Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coffee Cocktails



Lately, there seems to have been quite a bit written about how to make a cocktail out of coffee.

Consider this post to be closer to The Lazy Man’s Guide To The Coffee Cocktail.

Sure, mix a little instant coffee with Jameson’s or Bushmills, pour cream over the back of a spoon and before you know it – Booyahkasha! – you’ve got yourself an authentic Irish Coffee.

Or do you?

Some would certainly disagree.

For example, instead of using Jameson’s or Bushmills, why not use Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur (or if you’re a cheapskate like me, use Brady’s) so you already have the cream mixed in?

And for that matter, why be so limited? I mean, coffee is a worldwide beverage, so certainly other nations aside from Ireland have their own twist on this, no?

Take Mexican coffee – please!

Now, automatically, you’d say, “Ah, yes, just add a shot of Kahlua!”.

You disappoint me, Fredo.

Better yet, consider this: Patrόn’s XO Café is excellent for this purpose! This is a coffee liqueur made with tequila; add of shot of this into your coffee, then spray a mound of chocolate whipped cream on top and you’ve got yourself a most decadent dessert.

Then there’s Italian coffee – again, more than one way to skin this caffeinated cat.

To have an Italian coffee, you could add Amaretto – commonly, most folks might understandably use the very popular Disaronno, which would be an excellent choice. But then again, there’s also the very sweet Sambuca, often served in Italian restaurants with the three coffee beans – one for health, one for happiness and one for prosperity. Pour a shot of that into your coffee and believe me, you won’t need to add any sugar.

Now, have you ever heard of Jamaican coffee? Yes, Virginia, there is a Jamaican coffee.

Something called Tia Maria is a Kahlua-style liqueur that is often added to coffee after dinner in the Caribbean island of Jamaica. Alternatively, you could use rum cream. While Tia Maria isn’t necessarily all that hard to come by here in the United States, rum cream, by contrast, can be something of a challenge to find. In most cases, you’ll likely have to purchase it over the Internet, unless you’re fortunate enough to actually travel to Jamaica and buy some on the way home at the airport’s duty free liquor shop. And just what exactly is rum cream? Simple – I mentioned Bailey’s above. You’re familiar with Bailey’s aren’t you? Of course you are! Well, think of rum cream as the Jamaican form of Bailey’s – the only difference, of course, is that instead of using Irish Whiskey, they use Jamaican rum. Mighty tasty stuff, that rum cream.

If you recall way back when, I started out this post saying that it was the lazy man’s guide to coffee cocktails. While I feel as though I’ve held up my end of the bargain, I do understand that there may be some of you out there that are a little more, well, ambitious, shall we say. To those of you, I say merely that I forgive you. For you over-achievers out there, I would like to share with you a recent New York Times article called “Spiking Coffee, Opening Eyes”, which has some rather exotic recipes. Accompanying the article is the following video which demonstrates how to make some of these items:

Well, I guess that’s it for now – except for one thing: I’d like to leave you with a quote from the noted philosopher Rene Descartes, who once said, “I drink, therefore, I am”. I have adopted this as my own personal philosophy and trust that you will, too.