MxMo LVI: Your Best – A Herbalist’s Coffee

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This post is for the next Mixology Monday round – MxMo LVI: Your Best.

This time Chris from Spirited Remix hosts the party and expects original drinks created by participants.

I love the idea because creating new drink is my hobby so I have a nice cocktail to contribute.

That’s based on the combination of coffee and Fernet Branca (and also Fernet Branca and cherry brandy). It’s a bit unusual but I believe this cocktail would win over many coffee lovers. By the way, it’s called «A Herbalist’s Coffee».

Last winter I was experimenting with coffee and bitters, and the cocktail below is the result of those experiments.

At first, I tried to mix coffee with Fernet, brandy, sugar and cream. Later I’ve noticed that a dash of vanilla extract softens strong flavours and puts all ingredients together in fine mixture. It was promising, and after several attempts I decided to try Absolut Vanilia Vodka instead of homemade vanilla extract.

Use of flavoured vodka led to rum exclusion. Also I’ve tried a variant without cream, and that was the first version of my cocktail.

A Herbalist’s Coffee

  • 30 ml Absolut Vanilia Vodka,
  • 15 ml coffee liqueur (Giffard Coffee Liqueur),
  • 10 ml Fernet Branca,
  • 1 dash aromatic bitters (substitute Angostura),
  • 1 dash coffee bitters (optional).

Shake with ice and strain in cocktail glass. Garnish with a single flower petal.

A Herbalist’s Coffee

The cocktail starts with full-bodied coffee flavour and sharp bitter tone of Fernet’s herbs. On the palate this herbal background becomes drier that makes a good addition to thick and bold taste of coffee with spices. In the end vanilla brings delicate and warm wood note to the aroma.

Aftertaste was surprisingly light and fluid as against the taste. The most prominent notes there were sweet coffee and bitter Fernet.

Cream version is predictably milder as vanilla and cream bring delicious hint of ice-cream.

A Herbalist’s Coffee (with cream)

  • 20 ml Absolut Vanilia Vodka,
  • 20 ml coffee liqueur (Giffard Coffee Liqueur),
  • 10 ml Fernet Branca,
  • 20 ml cream.

Shake with ice and strain in cocktail glass. Garnish with a few coffee beans.

A Herbalist’s Coffee (with cream)

This light creamy cocktail is very easy to drink. It starts with mild ice-cream texture and brings vanilla and coffee on the palate. In the aftertaste the cocktail comes to bitter side with mint, chamomile and milfoil all appeared in the delicate herbal background. Coffee meets herbs in the long creamy and chocolate flavoured finish.

The last version includes cherry liqueur. I resisted the temptation to use whiskey instead of vanilla vodka. Whiskey and cherry brandy create perfect combination, and that’s a topic for another post, but I have to follow initial recipe with Absolut Vanilia. So I just substituted Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka for my coffee liqueur to avoid excessive sweetness.

A Herbalist’s Espresso

  • 30 ml Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka,
  • 20 ml Absolut Vanilia,
  • 20 ml cherry liqueur (L’Heritier-Guyot Le Cherry Brandy),
  • 1 teaspoon (3 ml) Fernet Branca,
  • a half of an egg white.

Shake without ice, then add ice and shake again. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint leaf or leave it without garnish.

A Herbalist’s Espresso

The start is smooth, with delicate bitterness from herbs and an earthen hint of coffee and vanilla. On the swallow the cocktail gets strong espresso background for cherry, herbs and spices bouquet. The finish is surprisingly light and silky, dry and a little bitter.

The cocktail turned out a light drink with complex layered flavour based on powerful composition of coffee, vanilla and herbs with subtle touch of dried cherry.

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