Happy Hour Friday!
How you doin’? We hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day with plenty of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Here’s a great day-after after-dinner coffee drink—Huber’s Café Spanish Coffee.
Fortifying a cup of joe with a splash of booze isn’t exactly revolutionary. Coffee cocktails are no big thing… unless you do something spectacular with them. Countries around the world have their own versions of coffee and alcohol, from Italy’s Caffè Corretto to Ireland’s iconic mix of Irish whiskey, coffee, sugar and cream. Order a Spanish Coffee in Barcelona, and you’re more likely to be served a simple pour of coffee with brandy or rum, also called a Carajillo and dating back more than a century. Also, dating back almost a hundred years is the Special Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista in San Francisco. The flaming spectacle of Spanish Coffee, as we know it, is an American invention.
Landmark Restaurants (my brand), TGI Fridays and Margaritaville were new comers when it came to showy presentations behind the bar in the 1970’s. Long setting the theatrical standard for Spanish Coffee has been Huber’s Café in Portland, Oregon, where the drink is prepared tableside and could easily be accompanied by a soundtrack of Europe’s The Final Countdown. Listen here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jK-NcRmVcw
The restaurant’s co-owner, James Louie, created what has become the establishment’s signature drink based on a version that was made at the now-closed Fernwood Inn in Milwaukie, Oregon (whose own version was inspired by a Mexican riff on the cocktail). “He just embellished it and made it a little bit safer,” says John Pierce, who’s been behind the bar at Huber’s for the last 38 years.
The dramatic fire play involves adding overproof 151-proof rum and triple sec to a sugar-rimmed glass and setting it aflame. After the swirling blue flames have warmed the glass and caramelized the sugar, the fire is extinguished with a pour of Kahlúa. The boozy blend is topped with hot coffee, a float of freshly whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg.
It’s a heady mixture to be sure, having no subtlety in flavor and the flair and nostalgia of a fancy supper club classic—sweet, boozy and warming to the core. “The way we make them, you’re not going to find anywhere else,” says Pierce. “It’s a big show—people want to see.” You can see the show right here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qhz9QdgwaHk.
1 lemon wedge
2 teaspoons super-fine sugar, or as needed
3/4 ounce 151-proof rum
1/4 ounce triple sec
1-1/2 ounces Kahlúa coffee liqueur
3 ounces fresh-brewed strong coffee
lightly whipped cream and grated nutmeg to garnish
Tools of the Trade
Lighter or matches
Irish coffee or stemmed red wine glass (the glass must be tempered)
ChefSecret: The goal in making this drink, besides the drink and the show, is to be able to walk away with your eyebrows and hair still intact. 151-proof rum is high octane stuff. When igniting the 151-proof rum, hold the glass well away from your face.
The Covid-19 Quip of the Day: I was just wondering, do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
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Here is wishing you the very best for the holidays. To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind welcoming in the holiday season. If you have a little extra in your pockets to share with others at this difficult time, please consider donating to Feeding America.
Thanks for reading.
#Cocktail #HappyHour #HubersCafe #SpanishCoffee #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19 #FeedingAmerica #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup
©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2020
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