival. Try it solo, just throw an ounce in with a nice cup of coffee, or give it a whirl in the Cara Sposa recipe below (you might want to make an extra for your spouse to match the name), from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz.

Cara Sposa

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounce Seattle Distilling Company Coffee Liqueur

1 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao

1/2 ounce heavy cream

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add everything. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Rain City Spirits Drip Coffee Liqueur

Made in south SoDo, this flavorful coffee liqueur also is locally focused, as it’s based on a coffee blend roasted by artisan Seattle coffee champs Caffe Vita. In addition, the distillery has a secret proprietary brewing method that was developed to leave the bitter and the acidy tastes behind while bringing out the coffee goodness. The Drip has been raking in some fantastic press lately from some big spots, including getting 95 points, a “best buy” status, and inclusion in the Top 50 Spirits on 2014 list from Wine Enthusiast.  Much like with the SDC coffee liqueur above, try this beaut by itself, and in coffee, as well as it in the bracing Black Friar, using the below recipe from Good Spirits.

The Black Friar

Cracked ice

1 ounce vodka (hey, try Seattle Distilling Company vodka to keep it locally tied together)

1 ounce Woodinville Whiskey Co. bourbon

2 ounces Rain City Drip

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add the vodka, bourbon, and coffee liqueur. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

A Tip: If this feels a little naked, garnish by floating three coffee-covered espresso beans on top.