La Chumeca: A Specialty Coffee Cocktail Recipe
This cocktail is as specialty as it gets. Named after its key ingredient – coffee from the Tarrazú region in Costa Rica – this is a drink that emphasizes fruitiness with uncommon ingredients such as carao honey and jacoticaba wine.
For those of us who aren’t lucky enough to have access to these anaerobic beans and niche ingredients, this recipe works almost as well with a natural processed Ethiopian coffee and some substitutions.
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Some of the ingredients for the La Chumeca. Credit: Fabiola Solano
This is a slightly modified version of a drink that was showcased at World Class by Isaac Montero, the national champion of Costa Rica. World Class is similar to the World Barista Championship – dozens of bartenders from around the world compete in different challenges.
I had the privilege to help Isaac create this recipe by selecting the coffee, the brewing method, and assisting with the preparation.
The recommended coffee comes from La Chumeca, a family coffee farm in the Tarrazú region of Costa Rica. The producers love to experiment with new processes including the anaerobic process.
Costa Rican anaerobic coffee has intense fruity and spicy notes with a velvety body. It can also give you yogurt notes thanks to the lactic acid. If you’re unable to find this coffee, natural processed Ethiopian beans would work well.
Learn more in What Do Coffees From Around The World Taste Like – & Why?
An aerial view of La Chumeca Coffee. Credit: La Chumeca Coffee
Jacoticaba is a Brazilian berry that is high in acidity but still sweet. If you can’t find it, you can go with a fortified wine such as a ruby port. Carao honey is the extract of Cassia grandis fruit, which grows in regions from southern Mexico down to Ecuador. It has a particular chocolate and cherry flavour, but you can try using carob, honey, or a berry syrup. The sweetness of these ingredients is balanced with the woody notes of black whisky.
- 25 ml of medium roast anaerobic La Chumeca coffee prepared in an AeroPress
- 50 ml of Johnnie Walker Black whisky
- 25 ml of Johnnie Walker Double Black whisky
- 1 bar spoon of carao honey
- 25 ml of jaboticaba wine
- 3 dashes of banana bitters
The ingredients: whisky, wine, bitters, and coffee. Credit: Fabiola Solano
- Using the inverted AeroPress method, brew 20 g of finely ground coffee with 40 ml of water.
- Stir gently, making sure all the grounds are wet, and let them infuse for a minute and a half. The coffee should be very concentrated. Prepare it first and allow it to cool a little.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice.
- Stir until well-combined and chilled.
- Double strain into a coupette glass.
Presentation Tips & Food Pairings
To really emphasize that this is something special, add a unique garnish. I opt for three eucalyptus leaves attached with a small clip.
This cocktail is sweet and woody, so it can handle a rich pairing. Try it with bruschetta made with a strong cheese.
La Chumeca with a eucalyptus garnish. Credit: Fabiola Solano
As the specialty coffee culture evolves, it’s making an impact in other areas of the food and beverages industry. La Chumeca is a great example of specialty coffee and mixology coming together to make something truly unique.
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