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Koko Cold Brew, SushiSamba
Photograph: Courtesy Sushi Samba Koko Cold Brew

The best coffee cocktails in NYC

The best coffee cocktails include a java-spiked boulevardier, an espresso fizz and a coffee-rum slushy

By Lauren Rothman
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Coffee cocktails have never been cool: there’s just nothing sexy about sugary joe with a shot of whiskey dumped in. They’ve never been cool, that is, until now: today, innovative cafes and bars citywide are stirring up fresh drinks that give you a caffeine and an alcohol buzz, all at the same time. Whether you’re getting your fix at the best coffee shops in NYC, at one of the best bars in NYC or at fine dining restaurants, these are the best coffee cocktails in the city.

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Best coffee cocktails in NYC

The Marin Boulevardier from Kobrick Coffee bar
Photograph: Courtesty Yelp/Kobrick Coffee

Marin Boulevardier at Kobrick Coffee Co.

Bars Cocktail bars Meatpacking District

This bar program from century-old roastery Kobrick makes coffee cocktails cool again. Its Marin Boulevardier is a smooth union of bourbon, Campari and vermouth with rich single-origin Kenya AA dripped through a sleek Yama brew tower.

Koko Cold Brew, SushiSamba
Photograph: Courtesy Sushi Samba

Koko Cold Brew at SUSHISAMBA

Restaurants Japanese West Village

This West Village fusion spot melds Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian flavors into one original cuisine. The Koko Cold Brew is a fusion too, mixing cold brew coffee-infused Bacardi rum chaken with pineapple, cilantro and coconut sugar.

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Coffee Cordial Boozy Slushy at Mother’s Ruin

Bars Cocktail bars Nolita

At this airy Nolita drinkery, co-owners Timothy Lynch and Richard Knapp bring in a rotating cast of star bartenders to sling classic and contemporary drinks. The frozen Coffee Cordial Boozy Slushy is, well, exactly that: a union of Toby’s Estate Coffee, white rum, nutmeg, cinnamon and star anise.

Sweetleaf
Photograph: Courtesy Sweetleaf

Long Island City Special at Sweetleaf Coffee

Restaurants Coffee shops Long Island City

Long Island City’s first specialty coffee shop serves direct-trade coffee, homemade pastries and artisan espresso (complete with latte art) in a cubbyhole-sized space. Its Long Island City Special is a stirring concoction of Blackstrap rum, agave, lime juice, soda water and a house-brewed coffee liqueur.

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Maialino
Photograph: Courtesy Liz Clayman

Espresso Fizz at Maialino

Restaurants Italian Gramercy

Danny Meyer’s tribute to Rome isn’t all about pasta: bartender Ryan Clur’s straightforward fizz celebrates coffee. It’s a mix of medium-light espresso, chilled tonic water and orange bitters, with an orange twist.

Kickstarter at Blueprint
Photograph: Courtesy Kickstarter

Kickstarter at Blueprint

Bars Cocktail bars Flatiron

This Park Slope cocktail bar is decorated with mahogany paneling and Italian granite tables. Its aptly named Kickstarter provides a jolt espresso sweetened with turbinado sugar, then shaken with rum and coffee bitters.

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Double Buzz at Amor y Amargo
Photograph: Courtesy Amor y Amargo

“Double Buzz” at Amor y Amargo

Bars Cocktail bars East Village

At this a colorful nook conceived by Ravi DeRossi (Death & Company, Cienfuegos) and Bittermens, a small-batch bitters producer based in Red Hook, curious drinkers can find plenty of ways to mix edification and inebriation. The focus here is on amari and other bitters, whose flavor profiles pair perfectly with strong coffee. Each Sunday afternoon, the bar celebrates that pairing with its “Double Buzz” program, offering smart cocktails like the Flamingo (Ethiopian Guji coffee, tequila, cocchi rosso, apple bitters) and the Jungle Bird (Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee, light and dark rums, Campari and Angostura bitters).

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