African Sunrise

Slightly sweet and balanced, the African Sunrise is the perfect coffee cocktail for brunch! A spin on the traditional mimosa, it tastes like grapefruit with just a touch of the coffee’s earthiness.

Overhead view of hands holding glass of african sunrise cocktail

National Coffee Day is a thing!

Hooray for coffee!

Hooray for caffeine!

… Hooray for alcohol?

Yes! Yes! Hooray for alcohol AND coffee in the SAME drink!

African sunrise in glass on napkin in front of packaged items

National Coffee Day is next Tuesday, the 29th, so I’ve teamed up with my friend, who also happens to be a fantastic barista, Valorie to make some awesome coffee cocktails for y’all.

“Teamed up” means Valorie found these recipes, perfected them and made them. I photographed them and taste tested. She definitely did the heavy lifting here. I did the easy work… and it was delicious.

Valorie whipped up four separate coffee cocktails, and I’ll be sharing them every other Friday for the next eight weeks. It’s gonna be super fun, different and tasty.

Glass of beverage on top a napkin in front of recipe packages

I was unsure what coffee would taste like when incorporated into a cocktail, but Valorie chose wisely… and she invented this here drink.

The African Sunrise: Admittedly, it sounds like a weird combination, but I’m here to tell you it’s actually amazingly delicious and refreshing. The grapefruit is so fruity and light and works wonderfully when paired with the earthy African coffee. It’s sweet, but not cloyingly so. There’s a hint of the coffee, but it’s not overpowering. And Valorie says you can add more coffee without losing too much, so if you’d like more coffee in your drink, have at it.

One of the dangerous things about this cocktail is that it doesn’t taste alcoholic. It just tastes good, which translates to brunch for me.

Intrigued? Here’s how Valorie made it:

Hand holding glass of african sunrise cocktail
Yield: 1 drink

African Sunrise

Prep Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes

Slightly sweet and balanced, the African Sunrise is the perfect coffee cocktail for brunch! A spin on the traditional mimosa, it tastes like grapefruit with just a touch of the coffee's earthiness.


  • 3 oz. Kenyan or Ethiopian coffee, hot
  • 2 oz. grapefruit vodka
  • 1 oz. sparkling water
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • Ice cubes, one large ice sphere or whiskey stones


  1. Brew the coffee.
  2. Mix the vodka, sparking water and syrup, then pour the coffee into the drink warm.
  3. Add ice cubes to the cup, and serve.


Valorie recommends checking out Counter Culture for a video about making good pour over coffee.

Total time includes brewing the coffee.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 drink

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

How much did you love this recipe?

Follow me on Instagram for more content, and share a photo of your creation with the hashtag #speckledpalate!

Hand holding glass of african sunrise cocktail

Have you ever tried coffee in a cocktail?

Do you plan to celebrate National Coffee Day?

Be sure to check out our other coffee cocktails: The Boyfriend Irish Coffee  | The Melty Cold Brew Shake | The Siciliano

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  1. Um, yes please. You had me at African because, well, I am! Because of the color, I half-expected this to be made from rooibos tea, a South African red tea (my favorite for colds & flu, by the way, with lemon and honey) — which some coffee shops like to us to make “red lattes.” Even though it doesn’t have caffeine in it?

    Anyway, I was much more pleased to see it has real COFFEE in it, because coffee is my fave. I cannot wait for this series! I <3 coffee!

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