If you’re anything like me then one of the greatest pleasures of the autumn evenings drawing in is the excuse for decadent winter warmers: as soon as the clocks go back they’re totes legit, right? One of my personal faves is a coffee liqueur float, but for a long time I was unable to replicate the beauty of the professional digestif found in restaurants. But that all changed a couple of years ago (with great thanks to my fabulous sister-in-law); and so, I’m going to teach you how to make the perfect coffee float, too.

Oh, and they’re fab for Bonfire Night and Christmas parties too!

How to Make the Perfect Coffee Float

Serves 2

Approx. 250 – 300 calories per glass

Nothing beats a liqueur coffee float as the nights draw in. Learn how to perfectly recreate this delicious and decadent restaurant favourite in the comfort of your own home. The ideal Bonfire Night or Christmas tipple!


  • 2 x servings coffee;
  • 150ml double cream;
  • Your choice of alcohol;
  • Sugar to taste

How to Make the Perfect Coffee Float


1. Whip the cream until it begins to thicken. I have a top tip for you at this point: the consistency shouldn’t be as thick as you might think. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve over-whipped and ended up with a sore shoulder and had to open a new pot of cream to thin the cement I’ve created.

How to Make the Perfect Coffee Float

2. Boil the kettle and make your hot drinks. As you can see, I’ve gone for the easy option and used instant coffee – hey, no judging! – but you can use filter or whichever you prefer.

How to Make the Perfect Coffee Float

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3. Now the fun bit: add the alcohol. You can add as much or as little as you wish to taste, but FYI the calories above are based on one measure of Tia Maria or Baileys.

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4. Great, looking good. Now it’s time to do the tricky bit: get your cream to float. The trick is to pour over back of a spoon, like this:

How to Make the Perfect Coffee Float

You’ll notice below that while the cup on the right is looking pretty perfect, the cup on the left has not worked. There’s a very specific reason for this: no alcohol. The sugar in the liqueur is required to make the cream float, so if you choose to use a spirit such as brandy then you may need to add a spoon of sugar to recreate this effect.

Coffee Float

5. Indulge!

How to Make the Perfect Coffee Float

If you found this post helpful for learning how to make the perfect coffee float, please consider sharing with your friends – or better yet, make one for them! 😉



Christmas, Recipe

An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is an experienced breastfeeding advocate, and expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.


  1. This is so helpful! I’ve always wondered and now I love liqueur coffees it’s perfect. It’ll impress my dad that’s for sure!

  2. Ami mymummyspam Reply

    YASSSS I love this!! Coffee food are the best! There is a restaurant local to us that does a Jamaican coffee made with rum and it’s amazing!

  3. Meredith Lee Reply

    The coffee snob in me has got to be honest, it wants to use fresh ground coffee! But, I won’t judge either. 🙂 And anyway, when you’re in a hurry instant is just fine. (sshh, don’t tell anyone I said that.)
    Now, I never knew that about needing sugar in liqueur to float the cream. That explains all those failures!
    The drinks this winter are going to be a lot more successful I think – huge Thank you!

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