We’re back after an extended hiatus. Lots going on. Work seems to pick up this time every year as people who’ve been putting things off decide to get it done before the end of the year. That, plus catching up on continuing ed credits and a certification exam deadline combined to make time tight. Taking the time to mix a cocktail actually became a luxury I couldn’t afford. Maybe I just couldn’t get myself to relax enough to take the time to enjoy one. I opted for easier drinks – beer and wine. Not much thought needed for those, just pop and pour.
Time is less compressed now that the holidays are here. We made our annual pre-Christmas visit to Atlanta. A stop at Tower Beverage got my thoughts back to mixing some up. They have a great selection of base liquors and modifying spirits – both yellow and green Chartreuse, Cherry Heering and many others. I made it home with a couple of minibottles of St. Germain elderflower liqueur, some Angorustera Orange bitters and a bottle of Barbancort 8 year Rum. I almost picked up some Columbian Aguaradente for the shear novelty. I ended up talking myself out of it because I had no idea what to do with it. A gentleman from New Orleans also passed on a copy of New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix em. This is a great, inexpensive guide to drinks from the only city in the US with a distinct cocktail culture. Looking through, one drink really struck me – the Café Brûlot.
The name means Spiced Coffee and that’s what it is. A mixture of Cognac and orange liqueur flavored with cloves, cinnamon and brown sugar. The drink is mixed like a punch at table side by pouring the burning liquor mix into a bowl of coffee. Did I say “burning”? I did, and that is quite cool.
Now a bowl of burning coffee isn’t practical on a day to day basis. The challenge was to come up with some Brulot mix that could be used for a single cup. There are a few recipes on the web, plus the one in the New Orleans book. Looking at those, I came up with the following infused liquor base:
ACG Café Brûlot base
- 1 cup Cognac
- zest of one orange
Steep the orange zest in the cognac for 2 to 3 days, then strain.
This is done to limit the orange flavor which can get quite strong.
- zest of 1 lemon
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 tbsp of cinnamon chips or a 2 inch stick broken up
Steep the above items in the cognac for a week, then strain.
Alternatively, you could add the orange zest to the mix three days before the end of the week.
- ½ cup Grand Marnier
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
Add these to you cognac base then store in a glass container until needed. This mix has a wonderful aroma.
The portions above will just about fill a split (375 ml half wine bottle).
Brew a cup of chicory coffee. To make this, I mix equal parts roasted chicory with ground regular and decaf coffee then measure and brew like you I for regular coffee.
Warm up 3 to 4 oz of your mix in a non-flammable container, I used a 1/4 cup metal measuring cup, ignite, then add to the coffee.