While winter seems to start with the first hint of snow, we know that officially it’s not until December. Still, for those of us in Colorado I think of real winter as January and February. It’s not about the snow but the biting cold. It doesn’t help that I am a died in the wool, staunch conservationist and while my new home is pretty tight and my utility bills manageable, I continue to keep my thermostat set pretty low. I think ostensibly to ‘save it for the children’ but my children walk in the door and first thing out of their mouths is ‘turn up the heat!’ so I’ve failed somewhere.
I’m just hoping your children appreciate my years of diligence more than mine have! So there are certainly days when the thought of making a cold cocktail just doesn’t work and yesterday was one of those days. My tootsies were freezing and my hunt for something warm landed on warm coffee drinks. We’re all familiar with Irish Coffee but I’m betting a visit to Spain will leave you warmed to your toes even more; I have to tell you this Spanish Coffee with Espresso really did the trick.
I had a Spanish Coffee cocktail not long ago when I met some friends for Happy Hour. It was simpler and just a combination of coffee and brandy (called a Carajillo). I was in the mood for warm then too but I forgot to beg the bartender for his recipe so I was on my own. OH MY…there are a million recipes so I’ve taken the general idea and done my own thing. One important thing? No Kahlua like many recipes suggested. I wanted this to be different from Kahlua and coffee and Brandy seemed to be the ideal component. I actually used a bottle of Cognac (how on earth could I be out of brandy?) and while it’s not important to use the cream of the brandy crop like I did, it sure was not bad!
I think the whole key to this cocktail is the orange. Not a drop of orange is in the drink in the form of juice or liqueur but it is nonetheless very present. The rim is rubbed with an orange slice to help coat it with raw brown sugar and that zest on the top is so fragrant that it is part of the experience with every sip.
If you don’t have raw sugar, you can substitute plain brown sugar but try to find the raw product. I use it every day in my morning coffee and that bit of molasses adds a richness I just love. No longer a difficult to find exotic ingredient either, you can find it in the sugar aisle of most grocery stores. Part of why I like using it for rimming the is the mouthfeel; it adds a nice crunchy sugary element that just makes it more fun to drink. Wait…how could that be?
I made this yesterday to test it but had to make it again today to get photos. Poor me. I’m sipping while I write; so please forgive any typos in advance, OK? But do try this…it’s eye rolling good. Cheers!
Spanish Coffee with Espresso
For the Rim
- Raw brown sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw)
- 1 orange, cut into sections
For the Cocktail
- 2 oz. espresso coffee
- 1 oz. regular coffee
- 1 tsp raw brown sugar
- 11/2 oz. Brandy
For the Garnish
- Heavy whipping cream
- Grated Orange Zest
- Rub a section of orange around the rim of a martini glass and dip the wet rim into the raw brown sugar crystals.
- Warm the espresso, regular coffee, raw brown sugar and brandy until just steaming but not boiling. Pour into the martini glass and top with a big dollop of whipped cream.
- Garnish with the grated orange zest.
I used instant espresso but coffee from my coffee maker. I have a stovetop espresso maker but thought I would try the instant and it was so good there is no need to make espresso unless you want to!