Cosy up to coffee cocktails

The blue, green and pink hues of summer are slowly changing to brown, red and orange, which means that fireplace weather is slowly tiptoeing closer. Our time with family and friends adapts from outdoor adventures to blankets and cosy indoor evenings away from the crisp weather. Refreshing drinks make way for slow-brewed, warming coffees and creamy chocolates.

Coffee is synonymous with joy, pleasure and special moments, and no longer associated only with a ‘quick cup in the morning to jump-start your body’. Across the world, this flavourful bean is being used in food and drinks to add a special touch of elegance, punch and colour.

Vida e Caffè explains that the demand for fresh coffee brewed on the spot is on the rise and is becoming more and more accessible as people can play with grinds and pods at home to find their favourite. It is an integral part of society and people take time to enjoy their coffee moments anywhere, anytime.

Understanding the aromas and flavours of coffee is a complex science that experts put into words for the coffee lovers. Phrases like ‘full-bodied, fruity aromas, caramel undertones and toasted, spicy notes’ are no longer reserved for the best wines in the world. Coffee producers and roasters know their product so well that the coffee consumer can choose the exact blend their mood dictates and create an unforgettable cup/mug/glass every time.

The list of various coffee drinks grows almost daily and a very popular item on that list is definitely coffee cocktails. Irish Coffee has been dethroned by the likes of Espresso Martinis, Old-Fashioned coffee, White Russian, Affogato – to name but a few. Every continent has its favourite pairing, using their indigenous coffee blend and alcohol to create a masterpiece: Russian vodka shaken with a double espresso served in a martini glass, bourbon and cream with strong, sweet coffee sings of America, minty Strega paired with the aroma of Italian coffee will transport you to Tuscany, and a strong, floral brandy in a creamy chocolatey cup of coffee will warm any South African winter’s day.

A delicious drink that can be whipped up in your home is this Gingernut Latte from The Art and Craft of Coffee Cocktails.

I designed this cocktail for a friend so he could mix himself something warming and yummy using his Nespresso machine for quiet nights in at home. It can, of course, be made with a classic espresso machine and steam wand. I’ve recommended using oat milk as it matches really well with the ginger spice and whisky, but it can also work with whatever you happen to have in your refrigerator, be it almond, cashew, soy or dairy milk.

45 ml/1ó oz whisky

10 ml/1⁄3 oz golden syrup

120 ml/4 oz oat milk

ó tsp dried ginger powder

Dash of cinnamon powder

1 shot coffee

To garnish

Gingernut cookie crumbs and gingernut cookies served on the side (optional)

Add all the ingredients except the coffee to a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother and turn on the hot setting or heat your milk to the desired temperature on the stove or in the microwave. While it’s warming, make your coffee shot and pour it into a coffee cup. I recommend using a wide-mouthed glass so you can dunk your cookies. Once the milk has heated, pour it over the top of the coffee. Garnish with gingernut cookie crumbs, and serve with gingernut cookies on the side, if you wish. Share your favourite coffee cocktail recipe and tag @homewarestore.

Recipe adapted from The Art and Craft of Coffee Cocktails by Jason Clark

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