This sweet and spooky Halloween coffee cocktail was created by chef Lili Dagan. Inspired in equal parts by the espresso martini resurgence and Chef Lili’s love of Below Deck, she’s dubbed it Captain Lee’s Boat Juice. 

Halloween coffee cocktail

For those of us who lived our awkward teenage years in the 90’s, bringing back low-rise jeans and platform shoes is both a terrifying trip down memory lane and an interesting people-watching activity; is that your outfit, or are you en route to a costume party? In my neck of the woods we call this game “Bushwick or Halloween?” 

I might have my doubts about the fashion, but there’s one nostalgic trend I am unquestionably here for: Espresso martinis. Do you need a pick-me-up and to buff out the edges of this crushing, unforgiving world? The beverage of choice is the espresso martini. I’m not the only one who’s noticed. I’ve seen espresso martinis popping up at airports, all around Bachelor nation, and of course, in the world of Below Deck. Cast, crew, yachties, and captains alike are fueling up for water sports and long shifts with a frosty espresso martini. 

For my coffee cocktail I wanted to marry the espresso martini with a local favorite: the frozen coffee thing. A legendary drink in Brooklyn, NOLA, and other cities where folks wanna get a super buzz, the frozen coffee thing is just that: slushy, boozy, and caffeinated. When it meets the E-tini….well… we’ll see what happens.

Throw a couple of seasonal decorations on there and save it to a Pinterest board before the youths deem it too cheugy to enjoy.  

Captain Lee’s Boat Juice: An Iced Coffee Cocktail Recipe 

Makes 2 drinks

For the cocktail

  • 2 cups cold brew ice cubes (about 8-10 cubes, see recipe below)
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1.5 oz kahlua
  • 1 oz heavy cream
  • 1 pinch Coffee grounds
  • Halloween/Spooky Candy (optional, for garnish)

For the cold brew ice cubes

  • 3 cups cold brew
  • 1 cup milk
  • Simple Syrup, to taste*

Combine the cold brew ice cubesvodkaKahlua, and heavy cream in a blender. Blend until frothy (think frappe consistency). If necessary add more ice cubes to reach your desired consistency. Pour into two glasses and garnish with the coffee grounds. Garnish as desired and inspired with halloween candy. Enjoy!

In a pitcher, combine 3 cups cold brew, 1 cup milk and simple syrup to taste. Chef Lili adds 1 Tbsp simple syrup, but do what suits you and your preferred level of sweetness. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. 


*Chef’s Tip: You can buy simple syrup at the store, but it’s also easy to make at home. In a pot, combine equal parts water and granulated sugar. Heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool and use it for a variety of cocktails or as a sweetener for your coffee.

For an easy coffee dessert, try our five-ingredient coffee granita.