Spanish Coffee Cocktail

For a totally different experience with a coffee cocktail, this Spanish Coffee Cocktail with Brandy is a must try; absolutely swoonworthy with the flavors of orange and brandy.

Spanish Coffee with Brandy topped with whipped cream and orange zest.

Although winter officially starts in December, in Colorado I think of real winter as January and February when the biting cold really calls for a warming cocktail like this Spanish Coffee Cocktail with Brandy.

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It doesn’t help that I am a died in the wool, staunch environmental conservationist and while my home is pretty tight and my utility bills manageable, I continue to keep my thermostat set pretty low.

I think I do it ostensibly to ‘save it for the children’ but my children walk in the door and first thing out of their mouths is ‘turn up the heat!’ so I’ve failed somewhere. Having a warm drink like this Spanish Coffee Cocktail with Brandy sure helps!

So the gist of this tale is that there are certainly days when the thought of making a cold cocktail doesn’t work and yesterday was one of those days. My tootsies were freezing and my hunt for something warm landed on warm coffee drinks.

We’re all familiar with Irish Coffee but I’m betting a visit to Spain will leave you warmed to your toes even more. I have to tell you this Spanish Coffee with Brandy, Whipped Cream, and orange zest really did the trick. If given a choice between this and the Irish…I’m going to Spain!

Spanish Coffee with Brandy topped with whipped cream and garnished with orange zest.

I first had a Spanish Coffee cocktail not long ago when I met some friends for Happy Hour. It was simple, a combination of coffee and brandy, called a Carajillo. I was in the mood for warm then too but I forgot to beg the bartender for his recipe so I was on my own.

OH MY…there are a million recipes so I’ve taken the general idea and done my own thing.

One important thing? No Kahlua like many recipes suggested. I wanted this to be different from Kahlua and coffee and Brandy seemed to be the ideal component. I actually used a bottle of Cognac (how on earth could I be out of brandy?) and while it’s not important to use the cream of the brandy crop like I did, it was not a bad thing.

I think the whole key to this cocktail is the orange. Not a drop of orange is in the drink in the form of juice or liqueur but it is nonetheless very present. The rim is rubbed with an orange slice to help coat it with raw brown sugar and that zest on the top is so fragrant that it is part of the experience with every sip.

Closeup of Spanish Coffee with Espresso and Brandy

If you don’t have raw sugar, you can substitute plain brown sugar but try to find the raw product. I use it every day in my morning coffee and that bit of molasses adds a richness I love. No longer a difficult to find exotic ingredient either, you can find it in the sugar aisle of most grocery stores.

Part of why I like using it for rimming is the mouthfeel; it adds a nice crunchy sugary element that makes it more fun to drink a Spanish Coffee Cocktail.

I made this Spanish Coffee Cocktail with Brandy to test it but had to make it again to get photos. Poor me. I was sipping while I wrote; apologies in advance for any typos, OK? But do try this…it’s eye rolling good. Cheers!

PIN IT! ‘Spanish Coffee Cocktail’

Spanish Coffee with Brandy topped with whipped cream and orange zest.
Spanish Coffee with Espresso

Spanish Coffee Cocktail with Brandy

For a totally different experience with a coffee cocktail, this Spanish Coffee Cocktail with Brandy is a must try; absolutely swoon worthy with the flavors of orange and brandy.
4.72 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Brandy, Cocktails
Cuisine American
Servings 1 Cocktail
Calories 282 kcal


For the Rim

  • Raw brown sugar I used Sugar in the Raw
  • 1 orange cut into sections

For the Cocktail

  • 2 ounces espresso coffee
  • 1 ounce regular coffee
  • 1 teaspoon raw brown sugar
  • 1 ½ ounce Brandy

For the Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons Heavy whipping cream
  • Grated Orange Zest


  • Rub a section of orange around the rim of a martini glass and dip the wet rim into the raw brown sugar crystals.
  • Warm the espresso, regular coffee, raw brown sugar and brandy until just steaming but not boiling. Pour into the martini glass and top with a big dollop of whipped cream.
  • Garnish with the grated orange zest.


If you don’t normally make espresso; I suggest using an instant Espresso. I prefer Medaglia D’Oro Espresso.
You can find it at most grocers; Target had the best price when I checked…but NOT Amazon! All of the online grocers were much pricier.
I have a stovetop espresso maker but thought I would try the instant and it was so good there is no need to make espresso unless you want to!


Nutrition Facts
Spanish Coffee Cocktail with Brandy
Serving Size
1 Cocktail
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword cocktails, coffee, orange, Spanish
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. 5 stars
    I can’t express how much I like trying different brands of coffee. By the looks of the photographs, this Spanish Coffee Cocktail is going to be delicious if I follow the instructions exactly.

  2. 5 stars
    I just can’t tell how much I love coffee and always try to taste new types of coffees! I can tell by just looking at the pictures that this Spanish Coffee Cocktail is going to be really nice if I follow the recipe correctly! Thank You!

  3. The fantastic Spanish Coffee with Brandy Cocktail combines coffee, espresso, brandy, and spiked whipped cream. It must be tried!

  4. Awesome! We don´t prepare carajillo in such a fancy way in Spain… only the coffee, the liquor, a short glass and playing cards and having fun with friends after a good lunch! Greetings from Seattle 🙂

  5. Yesterday in Minneapolis the temperature started out at 16 below and ended up at 5 below. There could not have been a more perfect day for this amazing cocktail. It is even more delicious than it looks and is very simple to make. I have never done a hot drink like this before and now this will become my winter signature drink (credit to you of course). Its just wonderful, the orange zest in the whipped cream just makes this so special! Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. Well credit to you for making my day…I am so glad you tried it and love it as much as I do. Thanks so much for letting me know!

  6. This time of the year we keep our thermostat in low 60s, but our weather doesn’t get anywhere near as cold as yours. And of course we’re always wearing sweaters, etc. And serving lots of soup to warm up. 🙂 Anyway, what a great cocktail! I don’t often do warm ones, but they’re so nice — particularly when coffee is involved. You done good — thanks.

    1. John, a man after my own ‘save the energy’ heart. I keep it in low 60’s during the day and it slips a few degrees at night. I was pretty amazed when I saw someone ask what temp most people kept their homes at; generally it was 68-70 degrees. I guess that message about saving energy missed a lot of folks huh? So good to know I am not alone. In the minority obviously but not alone. 🙂

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