One of the most classic ways of creating an after dinner coffee drink is by using a method traditional to Irish Coffee. There are variations to suit all tastes, and as an after-dinner treat, these combine that satisfying aroma of coffee with warmth and the lip licking tinge of alcohol. It is also worth noting that the recipe itself can be used for non alcohol drinking guests, without the need to single them out as different from others. The glass will appear the same, and only you and they will know the difference.
One of the favorite Irish coffee variations which will impress and delight guests is that which uses crème de menthe. It is that sweetness and sharpness of the taste of crème de menthe which makes it classical, adding to the presentation of the drink. Take stemmed glasses and wash in warm water, dry thoroughly. This heats the glass sufficiently to not feel the shock of hot coffee being poured into it. It is wise to add a teaspoon to the glass after sugar is added because this also helps to absorb the heat. The choice of sugars are easy to adapt to preferential taste, though a heaped teaspoon of granulated crystal sugar or a heaped teaspoon full of brown sugar. If guests are more partial to subtle sweetness, the brown sugar is recommended.
Basic preparation of a non alcoholic Irish Coffee.
Leaving the teaspoon in the cup, stir in the ready prepared hot coffee. Your preferred coffee will be perfectly acceptable. Place the sugar into the glass, but before doing this make sure that the Double cream is ready to pour. Stir the coffee and turn the spoon over, so that the back faces upward and the coffee is still rotating from stirring. Pour the cream over the back of the spoon, the tip being parallel with the surface of the coffee the whole time. This builds up a layer of cream on the top of the coffee. This is served like this so that the coffee is drunk through the cream.
Now you have learned the method of making the coffee, try it out with different alcohols, as each gives a unique taste. Spirits such as bourbon, brandy, cointreau etc., can be experimented with, although never mix the crème de menthe into the drink. This is used as a magnificent topping if chosen for your guests. The crème de menthe is trickled onto the cream so that it decorates the coffee with a neat and unique finished look.
Other drinks that can be added with success are Bailey’s Irish Cream though in small quantities to avoid the drink tasting sickly. If using a sweet spirit, the best counter action between sweet and sour can be achieved by sprinkling the top of the cream with neat chocolate powder, and dark chocolate is better than milk or cocoa powder.
For children the coffee can be prepared in the same fashion but without alcohol, and nice additions to a coffee drink of this nature are things like grated chocolate, as all children love the taste.
Irish coffees are usually served in a stemmed glass, and upon a saucer, the saucer being graced with an after dinner mint.
The Love of Coffee is made by using hot coffee in a similar way to that shown above, though this is a recipe which includes a lid full of Cognac in the coffee itself before the cream is added. The twist on this recipe is that the drink is left in the refrigerator and a topping of shaved almonds added at the last minute, once the drinks are cool and refreshingly ready to be served. For cold cocktails, these should always be prepared before the meal so that chilling can set in.
The Hot on the Lips coffee is similarly a cold cocktail served in a cocktail glass, though again uses the Irish coffee method of preparation. This is a temptingly tantalizing drink for those who love the stronger taste of alcohol, and uses peppermint schnapps, and a tiny touch of rum. The suggested finish to garnish the coffee before serving is After Eight or Bendicks After Dinner mints. Add a little bit of decorative crème de menthe, though in this case, overkill is not recommended. It just takes a tiny drop to add a little color and a little grated chocolate.
Your guests will be delighted with your choice of after dinner coffee cocktails, and you can experiment with different flavors and create your own mystery combinations to delight the taste buds of your dinner guests. Always choose a good quality coffee, and never try to create a quality drink using anything less than a good blend. The party will go down well and all guests will indeed go home with the warmth of the spirit of friendship on their lips, as the coffee does indeed leave a sweet taste of comfort.