When you think of cocktails, your immediate image is probably of highly colored fruit juices and strong spirits, dressed with a sparkly umbrella and a piece of pineapple. It might surprise you to know about the vast range of coffee cocktails around, for those looking for a different sort of lift. With the advent of grind and brew coffee makers we can make the perfect cup of coffee right in our kitchen, now we just need something exciting to mix with it!
We will start with the very simple and innocent frappe, mostly found in Europe and South America it is made by mixing crushed ice, sugar milk and cold espresso, and is a popular drink during hot weather. The addition of one measure of brandy and another of crème de cacao makes a more exciting drink.
The antithesis of the simple frappe is the decadent Cappuccino Borgia. This consists of a mixture of orange juice, freshly peeled orange, a double dark espresso, milk, and chocolate ice cream. The sweetness of the ice cream is offset but the sharpness of the citrus fruit and the bitter taste of the coffee creating a fantastic overall taste.
Back to something lighter, and we could try a Calypso Cooler, straight from the Caribbean. A couple of properly ripe bananas and some coffee ice cream mixed with a cool strong filter coffee is the base. However, for a truly Caribbean experience, a measure of rum can five the Cooler the lift it requires.
For a filling alternative, we can look to the ancient world for a Caffee Zabaglone, or a more modern version found in New Orleans. The Caffee Zabaglone mixed marsala, sugar, egg yolks a little salt and a good strong Italian brew. This was all whisked and heated until thick. The New Orleans version incorporates a strong full bodied American roast with full cream, eggnog and bourbon, and is popular around Mardi Gras.
For a truly warming experience, the Scandinavians have concocted the Cardamom Caffee. Traditionally this spice is used in thick strong Turkish coffee, and it can give quite a kick to any hot drink. For the Cardamom Caffee, mix Cognac and Curacao, with sugar and a Cardamom pod. Heat briefly and then set alight with a match. Add a strong dark filter coffee and enjoy the results!