September 29th is National Coffee Day, so celebrate not with an everyday cup of Joe, but with a coffee cocktail. For generations there was Kahlua, an ingredient of the Black Russian and the Mudslide. More recent challengers are Starbucks and Illy liqueurs and the elegant Patrón XO Café, which comes from a small, family-owned distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, home of tequila (the liqueur is tequila-based). All three newcomers are more sophisticated than the old standby. Starbucks liqueur is sweeter, Illy and Patrón liqueurs are espresso-like. Try them straight; or for a Black Russian, mix 1 ounce of coffee liqueur with 1 ounce of vodka and pour over ice. For a Mudslide, shake together 1 ounce each of vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream liqueur and light cream and pour over ice in an old-fashioned glass.
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