A pousse-café is traditionally defined as a liqueur drunk with after-dinner coffee. The term is of French origin (pousse = push, café = coffee), consisting of several liqueurs poured to form separate layers in a glass.

The layering is done by gently adding each ingredient from most dense to least in order to create colored stripes when the drink is viewed from the side. There is also a drink that uses the name pousse-cafe (from bottom to top, grenadine, yellow chartreuse, and green chartreuse), but this complex drink doesn't have French roots as the name might suggest.