A Spirited Wake-Up Call

While turning the clocks back is perhaps not as painful as moving them forward, it still throws off your circadian rhythm, leaving most of us pretty tired. We have to admit we’re not excited for the end of daylight-saving time this Sunday.

What certainly helps make the transition easier are all the coffee liqueurs on store shelves now. We first reported about these products last spring, and have since discovered even more of them. There’s the fine House Spirits Coffee Liqueur ($20; pictured above) that includes beans from famed Portland, Ore., roaster Stumptown, as well as Kahlúa’s brand-new and potent Midnight ($24)—it’s a respectable 70-proof.

Another recent favorite of ours is Santa Teresa’s sweet Arakú ($30). The Venezuelan distillery, known for its delicious 1796 Rum, actually grows arabica beans on its own plantation and uses a base of two-year-old rum matured in American oak barrels for this liqueur.

Coffee itself also works beautifully in cocktails. We like talented bartender St. John Frizell’s version of Charles H. Baker, Jr.’s classic Kirsch au Café, which combines espresso with cognac, kirsch and Cherry Heering.

And you should try the fortifying Banzai Beach created by all-star mixologist Kevin Diedrich of San Francisco bar Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen. It calls for rum, coffee, beer and even a whole egg. If that won’t get you going, nothing will!

Banzai Beach

Contributed by Kevin Diedrich
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 oz Gosling’s Rum
  • .5 oz Brewed fair-trade coffee
  • .25 oz Demerara syrup (one part Demerara sugar, one part water)
  • 2 oz Kona Pipeline Porter beer
  • 1 Whole egg
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Glass: Short beer
  • Garnish: Nutmeg

PREPARATION:
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a short beer glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

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