Friday, November 7, 2014

Coffee Cocktail with Maple

I don't know why I didn't think about adding coffee to a cocktail before. I mean, gee, I've made my own coffee liqueur. So why not just add coffee?


So when the nice folks at Illy said, "Hey, would you like some coffee for you AND TO GIVE AWAY?" I jumped up and down (figuratively) and said heck yeah. For one thing, it's getting close to the holidays, so it's a good time to give stuff away.

And for another, Illy coffee is pretty great stuff.

My first experience with it was at a cooking demo/class I went to. It had absolutely nothing to do with coffee, but we got to eat the food that was prepared, and with dessert we were offered coffee. I've had good coffee and pretty good coffee and mediocre coffee. When someone serves me coffee, I generally don't think twice about it. It's coffee, let's talk about dessert.

But when I tasted the coffee, I had to ask what brand it was. It was different, somehow, and I really liked it. And it was Illy.

So there you go.

Lately I've been overly fond of making coffee using a cold-brew system that makes a concentrated coffee that you add to hot water. Depending on how strong you want your coffee, you add more or less of the concentrate. And the resulting coffee isn't as harsh or bitter as regular brewed coffee. So it can make fair coffee taste good. And good coffee is ... well, really good.

But the really cool thing (hehe, cool) about the cold-brew system is that if you want to add coffee flavor to a cake or if you want to make a cocktail, you have strong coffee that's not hot. And, just like making a cup of coffee, you can adjust the coffee flavor to the strength you like.

But of course, for this cocktail, let's just assume that I used strong-brewed coffee. Because then you don't have to run out and get a cold-brew system just to make a cocktail.

But you really should go out and get a can of Illy.

Coffee-Maple Cocktail
Recipe adapted from illy

1 oz dark rum
1 oz dark amber maple syrup
3 oz illy India Monoarabica (brewed coffee)
1 oz milk

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, then strain and serve.

Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, or a little dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

More about illy and cocktails:

Illy has come up with a whole new approach to coffee mixology, pairing flavor characteristics of different single origin beans with spirits and ingredients that naturally blend well together. There’s actual science behind it (seriously), by way of illy’s Sensory Lab, which studies this kind of thing, at the company’s Italy HQ.

Here’s a post from illy’s US Master Barista explaining the research and a graphic depicting how spirits like tequila, Bourbon and rum naturally pair with beans from the likes of Costa Rica, Guatemala and Ethiopia, and ingredients like chocolate and cardamom. Kind of Barista-Meets-Mixologist-Meets-DIY.

And over on my giveaway post, I have some mixology charts for making your own coffee cocktails. A little of this, a little of that, and you're like a barista mixologist ninja.

Giveaway is over

I was provided with coffee to make my cocktail (whole bean medium roast, whole bean Monoarabica from Brasil and whole bean Monoarabica from Guatemala.) The sponsor is also providing coffee for the giveaway.