Petie has a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages and is currently a graduate student in Italy. With a passion for travel and cross-cultural learning, she has tried coffee all over the world. Previously a barista and coffeehouse manager, Petie is most knowledgeable about coffee bean flavor profiles, safe coffee practices, equipment, and fair trade coffee.
What is Coffee Liqueur?
From mushroom coffee to Luwak coffee, there’s no lack of coffee variety in the world, and it’s no surprise that alcoholic coffee exists, too. But what exactly is a coffee liqueur? Well, the coffee liqueur is exactly what it sounds like! It combines two of the world’s favorite drinks: alcohol and coffee. Usually, sugar is added to the sharp-tasting drink to balance out the flavors. Kahlua is perhaps the most popular brand of coffee liqueur, known for being especially sweet and syrupy. But plenty of other options aren’t mass-produced, like Mr. Black.
About Mr. Black
Mr. Black, founded in 2013, is an Australian company with one main goal: to combine good coffee and good drinks with its coffee liqueur. Every bottle is made at the company’s roastery and distillery near Sydney, Australia. Mr. Black uses specialty coffee beans from the best-growing regions worldwide and ensures bold and complex flavor profiles. The company emphasizes quality in the details and consistency in its products, paying extra attention to temperature, time, and water composition.
Mr. Black crafts two kinds of coffee liqueur. Your first option is the cold brew coffee liqueur, which the company prides itself as the original product that started it all. It’s brewed slowly with cold purified water. The beans originate from Kenya, Papua New Guinea, and Colombia, leaving decadent and rich-tasting notes. The liqueur is 23% alcohol by volume, making it slightly more robust than Kahlua’s alcohol content of 20% ABV. The cold brew liqueur contains just a touch of cane sugar, making it bittersweet rather than overly syrupy. Australian wheat vodka gives it a punch, while still letting the cold brew shine.
Your other option is Mr. Black’s coffee amaro, a modern take on an Italian classic. This bitter liqueur measures an alcohol content of 28.5%, so it’s a bit stronger than the cold brew. Created by the company’s head distiller, the product combines his 30 years of botanical exploration with his love of coffee. Like the cold brew liqueur, the amaro has a base of Arabica coffee. Since amaro is an herbal liqueur, this concoction is strengthened with gentian, grapefruit, orange peels and botanical distillates.
Occasionally, Mr. Black also sells unique edition products, like Mezcal cask and rum barrel coffee liqueurs.
How to Drink
Whichever of the two liqueurs strikes your fancy, there are several ways to drink it. To experience a full coffee taste, Mr. Black recommends drinking the liqueur on the rocks. If you want to experiment, you can make a coffee cocktail. Here are some must-try recipes:
Espresso martinis are perhaps one of the most well-known alcoholic coffee beverages, and for a reason! Combine 30ml of fresh espresso with 60ml of your Mr. Black product. Shake with ice, then strain into a glass and enjoy.
This classic cocktail, popularized by the movie The Big Lebowski, consists of coffee liqueur, vodka, and heavy cream. Pour 5 parts vodka and 2 parts coffee liqueur into a glass filled with ice. Top with fresh cream and stir slowly.
The Paloma Negra is a refreshing drink with strong citrus notes, making it fantastic for a hot summer day. Not all recipes for this cocktail include coffee liqueur, but some do. Mr. Black’s recipe calls for 30 ml Mezcal or Tequila, 30 ml pink grapefruit juice, 30 ml Mr. Black, and a splash of soda. Rim the edge of your glass with salt, combine the juice and alcohol, and top with soda. If you want, you can garnish it with a slice of grapefruit.
Combine equal parts of rye whiskey and Mr. Black. Pour into an old-fashioned glass over ice and stir. Garnish with an orange peel twist.
Cold Irish Coffee
Traditional Irish coffee comprises Irish whiskey, coffee, cream, and sugar. Although it’s usually served hot, an icy twist of this classic drink can be easily made with Mr. Black. First, fill your glass with ice. Add 30 ml Mr. Black, 30 ml Irish whiskey, and 60 ml iced coffee and stir. Top it all off with a layer of whipped cream. This recipe, and the ones before it, are just some of the many ways you can experiment with Mr. Black coffee liqueur.
Is Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur Right for You?
Ultimately, this is up to you! Mr. Black has been reported to taste less sweet than other brands, so it’s a great choice if you don’t like sugary drinks or want to control the sweetness level yourself. You can also consider the price when comparing Mr. Black to other coffee liqueurs. Additionally, this brand is said to be challenging to acquire in some countries, which might influence your decision.