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Edible Gold Leaf: An Unexpected Pairing with Coffee and Cocktails


Edible gold leaf has long been the preserve of haute cuisine and confectionery, used to give a touch of opulence to the most luxurious of dishes. However, this shiny, precious metal is breaking the culinary barriers and making its way into the world of beverages, specifically coffee and cocktails. This unexpected pairing is not just visually appealing, but it also offers a novel and memorable drinking experience.

The Origin of Edible Gold Leaf

The use of gold in gastronomy dates back thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Japanese all incorporated gold into their cuisine for ceremonial purposes, associating it with longevity and wealth. Made from pure gold that's been hammered into a thin sheet, edible gold leaf is completely safe to consume and typically passes through the body undigested without causing any harm. You can learn more about edible gold from our friends at Barnabas Gold.

Edible Gold Leaf in Coffee

The trend of adding edible gold leaf to coffee is believed to have started in the luxury hotels of the United Arab Emirates, a region known for its love of all things gold. Gourmet cafes and high-end coffee shops followed suit, offering gold cappuccinos and lattes that look as good as they taste.

The process involves delicately placing a thin sheet or flakes of gold leaf atop the frothy milk foam. The heat of the coffee slightly melts the gold, making it adhere to the foam. The result is a stunning gold-coated coffee that certainly catches the eye.

While gold doesn't alter the flavor of the coffee, the experience of sipping a gold-infused cup adds a dash of glamour and indulgence to your regular coffee routine.

Edible Gold Leaf in Cocktails

In the realm of mixology, edible gold leaf presents an exciting opportunity for bartenders to craft visually stunning and Instagram-worthy drinks. Used in a variety of cocktails, from classic martinis to champagne flutes, edible gold leaf provides a dazzling swirl of golden flecks that elevates the cocktail's aesthetic appeal.

A popular method is to use gold leaf in the garnishing process. It could be floated on top of the cocktail, incorporated in an ice cube, or used to coat a portion of the glass. Gold-infused liqueurs and spirits are also becoming increasingly available, offering another way to introduce a shimmering effect to your drinks.

Edible Gold Leaf: Considerations and Tips

While using edible gold leaf in your beverages can make for a memorable drinking experience, it's important to remember a few things. Always ensure that you're using food-grade gold leaf. This is pure gold (22-24 karats) and is safe for consumption. Non-food-grade gold leaf may contain impurities or be alloyed with other metals, making it unsafe to ingest.

When handling gold leaf, use tweezers or a dry brush, as the thin sheets can easily tear or stick to your skin. If you're adding gold to hot coffee, do it just before serving, as the gold can lose its lustre if left sitting in the hot liquid for too long.


Adding edible gold leaf to coffee and cocktails is more than just a food fad. It's a reflection of the continuous evolution of our culinary and mixological landscapes. It pushes the boundaries of creativity, providing a sensory experience that blends taste, aesthetics, and the pleasure of the occasional indulgence. Whether you're a coffee lover looking to glam up your morning cup, or a mixologist seeking to dazzle your guests at the next gathering, don't shy away from experimenting with this precious, shimmering culinary delight.

So next time you're in the mood for a little extravagance, reach for the edible gold leaf. After all, there's no harm in adding a touch of gold to your day.

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