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!
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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.
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.
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.
How to make a Tootsie Roll drink
Here’s how to make a Tootsie Roll Cocktail:
- Grab a highball glass and fill it up with ice. This is a drink that you’ll want to enjoy ice-cold.
- Pour two ounces of Kahlua over the ice.
- 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.
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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.
- Check your favorite local breweries to see if they make and bottle their own root beers.
- Maine Root’s root beer has a powerful flavor and is made the old-fashioned way. I also really love their spicy ginger beer.
- I also love Boylan’s root beer which is made with real cane sugar.
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!
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.
- Mix with zero-proof coffee liqueur. Lyre’s Coffee Originale is a non-alcoholic coffee liqueur.
- 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.
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.
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?”
If you love coffee liqueur, you will love some of these other recipes:
- The Kahlua Coke Float features coffee liqueur, cola and coffee ice cream for a boozy, caffiene-filled treat.
- These Baby Guinness Irish Coffee Jello Shots are so fun for St. Patrick’s Day! They look just like mini Guinness cups but taste like an Irish coffee.
- A Black Russian cocktail features coffee liqueur and vodka. A cousin of the White Russian, this one doesn’t feature any cream.
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?)
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:
- Halloween Party Invitation from Designs by Miss Mandee
- Spooky Floral Centrepiece from Lemon Thistle
- Design Your Own Pumpkin from Michelle’s Party Plan-It
- Halloween Bracelet DIY from Cupcakes & Cutlery
- Skull Candy Favors from Not Just A Mommy
If you are looking for more black cocktail ideas, try these Black Magic Champagne Cocktails made with homemade black vodka!
Let me know if you try this recipe! I would love it if you would leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review or comment below to tell me how it goes.
- ice cubes
- 2 ounces Kahlua coffee liqueur
- 6 ounces root beer
- Fill glass with ice. Top with Kahlua, then fill entirely with root beer. Serve with a straw.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 33mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 0gSugar: 53gProtein: 0g