Coffee is the most widely loved and celebrated culinary ingredient. Primarily coffee beans are used by grinding them to powder and consumed by brewing with hot water, milk, flavouring agents etc. and is prepared in various ways in different parts of the world.
It was African goat herder ‘Kaldi’ who discovered coffee. He noticed his goats jumping after biting on the caffeinated berries and saw the energising effect of coffee. He then testified the phenomenon himself.
‘Kaldi’ then took the beans to an Islamic Scholar, who threw it into the fire on getting the beautiful aroma of the beans being roasted, ground up and enjoyed with hot water. That was the first cup of coffee. As time and centuries passed, coffee and its use evolved. Be it a chef or a bartender, a housewife or any big or small restaurateur anywhere in the world, daily life without coffee can’t be imagined.
A similar and an even more historical story can be narrated about alcohol.
First, we have to know basic differences between coffee and alcohol before getting into whether they can marry to make a great pair or not.
Coffee is a stimulant, it energizes you. For many in the world, coffee is what kick-starts their day. Liquor, on the other hand, has relaxing properties; it depresses you and makes you slower and intoxicated.
Liqueur coffees are often spiked with liquors. We are aware of the ‘Yin n Yang’ concept and its usage in the culinary world. So how does it help us?
Coffee and liquor could well be compared to other concoctions where caffeine and alcohol are mixed, like vodka with red bull, or an espresso martini. It will give you the required buzz. However, with the coffee kicking in as a chaser, the realization of the alcohol’s effect on the body gets delayed. It’s a unique experience and thus it is preferred and loved by a lot of people.
When a coffee is spiked by liquor, like in an Irish coffee, it is usually topped with cream and sprinkled with brown sugar. Such coffee preparations are quite liked as a winter evening grub, in a bar or preferably tugged in the warmth of your house, by the fireplace, preferably after a hearty meal.
Irish coffee: One of the most famous liquor coffees of the world. In fact, as the story goes, an Irish coffee was first made in 1943 by Irish chef Joe Sheridan who made it for passengers on the flight on being asked to make “something warm” for them. He added Irish whiskey to the coffee and topped it up with cream. The passengers liked the coffee a lot and asked whether it was a Brazilian coffee. The chef replied: “It’s an Irish Coffee”.
Kahlua is the most widely used coffee liqueur in the world, consumed in more than 150 countries. Needless to say, liquor coffees are perfect ‘post dinner drinks’ enjoyed best in the winters. However, one can also enjoy summers with chilled liquor spiked frappes and any other concoctions of your preference at a relaxed place of your own environment. It’s always great to understand the flavour, the viscosity, the generic taste of various ingredients and how they can match each other to make a great concoction.
So does coffee and liquor pair well, there is no doubt about it. In fact, I would be very happy if such a concept and even many more similar culinary concepts get promoted in the city and among the regular patrons of the bar with their own coffee concoction with their favourite bartenders. I am sure it will be a hit. It does give you an illusion of being active and in control, and a drink or two post meal would be a perfect recipe for a good tipsy night.
I believe these are the ones which set the vision of any bar outlet. Such innovation will keep the chef, bartender as well as guests involved in culinary developments and ensures an enjoyable time.
What’s important is to do it correctly and smartly. I would love to see a similar liquor coffee promotion prior to the winters , and may be something exciting to come up next month which helps the guest beat the summer and late monsoon exit with the sultry heat all high and happy.
Enjoy your liquor coffee, I will be making a few spiked frappes this month. Share your coffee ideas with us and be a part of our pool of friends.
For the road: What is a Demi Tasse? A demitasse (French ‘half cup’) is a small cup used to serve Turkish coffee or espresso. In Spanish, it is called a pocillo. It typically has about 60-90 ml capacity — half the size of a full coffee cup. Typically they are made of ceramic, pottery or porcelain and accompanied by matching saucers, but some coffeehouses and china companies also produce brightly decorated varieties. Another type of demi tasse has a glass cup set into a metal frame.