Basking in the Afterglow of Coffee



Mixing a cocktail is chemistry – combining spirits with a complementary splash of this, or a shot of that, in such a way that balance is achieved, producing the perfect blend of liquid gratification. Or, perhaps it’s an art. When done well, stirring, shaking and pouring the concoction into the appropriate vessel to ensure optimal delivery of taste and aromas is like art, a sensory experience.

I love a good cocktail. I love a great cup of coffee. And, I love fall.

With the exception of Saturday or Sunday brunch—during which I might enjoy a Bloody Mary with a coffee chaser—I tend to confine coffee drinking to the start of the day and save imbibing cocktails for—well, the cocktail hour. This is especially true for me during the warmer months as my coffee drinking tends to wane a bit along with the rising temperatures.

But once autumn arrives, bringing its brisk mornings and chillier nights, I find my desire for coffee drinks tends to extend beyond the morning hours. I also find that for my taste, the margaritas, vodka tonics and Moscow Mules of July seem to not have the fortitude to stand up to those crisp November days and nights. For weekend brunch, I even crave something more substantial than the beloved and venerable Mimosa with its sunny disposition that seemed so perfect between Memorial Day and the beginning of September, and now seems out of season. To create that more substantial drink, I combine the things I love—a cocktail, a cup of coffee and the flavors of autumn.

I enjoy a hot cup of coffee with a shot of brandy or bourbon. But my favorite libation to match with coffee is rum. You can make it seasonal by brewing your favorite pumpkin-flavored varietal. Visit your local coffee shop for a bag of their autumn seasonal flavor. Or, if you can’t wait for your K-cup machine to finish doing its thing, bring home a cup of the coffee shop’s already brewed.

For those harvest-time weekend brunches, forego the usual glass of Champagne and orange juice for a spicy coffee-rum granita. Sounds fancy, but it’s so easy to make.



Pumpkin Coffee Rummy


1-ounce dark rum

1 tablespoon half and half or whipping cream

1 cup hot brewed pumpkin-spice or your choice of seasonal coffee




Pour rum into hot coffee

Stir in half and half or cream

Add dash of cinnamon on top and sweeten to taste



Jamaica in the Fall


¾ ounce dark rum

¾ ounce Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur

1 cup brewed pumpkin- spice or your choice of seasonal coffee

2 tablespoons whipped cream


Pour rum and coffee liqueur into a mug and fill with hot coffee

Finish with a dollop of whipped cream



Spiced Coffee Granita


1 tablespoon of half and half

1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon brown sugar

6 ounces brewed, chilled pumpkin-spice or your choice of seasonal coffee


Brew coffee and add sugar. Cool and refrigerate.

Pour rum into coffee, half and half, vanilla extract.

Pour into glass. Place filled glass in freezer.

Let freeze at least four hours until mixture can be flaked with the tines of a fork.

Once frozen, scrape fork in coffee mixture to loosen ice crystals and serve.



3 java                                                                                      3 decaf activities

PAIRINGS                                                                                FOR SPIKED COFFEE SIPPING


Warm pumpkin bread                                                            Fireplace gazing

Leftover turkey and dressing sandwiches                              Movie watching

Stove-top popcorn; microwave if you must!                          Snuggling



3 rum shots


Barbancourt Rhum (Add to your favorite seasonal coffee)

Captain Morgan Cannon Blast (Cinnamon-y and warming, like Red Hots candies)

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum (Gives coffee a little taste of autumn)




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