The Tootsie Roll Cocktail

4.85 from 64 votes

The Tootsie Roll Cocktail is a black candy cocktail fit for Halloween. Made with root beer and coffee liqueur, it tastes just like the candy. Even though it’s spooky and dark, it is refreshing and sure to satisfy any sweet tooth! What’s in a Tootsie Roll drink and how do you make it? Let’s find out!  

two tootsie roll cocktails garnished with a black and white straw next to a bowl of candy

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Tootsie Roll Cocktail Recipe

Sure, there’s ghosts and monsters, costumes and masks and jack-o-lanterns, but we all know that Halloween is about one thing and one thing only: CANDY.

When I was a little kid, I loved dressing up, but to be honest the candy was a huge draw. Such a typical kid, I know!

It was just SO fun dumping out a bag of colorful, sugary loot all over our living room floor just to see what all I picked up! It was a great way to try new types of candy, too. A future foodie in the making, I guess!

It should be no surprise that now, as an adult, I have taken my love of Halloween candy and turned it into a fun Halloween cocktail in the form of a Tootsie Roll drink.

Candy and cocktails are a fun combination for Halloween, like these Mad Scientist cocktails that are made with Skittles vodka.

a top view two cocktails garnished with a black and white straw next to a bowl of candies

What is a Tootsie Roll Drink?

This Tootsie Roll drink is a candy cocktail that looks like a poisonous, dark potion. A trick! But also a treat!

It’s a sweet and fizzy root beer-based drink that’s spiked with smooth, velvety Kahlua.

This is definitely one of those taste-bud trickers. It seriously tastes exactly like a classic Tootsie Roll candy. I’m not kidding ONE bit. Candy-lovers will adore it.

a tootsie roll cocktail garnished with a black and white straw

What’s in a Tootsie Roll drink?

Like this bourbon and ginger ale cocktail, the Tootsie Roll Cocktail is genuinely one of the easiest drinks you’ll ever make.

All you need are TWO ingredients to mimic that classic Tootsie Roll flavor.

Yes, you read that right.

Only two ingredients — and honestly they are kind of surprising!

The two ingredients are Kahlua and root beer.

You probably wouldn’t normally think those would go together, but they do! And it’s delicious.

two tootsie roll cocktails with a bowl of tootsie roll candies spilling out onto the table

How to make a Tootsie Roll drink

Here’s how to make a Tootsie Roll Cocktail:

  1. Grab a highball glass and fill it up with ice. This is a drink that you’ll want to enjoy ice-cold.
  2. Pour two ounces of Kahlua over the ice.
  3. Then fill the glass up to the top with your root beer of choice.

Ta-da! Add a cute straw and your tootsie roll drink is now ready to serve.

History of the Tootsie Roll

According to the Tootsie Roll company website, the Tootsie Roll candy dates back to 1896.

It was invented by Leo Hirschfield who named the hand-rolled candy for his daughter Clara, whose nickname was “Tootsie.” Back then, they were priced at only 1¢!

Tootsie Pops were invented later on in 1938 and introduced fruity hard candy. Below, I show you how to make this into a Tootsie Pop cocktail if you like! (But how many sips to the bottom?!)

The “How I Met Your Mother” cocktail

Remember that episode of HIMYM Season 1 where Ted meets “the Slutty Pumpkin” at a Halloween party? She’s a character we later learn is named Naomi, played by Katie Holmes.

And her favorite drink to make? It’s the Tootsie Roll cocktail, of course.

I hadn’t seen the show when I made this for the first time, but now HIMYM is a favorite. If you’re here because of this drink, welcome! I hope you’ll suit up and stick around for some awesome drink recipes.

Sign up for my weekly Cocktail Mail right here!

above view of two cocktails with a bowl of tootsie roll candies


This tootsie roll drink recipe only has two ingredients:

  • coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua or Tia Maria)
  • root beer

The fewer ingredients are in a recipe, the more the quality of the ingredients matters! Don’t worry — I have some suggestions for you on how to make this cocktail the absolute best:

The best root beer

Since this drink has such a simple ingredients list, make sure you use a really good root beer. A high-quality craft root beer will make all the difference.

Good root beer will have that signature sassafras flavor. Sassafras is a strong, fragrant spice with an earthy flavor that has notes of anise and lemon. Root beer can also have flavors of cinnamon, birch, vanilla and wintergreen.

