As the frost whips through the air, nothing sounds better than cozying up with a hot cup of coffee—except maybe a hot cup of coffee with a little bit of booze in it! Keoke coffee is the perfect brew if you’re looking for a nightcap that tastes like dessert and warms like coffee. Keoke Coffee pairs strong coffee flavor with touches of delicious sweet liquors to create an irresistible sip.
The best part about Keoke Coffee is that you can easily make this fancy, scrumptious drink right at home. Our Keoke Coffee recipe is perfect to whip up when you’re reading a book by the fire or entertaining holiday guests.
Learn how to brew up the perfect Keoke Coffee recipe with the history of the drink and some special tips and tricks to take your cup to the next level!
What’s The History of Keoke Coffee?
Despite it’s warm, wintery feel, Keoke Coffee actually originated in SoCal! At Bully’s Steakhouse, George Bullington and some other staffers were playing around with drinks after closing. That night, George threw together a coffee cocktail that would change the course of gourmet after-dinner drink-desserts forever.
The staff loved the drink so much that they started serving it under the name “George’s Coffee.” A Hawaiian cook at the restaurant recommended he call it Keoke Coffee, since Keoke is the Hawaiian translation of George.
The name stuck, and the drink spread far and wide across the country—and even across the globe. Thanks, George for giving us Keoke Coffee to enjoy!
Tip: Want to know how to pronounce Keoke like a pro? Key-oh-key.
What’s In Keoke Coffee?
Classic Keoke Coffee has four main ingredients:
- Hot coffee
- Crème de cacao (chocolate liquor)
Keoke Coffee is similar to Irish coffee, but Irish coffee has whiskey instead of brandy. Brandy is generally sweeter and fruitier than whiskey, so Keoke Coffee is a favorite for those with a sweet tooth.
Keoke Coffee also has the addition of chocolate liquor, which isn’t in the original Irish coffee recipe. This further adds to the dessert qualities of this cup of Joe.
Although Keoke Coffee is a slightly sweeter drink because of the Kahlua and chocolate liquor, the brandy helps cut it so it’s not too saccharine. You may also want to use an espresso roast of coffee if you like a stronger coffee essence in your drink.
We know what you’re thinking: Three types of alcohol? That sounds strong! That’s why you need the right ratio of ingredients. It’s also why you need to keep reading this article to get our tips and tricks to stir up the perfect Keoke Coffee recipe.
Keoke Coffee Recipe
1/2 ounce of brandy
1/2 ounce Kahlua
1/2 ounce of crème de cacao
1 cup freshly brewed Eldorado coffee
- Grind and brew a fresh pot of coffee for about 1 cup. If you like your drink to have a strong coffee essence, make 1.5 or 2 cups.
- Pour the brandy, Kahlua, and crème de cacao in a warmed glass mug. Mix together with a spoon or metal stirrer.
- When the coffee has finished brewing, pour the coffee into the glass mug last. This helps it mix with the alcohol better.
- Top with whipped cream. (In the next section, we’ll tell you how to keep the whipped cream on top of the coffee rather than mixing in.)
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!
Learn how to make barista-style coffee at home here to help you brew the perfect cup for this recipe.
Keoke Coffee Recipe Tips And Tricks
Tip 1: Glass Mug
Always serve Koeke coffee in a glass mug to bring out the fresh aroma of coffee. Glass is also heat-resistant, so your drink will stay warm without burning your hands.
Plus, a glass mug is a traditional way of serving an after-dinner coffee drink. It looks beautiful, as you can see the rich dark brown of the coffee swirled with the whipped cream. No one can resist that view!
Tip 2: Warm The Mug
Before pouring in the liquor or coffee, heat the glass mug with hot water. Let the warm water sit in the glass mug until you’re ready to make the recipe. Then, pour the water out before adding your ingredients. This will keep your drink warm despite the cool liquors, and it adds a layer of subtle extravagance to this lusciously warm drink.
Tip 3: Whipped Cream
Want to avoid your whipped cream instantly mixing in with your drink? Want your dollop of whipped cream to stay at the top of your drink?
Don’t pour the whipped cream directly in the mug. Put the whipped cream on a spoon first, then use the spoon to gently rest the cream on top of the cup. Some of the whipped cream will still mix in (creating beautiful swirls of white in your dark cup), but the majority will stay intact and on top.
Tip 4: Hot Coffee
Make sure your coffee is piping hot when you make the drink. The liquors might cool down the coffee, so you want the coffee to be as freshly brewed as possible to retain its warmth.
You can use any type of coffee you like—from any style around the globe. We recommend an espresso brew for a richer and fuller body.
Check out our most popular and beloved Eldorado espresso brews here.
Tip 5: Spirits Ratio
The ratio of your spirits-to-coffee will make or break your drink. We typically recommend 1/2 ounce of each liquor per cup of coffee. If you want a stronger coffee flavor, brew more coffee. If you like the sweetness of the liquors, you can add up to 1 ounce of each per cup.
Tip 6: Types of Spirits
Kahlua is a coffee-flavored liquor that contains rum, sugar, vanilla, and Arabica coffee. This is arguably the most important liquor in the drink because it ties together the coffee and sugary flavors beautifully!
You can use light or dark crème de cacao. They taste similar and the color of the drink will be a rich dark brown either way. Check out this cool recipe for homemade crème de cacao.
The brandy you choose is up to your taste preferences. We tend to go for a sophisticated Cognac, but don’t be afraid to try out different versions for your Keoke Coffee! Learn more about the 9 main types of brandy here.
Tip 7: Garnish
Whipped cream is a classic garnish that just about every Keoke coffee needs. What you put on top of the whipped cream is up to you! We like cinnamon because it has an inviting scent and adds a nice layer of sweetness to the cup. You can also top it with a cherry for a sundae-feel or even a coffee bean for an elegant, aesthetically pleasing look. Get creative!
Your Keoke Coffee Recipe
We’re anxious to brew up a cup of coffee, mix in some scrumptious liquor, and sneak a lick off the top of the whipped cream!
As the cool air starts to settle in, we’re falling even more in love with the pairing of hot coffee and saccharine liquor after a hearty dinner or as an indulgent way to thaw away the cold. We absolutely adore this Keoke Coffee recipe, and we think you will too!
Share this article with your friends to see what they think of Keoke Coffee. We look forward to hearing what you have to say about this luxuriously warm, sweet, and tasty treat!