Which Alcohol Goes Best With Your Starbucks Order?

by Michelle Regalado

Starbucks coffee is pretty good on its own, but on certain occasions, you’re just looking for a more adult twist — obviously, I’m talking about booze. So what do you do when you’re looking to spike your favorite Starbucks drink? You turn to our trusty guide, of course. Depending on what your preferred beverage is, certain kinds of liquor make for a better match than others. Luckily for you, we've found the best pairings for some of the most popular drinks Starbucks has to offer. Get ready for a great cup of coffee — with an extra punch.

While plain coffees are relatively easy to match, flavored ones — like caramel or vanilla lattes — can be a little trickier. The key is to pick a liquor with the same undertones as your preferred drink. For example, go for a nutty liquor like amaretto to pair with a hazelnut-flavored drink, or a cinnamon-infused alcohol to go with your cinnamon latte. Still confused? When in doubt, you pretty much can’t go wrong with tried-and-true liqueurs like Baileys, Kahlua, or a dash of whiskey.

There are also suggestions for those who prefer tea or sweeter, chocolatey drinks like Frappuccinos. Check ‘em all out below before heading out for your coffee run, and enjoy! (Just make sure you keep these delicious spiked beverages outside the office.)

1. Plain Coffee

If you're going with just a basic coffee, you can pretty much mix it with any kind of liquor you want. Baileys and coffee-flavored liqueurs like Kahlua are most often used, but if you're looking for something with a little more of a kick, you can also spike it with bourbon, whiskey, and rum.

2. Mocha

To spike a plain or skinny mocha, add a little whiskey, which pairs well with most espresso-based beverages. Looking to preserve a sweeter flavor? Go with Baileys or Kahlua.

3. Espresso

Again, the good ol' standbys Baileys and Kahlua will do the trick. A dash of gin or whiskey will also work, if you'd rather use hard liquor.

4. Caramel Lattes and Macchiatos

If you're looking to spike a sweet latte or macchiato like this one, a good tip is to use a liquor that picks up on the same notes of the flavored syrup — in this case, caramel. Caramel vodka will add a major flavor boost, but if you want to downplay the sweetness, add whiskey instead.

5. Cinnamon Latte

Same rule applies here. To add a little buzz to your coffee while still keeping that spicy cinnamon flavor, use cinnamon schnapps. Not into schnapps? Vodka also works!

6. Hazelnut Lattes and Macchiatos

Hazelnut or chocolate liqueur will liven up this coffee's sweet and nutty flavor, as will a splash of amaretto.

7. Vanilla Latte and Mochas

Vodka (vanilla-flavored, if you want to go extra sweet) packs a nice punch with this drink, as does Kahlua.

8. Brewed tea

Bourbon and vodka pairs well with tea. If you're a chai fan, go with vodka (vanilla, if preferred), rum, or gin.

9. Hot chocolate

Like plain coffee, it's easy to spike hot chocolate with anything. Some favorites? Bourbon, Baileys and, to add a hint of spice, cinnamon schnapps.

10. Strawberries & Cream Daiquiri Frappuccino

It might be a little cold for a Frappuccino in most areas these days, but if you want a drink to remind you of those warm summer days, one of these babies mixed with rum will definitely do the trick!

11. Vanilla Bean Frappuccino

Kahlua and vodka (a chocolate or vanilla-flavored kind would probably be best) will turn the Frap into a White Russian-style drink.

12. Passion Tea Lemonade

For a tropical-tasting drink, add tequila or rum to this sweet passion fruit concoction.

Images: Starbucks; travelstar,