Hot Cocktail Recipe: Scottish Coffee

On a cold winter’s night there’s nothing like a hot and boozy cocktail to help you wind down and warm your bones. A popular one for many is the Irish Coffee, a concoction made with hot brewed coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and topped with whipped cream. It’s one of my favorites too, but lately I’ve been making a similar version inspired by their whisky loving neighbors located just across the North Channel. Yes, I’m talking about Scotland, and we’re calling this cocktail a Scottish Coffee.

If you haven’t guessed it already, this Scottish Coffee recipe uses almost all the same ingredients, except we shake things up a bit by using Scotch whisky instead of the Irish stuff. Make no mistake though, they’re not the same and the Scottish take their most popular export and national drink very seriously. A Scotch Whisky can only be labeled as such if it is produced at a distillery in Scotland under a series of strict rules and regulations. It also must be bottled at a minimum of 40% ABV and aged for a minimum of 3 years.

Also known and referred to singularly as Scotch, for this recipe we recommend going with an unpeated version. If you’re new to the world of Scotch Whisky (you drop the ‘e’ in whisky when you’re in Scotland) unpeated whiskies are enjoyed because of their clean smooth flavor. Peated whiskies on the other hand, are whiskies that are produced to embody a smokiness in a variety of strengths in addition to their other flavor profiles. While this style of whisky first made popular in Scotland is loved by many, this recipe is best made with an unpeated Scotch. The label should be able to guide you.

What Scottish Whisky Should You Use in Scottish CoffeeBruichladdich The Classic Laddie Scotch Whisky

Nicely balanced with flavor notes of toffee, vanilla, and malt, we found that Bruichladdich’s Classic Laddie Scotch Whisky is a perfect choice for this recipe. With a gorgeous deep golden-caramel color derived entirely from maturing in a variety of cask types, The Classic Laddie is made with 100% Scottish barley and triple distilled (no caramel color added as other distilleries often do). Give this one a try even if you think you don’t like Scotch. The Classic Laddie is a great spirit for anyone who’s looking to get their feet (or palate) wet when it comes to drinking Scotch whisky and it may just surprise you how drinkable it is. And even without the coffee, sugar, and cream, it’s wonderful to sip this to warm up on a cold evening. And warm up you it will.

Which Coffee Should You Use in Scottish Coffee

For this recipe you can use any hot brewed coffee that you enjoy. A smooth medium roast coffee is what we recommend for the best all around flavor. Many coffee lovers around the world that are serious about their beans recommend using French Press to make the best coffee. Not only is a French Press a convenient way to make fresh coffee in smaller servings but it’s also incredibly delicious.

To make French Press coffee you place coarse ground coffee (preferably from fresh ground beans) steeped in hot water in a French Press carafe, and then essentially steeped instead of brewed like a traditional coffee maker would do. Since the coffee grounds are essentially steeped in hot water instead of being filtered out, all the flavors and oils from the beans are left intact and get delivered right to your cup for the most delightful coffee drinking experience. If you don’t have a French Press, but would like one, they’re pretty inexpensive and you can usually find them for $20 or less.

What are the Ingredients for Scottish CoffeeBruichladdich’s Classic Laddie Scotch Whisky: This smooth unpeated scotch whisky with notes of malt and vanilla is the ideal choice to enjoy in your Scottish Coffee.

Brown Sugar: For a bit of sweetness with a warm hint of molasses.

Hot Brewed Coffee: We love the results using a French Press with freshly ground beans, but coffee brewed traditionally would be just fine. A medium roast coffee would work best.

Warm Milk: This is optional, but if you typically take cream or milk in your coffee this is the way to go.

Fresh Whipped Cream: Time for the big finale! Fresh whipped cream not only looks impressive, it’s also an important part of the experience. Slowly spoon in the whipped cream so it floats on top of the coffee, but don’t stir it. Sip the coffee through the whipped cream. Enjoy!


Scottish Coffee Recipe

Scottish Coffee


  • 1.5 ounces Bruichladdich Classic Laddie Scotch Whiskey
  • 6 ounces Fresh brewed coffee Preferably French Pressed
  • 2 teaspoons Brown sugar
  • Fresh whipped cream to top


  • To an 8 ounce glass mug, add 1.5 ounces of the Bruichladdich Classic Laddie Scotch Whiskey.

  • Next, add the brown sugar.

  • Top with hot coffee and give it a stir.

  • OPTIONAL: Add warmed milk if desired.

  • Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

  • Enjoy responsibly!

Keyword coffee, coffee drink, scottish coffee

About The Bruichladdich Distillery

Located in the Scottish Isles on the small island of Islay (pronounced “EYE-luh”) Bruichladdich, originally established in 1881 is today a distillery known for its experimentation with recipes and processes. They currently produce 4 unique spirits all bottled on site, offering both unpeated (smooth) and peated (smokey) single malt Scotch whiskeys.

Visit Bruichladdich to learn more about their process and where you can find their Classic Laddie Scotch Whisky.

See our post Exploring the Finest Scotch Whiskeys with Bruichladdich

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