Friday Happy Hour: The Dark Roast

I love coffee. And I also love cocktails! The great thing about booze is that two things like that need never be in conflict: if you love something and you also love cocktails, just…put that thing into a cocktail! So that’s what I did with coffee. There are some classic coffee drinks (like Irish Coffee), but not that many, so there’s plenty of room to play around. Which is what we did with our first coffee cocktail: The Dark Roast. – Andrew



Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Dark Roast

1 oz Brandy
1 oz Dark Rum
4 oz Coffee
3/4 oz Hazelnut Rich Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur

To make the Hazelnut Simple Syrup: roast a pound of hazelnuts in an oven until they are fragrant and turn golden brown. While they’re roasting, melt two cups of sugar in two cups of water over low heat on the stove. Once the hazelnuts have cooled, remove their peels by rolling the hazelnuts between two towels. Crush the hazelnuts into large pieces and add them to the syrup, simmering until the syrup has taken on the hazelnuts’ flavor and reduced by about half.

To make the drink: combine the brandy, rum, coffee, syrup and liqueur in a shaker filled with lots of ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Turks (who really know their coffee) have a saying: coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love. The Dark Roast comes pretty close. It’s dark and rich, with a robust coffee flavor (and plenty of caffeine, so maybe don’t drink this one too late in the day). But the bitterness and rough edges of the coffee are balanced and rounded off by the sweet nuttiness of the hazelnut syrup and Maraschino liqueur.


Although the flavors don’t exactly line up – the Dark Roast is missing typical Middle Eastern coffee flavors like cardamom and cinnamon – it reminds me nothing more than a chilled, boozy Turkish coffee: sweet but strong, almost muddy with rich coffee flavors. Which just makes me want some Turkish coffee now…


Don’t forget to let us know if you try any of our recipes. And if you do make one at home, you can use #osbphappyhour to share photos of these (or your own creations) on Instagram.

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper