Coffee, Cognac, and Cream

By: The Local Palate
Coffee, Cognac, and Cream

Toni Tipton Martin’s latest book, Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs & Juice (Clarkson-Potter, 2023), walks through cocktail recipes inspired by Black mixologists. Here, find a quick guide to making your own coffee liqueur, and how to create a smooth coffee, cognac, and cream.

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Makes 1 cocktail

  • Ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons homemade Coffee Liqueur (page 28)
  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) cognac
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, milk, or non-dairy milk
  • for the coffee liqueur
  • ¾ cup strong hot espresso
  • 1½ cups demerara sugar
  • ¼ vanilla bean
  • 6 ounces (¾ cup) rum, Cachaça, grainalcohol, or vodka

Make the Coffee Liqueur

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together the espresso, sugar, and vanilla bean with a wooden spoon until the sugar begins to dissolve. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vanilla bean and discard.Stir in the alcohol. Pour the mixture into a pint glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Let stand at least 2 weeks before serving to allow the flavors to meld and mellow, shaking the jar occasionally.

Make the cocktail

  1. Fill a cocktail glass two-thirds full with ice. Using the back of a bar spoon, carefully and slowly pour in liqueur. Repeat with cognac and then with cream to create a layered look. Do not stir before serving.


  • Reprinted with permission from Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs & Juice by Toni Tipton-Martin, copyright © 2023. Photographs by Brittany Conerly. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

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