If you want to make your tootsie roll drink extra boozy, you could make this cocktail with a hard root beer, AKA alcoholic root beer. I certainly won’t tell anyone!

a bottle of homemade coffee liqueur

The best coffee liqueur

Coffee liqueur can either give the root beer more sweetness or it will add a deeper flavor to give the Tootsie Roll drink some more complexity.

Kahlua is probably the most popular brand out there, but you have some other options:

  • If you make your own homemade coffee liqueur, you can bring in the flavor of your favorite coffee beans.
  • Try Mr. Black’s Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur which, thanks to the cold-brew process, has a smoother, less bitter coffee flavor.
  • Patron XO Cafe is a coffee-flavored tequila that is deliciously balanced between sweet and dry. I like sipping this one solo.

Non-alcoholic coffee liqueur

If you’d like a non-alcoholic Tootsie Roll drink, you have a couple of options.

Root beer is usually non-alcoholic (just make don’t get the one labeled “hard root beer”) but you’ll want to replace the coffee liqueur with something non-alcoholic.

  1. Mix with zero-proof coffee liqueur. Lyre’s Coffee Originale is a non-alcoholic coffee liqueur.
  2. Use espresso. I use my Nespresso machine to brew espresso. If it’s too strong, you can stir in 1/2 ounce of simple syrup or use more root beer.
two tootsie roll cocktails with black and white striped straws and tootsie roll candies

Tootsie roll drink variations

There are a number of ways you can make this drink your own! Feel free to experiment and come up with something delicious.

Try a flavored coffee liqueur. Kahlua has a few flavored versions of their product, including French Vanilla, Hazelnut, Mocha and Cinnamon. One of these flavors would be really tasty with root beer!

Make it a float. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make a Tootsie Roll root beer float!

Use hard root beer. There are a few brands of alcoholic root beer out there, which would increase the alcohol content of this cocktail.

Use diet root beer. There’s nothing wrong with diet soda! This cocktail would still taste great with diet root beer if you prefer it.

Make it non-alcoholic. Use a zero-proof coffee liqueur or freshly-brewed espresso to make a Tootsie Roll drink without alcohol. (Scroll up for more on this!)

Make it a Tootsie Pop drink. Add a fruit-flavored spirit to this recipe. Here are a few ideas…

Tootsie Pop drink variation

To make a Tootsie Pop cocktail, add 1 ounce of fruit-flavored vodka to this recipe. Tootsie Pops come in five flavors. Chocolate, Cherry, Orange, Grape and Raspberry.

  • Chocolate: Add 1 ounce of creme de cacao to add more chocolate flavor to your Tootsie Roll cocktail.
  • Cherry: Add 1 ounce of cherry syrup or cherry liqeuer, such as Luxardo, to make a cherry Tootsie Pop drink. You can also add 1 ounce of juice from a jar of cocktail cherries or Maraschino cherries.
  • Orange: For an orange Tootsie Pop cocktail, add 1 ounce of triple sec or a top-shelf orange liqueur like Grand Marnier or Cointreau.
  • Grape: Use 1 ounce of grape schnapps, such as De Kuyper, or grape liqueur, such as Dr. McGillicuddy’s brand, to make your cocktail taste like a grape Tootsie Pop.
  • Raspberry: Add 1 ounce of raspberry simple syrup or raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord, to make this a raspberry Tootsie Pop cocktail!

Or have fun with other fruity spirits you might have on hand.

two tootsie roll cocktails with black and white striped straws and tootsie roll candies

When to serve a tootsie roll drink

Tootsie Roll Cocktails are so easy to make, they’re perfect for serving at a Halloween party.

There is no need to spend a lot of time behind the bar shaking up a complicated cocktail.

No party this year? Sip one of these Tootsie Roll Cocktails as you wait around for those trick-or-treaters to ring the doorbell.

And, it doesn’t have to be Halloween to enjoy a Tootsie Roll drink! You can certainly enjoy it any time. (Or perhaps for a HIMYM marathon?)

Regardless, the question of the night will certainly be, “How many sips does it take to get to the bottom of a Tootsie Roll cocktail?”

Kahlua cocktails

If you love coffee liqueur, you will love some of these other recipes:

Tootsie Roll Shots

If you are looking for the mini version, head to this recipe for Tootsie Roll shots from The Short Order Cook.

It uses a combination of orange juice and coffee liqueur! (Is that a weirder combination than root beer and coffee liqueur?)

two cocktails next to a square, black bowl of tootsie roll candies

Black & White Halloween Party Ideas

This cocktail is part of a big Halloween blog hop. From invitations to party favors and everything in between, we have lots of inspiring ideas for a classy, black and white, grown-up Halloween party. (My favorite kind!)

Be sure to hop over to all the creative blogs that are part of this Black + White Halloween Party Blog Hop:

If you are looking for more black cocktail ideas, try these Black Magic Champagne Cocktails made with homemade black vodka!

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

The Tootsie Roll Cocktail is a black candy cocktail fit for Halloween. Made with root beer and coffee liqueur, it tastes just like the candy. Even though it’s spooky and dark, it is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth! What’s in a Tootsie Roll drink and how do you make it? Let’s find out!

The Tootsie Roll Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
The Tootsie Roll Cocktail is a black candy cocktail fit for Halloween. Made with root beer and coffee liqueur, it tastes just like the candy. Even though it’s spooky and dark, it is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth!
4.85 from 64 votes
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  • 2 ounces coffee liqueur such as Kahlua
  • 6 ounces root beer
  • ice cubes


  • Fill glass with ice.
  • Top with coffee liqueur, then fill entirely with root beer.
  • Serve with a straw.


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nutrition information

Yield: 1 cocktail

amount per serving:

Serving: 8ounces Calories: 264kcal Carbohydrates: 45g Protein: 0.1g Fat: 0.2g Saturated Fat: 0.1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g Sodium: 27mg Potassium: 2mg Sugar: 45g Calcium: 9mg Iron: 0.1mg
did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!
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  1. Erika says

    I would have never thought to combine Root Beer and Kahlua, but it sounds great! I’ve definitely got to try this…

  2. Carol Hayden says

    3 stars
    This was just too syrupy sweet for me! I ended up trying 1/2 ounce Kalua and 1/2 Rumchat with a can of root beer and it’s delightful!

  3. Carol Hayden says

    This was just too syrupy sweet for me! I ended up trying 1/2 ounce Kalua and 1/2 Rumchat with a can of root beer and it’s delightful!

  4. Heff Jeff says

    I just made this mix zooted off my mind and decided to look up if it already existed. Tastes amazing if you mix it 50-75% root beer.

  5. James says

    How weird that you pretended to make this up even though it’s from How I Met your Mother…

    Slutty pumpkin indeed.

  6. Terbander says

    JESUS, do you see any food ingredients in this cocktail?!? It’s a DRINK, 95% of us are bartenders not housewives, just post the f**king thing and f**k right off with the nine pages of your SEO life story garbage. It’s two ingredients, stop being a douche and put the recipe on top and the five chapters of nonsense afterwards. Publish a cookbook if you want to piss everyone off, bartenders aren’t known for their limitless patience

    • Susannah says

      Hey, Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. This recipe is on MY website, that I own, and it is a food blog that is my full-time job. I share recipes for FREE. There are thousands of sites that do put the recipe up at the top, but this isn’t one of them. You’re welcome to use one of those though!!! And you certainly aren’t required to make my recipes, which, I will say are probably better than those sites’…

      You mentioned the “nine pages” of information you didn’t ask for: Well, I think if you looked more closely, it’s filled with information on how to make this drink, different kinds of substitutes you can use, ways to make it better with better ingredients. As a fellow bartender, YOU might not need that information, but someone else might, and I’d rather be more helpful than not, you know? (Not all of my website visitors are bartenders, by the way!) However, if you don’t need or want to read that kind of stuff, you are welcome to click the very large “JUMP TO RECIPE” button that is at the top of all of my recipes — and pretty much all food blogs’ recipes too — and skip right down to the recipe ingredients.

      My friend wrote a great article called Why Can’t Food Blogs Just “Give me the recipe”? — she answers all of this more in-depth. I hope you find it educational and think twice before leaving a comment like this again. I’m a real person and so are all the food bloggers posting the recipes you are making at your bar. I hope your customers don’t come in and tell you how to do your job!


      P.S. I’d love to write a cookbook though, so if you know anyone handing out publishing deals, let me know.

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