Let’s talk about Coffee! Here at Wolf Lane Distillery, we craft spirits to highlight the amazing produce of Tropical Far North Queensland. We use local fruits and botanicals in our products, and our Coffee Liqueurs are no exception. Here is a deep dive into our passion for Coffee and the best ways to use Coffee Liqueur.
1. What is a coffee liqueur?
A coffee liqueur is a caffeinated coffee flavoured spirit. Its origins can be traced back to the 17th century. According to historical records, the first one was made in the early 1600s by a French Monk named Frère David in the aim of preserving the coffee flavour. This took place in a Monastery where its recipe was kept for many years before being shared with the public.
Over the years, the popularity of coffee grew in Europe and with it, coffee liqueurs spread across Italy, Spain, Portugal and later Mexico.
Throughout this time, coffee liqueurs have been crafted with a variety of spirits including Bourbon, Whiskey, Brandy but primarily Rum or Vodka. Rum gives a slightly sweeter version due to its molasses base.
There are two ways to make a coffee-infused liqueur, with a cold brew and with espresso. The cold brew method involves steeping the roasted coffee beans, sugar, and other ingredients in the alcohol. The other technique is to use coffee in its espresso form to extract a strong coffee flavour and then sweeten it with sugar.
In Australia, you can easily find mass-produced coffee liqueurs like the Mexican Kahlua or Jamaican Tia Maria (now made in Italy) in any bottle shop. These are typically syrupy and very sweet. Kahlua, for instance, has 39.3g of sugar per 100mL. This is why it compliments stronger drinks such as the White and Black Russian.
If you look for more sophisticated products, made with local Australian ingredients, look no further. We love coffee and especially Espresso Martinis so much that we came up with our own recipes!
2. Meet our coffee liqueurs
The Barista Coffee Liqueur
Here in Far North Queensland, we have access to some of the finest coffee in the country. We use a pure Australian single-origin Arabica coffee sourced in Jaques Coffee’s plantations.
Our Barista Coffee Liqueur was born out of a pursuit to create a coffee liqueur that would showcase the quality of coffee we have here in the Tropics.
We get our vanilla from local farmers around the Tablelands and the Daintree rainforest. This one is used to distill our own vanilla-infused vodka that we combine with Jaques’s premium espresso and then add a little bit of sugar, sourced in the local sugar cane factories..
With considerably less sugar than the commonly found brands, our coffee liqueur is bold in flavour with subtle hints of vanilla.
It delivers a full coffee kick with just the right amount of alcohol (22% ABV) and is perfect to get your caffeine fix!
Annee’s Vietnamese Coffee Liqueur
In collaboration with the legendary Annee's Caphê Sua Da, we craft a delicious Vietnamese Coffee Liqueur. For this one, we use Annee's signature Vietnamese Robusta coffee in its cold brew form, meaning the coffee beans are steeped in water for hours to extract the beans’ aroma. In Vietnam, the brewing technique is called ‘’slow dripping’’, which enables flavours to develop and infuse gradually.
This coffee is known for its bold flavour and higher caffeine content. Its distinct taste and brewing method set it apart from other types of coffee, giving an earthy taste that captivates the senses. We then pair it with our distilled vodka and sweeten it with local sugar, to create a Vietnamese-style coffee liqueur.
The result is a smooth and slightly thick liquid with a reminiscence of vanilla, coconut and chocolate notes.
3. The best ways to enjoy coffee liqueur
Let’s get creative and discover the many delicious ways you can enjoy coffee liqueur!
You can add your liqueur in your iced coffee. No one will know! Here is one of our favourites.
Otherwise, drink it on the rocks, as a shot, or as an ingredient in a cocktail.
If you ask us, our top favourite caffeinated cocktail is the Espresso Martini. That’s why we developed a bottled cocktail with our Barista Coffee Liqueur. Simply chill, shake and serve.
You can find three different Espresso Martini recipes on our website, in the cocktail recipe section.
That being said, you can also indulge in Irish Coffee, hot or cold. Here is our recipe tutorial.
Want to try something a little different? How about a Caffeinated Negroni? Here is our recipe.
Need a late-night pick-me-up? Drizzle it over your favourite vanilla ice cream for a yummy kick! Or make a delicious affogato if you want a bit more!
Make a tiramisu and steep your lady fingers into the coffee liqueur of your choice, and add some to the mascarpone for extra flavor. For an intense coffee taste, choose The Barista and for a smoother one, go Annee’s.
Don’t feel like making a tiramisu? No worries, you can pour some over a slice of chocolate, caramel or vanilla cake. We won’t tell.