Friday, July 27, 2007

5) Elixir Café

1 oz. Maker's Mark
3/4 oz. Starbucks coffee liqueur
.5 oz. Navan vanilla cognac
1 tbs. cream

Add all the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for thirty seconds. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a light dusting of coco powder.

It's a two for one this week - we're on fire!

Ed and I were still on a bit of a whiskey kick after the Rusty Bullet so wanted to do another whiskey based cocktail. My eye was drawn to a bottle of Starbucks coffee liqueur sitting on the back bar. As a long time fan of the combination of coffee and whiskey it seemed like a good way to start a cocktail. I was feeling a bit sassy so thought that the addition of a vanilla flavor would be nice as well. I suggested vanilla vodka - Ed looked a bit skeptical then pulled out a bottle and said, "Check this out."

It was Navan vanilla cognac, something I had not seen before. The flavors of both vanilla and alcohol were mild, but pleasant - Not thing sort of thing I'd drink on its own, but seemed like a good fit for the other ingredients. For the whiskey we chose Maker's Mark as it tends to be an excellent all purpose whiskey.

In our initial run we used one ounce of the coffee liqueur, a half ounce of Maker's and a half ounce of the cognac. I liked it, but Ed thought the whiskey was totally buried by the coffee liqueur. After several more sips I found I had to agree (damn you Ed!). Ed thought ramping up the whiskey while slightly cutting the liqueur would solve the problem. We also found during our initial tweaking that mixing in the whipped cream added a nice roundness to the overall flavor so decided on adding just a touch of cream to the final cocktail as well.

The final product was substantially improved. The whiskey was clearly front and center, but well tempered by the coffee and vanilla notes. It pretty much tasted like an iced vanilla latte that had been spiked with a generous shot of delicious, delicious whiskey. Took me back to my late morning college class days I tell ya.

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