Is anyone in the mood for a good, strong drink? No, not an espresso shot. We’re talking about something even stronger. If you’re of legal drinking age, Roasty reader, this one is for you.
While most people rely on brewed java to perk themselves up in the morning, others know it’s just as delicious in the evening. But they’re not exactly loading it with creamer and sugar. They’re giving it a bit of a grown-up upgrade by adding a splash of liquor instead.
Enter Spanish Coffee.
WHAT IS SPANISH COFFEE?
The Spanish Coffee, or the carajillo, originated in Spain more than a century ago. The drink consisted of two base ingredients: coffee and hard liquor.
The variation of this cocktail many Americans know and love, however, came from Huber’s Cafe in Portland, Oregon, in the 1970s. The restaurant’s take on the drink still includes the two primary ingredients, but adds a few extra touches, too. Unlike the traditional carajillo, the drink from Huber’s is served with cream, a smile, and of course, fiery theatrics because everyone loves a good show.
But good news! There’s no need to make any special trips to Oregon to try a version of this delicious after-dinner treat. Just gather up a few ingredients, fire up the coffee maker, and pull a few bottles from your at-home bar, and you’ll be sipping on this signature drink in no time.
AT-HOME SPANISH COFFEE RECIPE
- 1/2 ounce of rum
- 1/2 ounce of triple sec
- 2 ounces of Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
- 1/3 cup of strong coffee
- Whipped cream
Like any good cocktail, this recipe begins with a sugar-rimmed glass. Dip the top of the glass in water, then roll it in a circular motion in sugar, making sure to cover the entire edge with the sweet, white granules.
Pour your favorite overproof rum and triple sec into the glass. If you’re feeling a bit fancy and want to give yourself the real Huber’s experience sans a trip to the Pacific Northwest, light this mixture until it’s flaming.
As the fire burns, tilt the glass at a 45-degree angle and slowly rotate the glass so the fire heats and caramelizes the sugar. You’ll know this step is complete when the granules look brown. Caramelized sugar isn’t a necessity, of course, but we think it brings the drink to the next level, and the fire helps us live out our budding bartender dreams.
Then, you’ll want to add the Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur of your choice) and your freshly brewed hot coffee. You can use regular coffee, or add a shot of espresso if you want something a bit stronger.
If you’ll be enjoying this drink as an after-dinner treat, as many typically do, you might consider using a decaf roast when making one of these coffee drinks. That way, you avoid the late-night caffeine jitters.
Last but certainly not least, top the drink off with a dollop of whipped cream and a few sprinkles of cinnamon.
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Who knew rich coffee and smooth rum complemented each other so well? Just take one sip, and this cocktail just may become your new favorite after-dinner drink or afternoon delight. And if you think this coffee-liquor combination is good, you’re sure to love a classic Irish Coffee, too; check out our recipe here!
Happy (Responsible) Caffeinating!
- ½ ounce of rum
- ½ ounce of triple sec
- 2 ounces of Kahlua
- ⅓ cup of strong brewed coffee
- Whipped cream
- Rim a glass in a shallow bowl of water followed by sugar.
- Add rum and triple sec to the glass (light this mixture if you’re feeling fancy).
- While still flaming, tilt the glass so the flame caramelizes the sugar rim. It should look brown and crystalized.
- Pour in Kahlua and coffee.
- Top with a small amount of whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon to enjoy!