Cozy up with a rich and sophisticated specialty coffee cocktail after dinner.
This warming drink is based on the carajillo, a Spanish combination of coffee and brandy, whisky, or anisette. It’s also similar to a caffé corretto, an Italian drink that traditionally pairs grappa, sambuca, or brandy with an espresso.
Mediterranean Love combines three spirits in a sweet and complex blend and the addition of coffee unites the flavours to create a balanced, bittersweet nightcap.
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It’s important to use a coffee that will provide some body and has low acidity, such as a Cuban bean from Sierra Maestra. Using a coffee variety such as a Bourbon will provide sweetness and work well.
It’s also important that the coffee is prepared as a ristretto (a shorter version of an espresso) to allow the flavour of the spirits to shine. A ristretto compliments the smoky and sweet notes of the spirits and doesn’t add too much volume.
30 ml Licor 43
15 ml cognac (Hennessy works well)
3 ml black sambuca
1 shot of ristretto (approximately 15 ml)
Mediterranean Love at XCARGO in Brisbane, Australia. Credit: Angus Brennan
- Combine the Licor 43, cognac, and black sambuca in a double rocks glass and stir slowly for approximately 20 seconds.
- Add ice until the glass is two-thirds full and then pour the ristretto on top.
Try replacing the cognac with grappa for a version that is closer to a traditional caffé corretto. You can also try it without the black sambuca. The tiny amount of this spirit used in the recipe adds a bittersweet, anise dimension, but it works well without it too.
A ristretto adds rich coffee flavour but is small in volume.
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Feature photo credit: Mathew MacQuarrie
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