Hot Coffee with Orange Liqueur

Maria Theresia

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Appears in

Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague


By Rick Rodgers

Published 2002

  • About

Any time a food is named for the beloved empress Maria Theresia, you can be sure it includes the most refined blend of ingredients. (Chicken Maria Theresia has poached chicken breasts with sliced ox tongue masked with a creamy poultry sauce—over the top to some tastes, but the height of luxury cooking in earlier times.) You’ll find this hot coffee drink on almost every Viennese coffeehouse menu. It’s often made with a clear orange liqueur like Triple Sec or Curasao, but Cognac-based Grand Marnier stands up to the strong coffee with more authority. By substituting rum for the orange liqueur, you’ll get a Fiaker, named for the horse-carriage drivers, who needed something warming to keep themselves going. Fiaker is traditionally served in a glass with a handle, as carriage drivers would need to keep one hand free for holding the reins.


  • Boiling water, for heating the glass
  • 3 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1 cup hot, brewed coffee, preferably Vienna roast
  • A dollop of Sweetened Whipped Cream
  • Freshly grated orange zest, to taste, for garnish


Fill a coffee cup with boiling water and let stand for 1 minute to heat the glass. Pour out the water. Pour the liqueur into the cup and stir in the sugar. Add the coffee. Top with the whipped cream, then grate the orange zest over the top. Serve immediately.

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