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Spent Coffee Negroni: The Perfect Sustainable Cocktail

Don’t let your coffee grounds go to waste. Infuse them in an Italian bitter aperitif to make a Negroni that’s also a nod to sustainability.

Coffe Negroni cocktail

The Spent Coffee Negroni featuring The Botanist Islay Dry Gin.

Every morning, after preparing an espresso or a drip coffee, I make what’s practically a performance out of disposing of my coffee grounds. And as I whack the basket on the trash to get all the grounds out, I can’t help but feel wasteful.

But there’s a way to reuse your coffee grounds for a higher purpose.

Coffee grounds, it turns out, can be elemental in certain cocktails. And the Spent Coffee Negroni, which calls for The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, coffee ground-infused bitter Italian aperitif, and sweet vermouth, is the perfect outcome of kept coffee grounds and a little creativity.

While the cocktail wasn’t developed by The Botanist, Madelyn Kay, national brand ambassador for the brand, explains to Appetito how the cocktail works to reinforce sustainability.

“Many ingredients that people see as single-use actually have a lot of opportunities to be given a second life, and coffee grounds are a great example of that. Some people save them for gardening or add them to compost, but coming from a recently re-certified B Corp distillery, we like [to] use them for cocktails,” Kay says.

Kay adds that after a first brew, grounds still hold a good amount of flavor that can be extracted for additional uses. 

“For The Botanist Coffee Negroni, we take these once-used coffee grounds and infuse them into the bitter Italian aperitif for a twist on the classic Negroni,” says Kay. “Not only does using spent coffee grounds add the perfect amount of coffee flavor that is softer than if you were to use fresh grounds, but it ensures we're getting the most use out of our coffee before it gets thrown away or hopefully added to compost.”

Kay and The Botanist team shared the recipe for the Spent Coffee Negroni with Appetito Magazine:

Spent Coffee Negroni

Spent Coffee Negroni

Recipe by The Botanist
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Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1.5 oz 1.5 The Botanist

  • .75 oz .75 spent coffee ground-infused bitter Italian aperitif (see note)

  • .75 oz .75 sweet vermouth

  • Orange peel garnish


  • Add all ingredients to a mixing glass over ice.
  • Stir until well chilled and diluted.
  • Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.
  • Garnish with orange peel.


  • Using spent coffee grounds, measure 1 tablespoon grounds per 8 oz of red Italian bitter. Combine and let infuse overnight. Fine strain coffee grounds before use. 

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