Bourbon Coffee Cocktail – “The Afternoon Pick-Me-Up”

Heavy cream being pour onto the cocktail

If you love coffee and bourbon as much as I do this is a must try. I’ve dubbed this drink “The Afternoon Pick-Me-Up” because it’s a perfect weekend afternoon sipper. Or drink it anytime working from home. Don’t let me tell you how to live your life. This bourbon coffee cocktail promises to bring a nuanced balance of all the ingredients.

If you have already peaked ahead to the recipe you can see that this is a lighter alcohol cocktail compared to all the other recipes on my blog. It’s also a bit sweeter. But that doesn’t mean it’s light on flavor. The coffee and bourbon play very well with the maple syrup to produce a sophisticated drink. The heavy cream float is low key the best part. Don’t skip it.

Coffee Bourbon Cocktail on a table

Bourbons I recommend

The drink will only be as good as the sum of it’s parts. As they say, “Garbage in. Garbage out”. Here is a short list of the bourbons I buy and drink.

  • Buffalo Trace
  • Wild Turkey 101
  • Woodford Reserve
  • Blue Note Juke
  • Basil Hayden
  • 4 Roses

Most of these are readily available for under $50.

The cocktail being strained into a glass with fresh ice

Pro Tips for your Bourbon Coffee Cocktail

Like I’ve said many times in the past, the simpler the ingredient list, the more the technique matters. Here are some tips to get the most out of this recipe.

  • Good Bourbon – See above for my recommendations.
  • Good coffee – I personally use the Toddy Cold Brew System but please use your own personal favorite cold brew coffee.
  • Real Maple Syrup – Under no circumstances are you allowed to use the cheap fake stuff. Get the real deal. Maybe even a barrel aged one would be nice.
  • Big Ice Cubes – The more cocktails I make the more I realize that ice is an essential part of the equation. I always have a set of big cubes from my True Cubes Ice Maker ready to go in my freezer
Front view of the bourbon coffee cocktail

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Heavy cream being pour onto the cocktail
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“The Afternoon Pick-Me-Up” Bourbon Coffee Cocktail

The perfect afternoon weekend sipper. If you love coffee and bourbon this is a must try.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bourbon, bourbon and coffee cocktail, bourbon cocktail, coffee
Servings: 1 people
Cost: $5


  • 3 ounces cold brew coffee or regular cold strong coffee
  • ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce maple syrup the real stuff
  • 2-3 dashes chocolate bitters optional but highly recommended
  • 1 ounce heavy cream


  • Combine the coffee, bourbon, maple syrup and chocolate bitters (if using) in a shaker cup with ice. Shake for 10 – 20 seconds or until the shaker cup is very cold to the touch.
  • Strain into a glass with fresh ice. Slowly pour the heavy cream on top as a floater then enjoy.