Coffee Infused Bourbon

I’ve had this in the queue for a while, not sure why it didn’t get put up. Well, here it is.

Get a bottle of a good bourbon. I’m partial to Woodford Reserve, myself, but there’s clearly room for disagreement here. But if I said “good bourbon” and you thought “Wild Turkey” or “Jim Beam”, then good Lord, son. No. Turn off your computer, pack your bags and move out of the fraternity immediately. It’s time. Leave your sweatpants, jerseys and sportball caps behind; they are the things of children, and you know in your heart that you are no longer that child. Today is a new day; go forth, young man, and bro no more.

Once you’ve worked that whole life-change process through and secured the bourbon, get some really good whole-bean coffee.

As above, there’s room for disagreement. And likewise if you thought “Starbucks” then you’re due for a second spiritual-growth vision-quest where you come back knowing the difference between the bouquet of a fine wine and whatever’s left of a burning sneaker after you’ve put it out by pissing on it. You’ll have to work out the specifics there yourself but you get the idea. Just get it done.

Personally, I’m partial to a lightly-roasted north-African coffee; they tend to have a complex, floral flavor to them that I think offsets the rich, buttery taste of Woodford Reserve very nicely. If you’re partial to a bourbon with a brighter or sweeter taste, a Bulleit for example, they’ll pair well with something more robust that’s been roasted mid to dark. Experiment, is my advice; there’s lots here to love, and much science to be done to refine it.

The process is:

  • Measure out a little over half of a cup of coffee beans and a full cup of bourbon.
  • Pour the coffee beans directly back into the bottle, topping the bottle back off from the cup of bourbon.
  • Close the bottle back up and put it in a cool, dark cupboard.
  • Drink the leftover bourbon.

You’ll need to wait at least four or five days for that to properly infuse, maybe as much as a week, and don’t rush it; you’ll only be cheating your newly-grown-up-with-a-refined-palate-that-deserves-better self – but take it from me, you’ll be happy you did.


  1. Mitchell Swan
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    This will have to be tried. Woodford is almost exclusively the only bourbon I drink.

  2. Kenneth Cavness
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Do you take the beans out after it has infused? Any advantage to letting it infuse even longer than a week?

  3. Mitchell Swan
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering the same thing, are the beans left in the bottle, or do you remove them?

  4. mhoye
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    It’s a good idea to take out the beans when the infusion is to your taste, yes.

  5. Ben Ryan
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Ever tried brewing coffee with the beans, post infusion?

  6. mhoye
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t work. You need coffee beans to be pretty dry to grind them properly, so you don’t get a bunch of mush out of it, and this precludes that. I haven’t tried letting them air-dry again, though.

  7. Dan
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Use a food deyhdrator on the beans.

  8. Alinear
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    You could instead make coffee concentrate using Bourbon instead of water. I haven’t tried it, but it should theoretically work. (FWIW, I soak my Toddy filters in Bourbon between batches of coffee.)