Brunch-goers and dessert-drinkers alike are discovering they enjoy spiked coffee, especially when it’s creatively combined with other rich flavors. Here are a few coffee cocktail inspirations.
Executive chef James Rigato’s cuisine at The Root Restaurant & Bar in Detroit features regionally sourced ingredients such as pork, honey and cherries. Appetizers, for instance, include Baked Michigan Brie and Crispy Braised Michigan Pork Belly. Among the restaurant’s dessert cocktails are two coffee-infused specialties: The Espresso Martini combines espresso with Vanilla Stoli, Kahlua and Van Gogh Espresso Vodka, and is garnished with a light sprinkling of ground espresso beans. Spanish Coffee is made with brandy, Kahlua and Grand Marnier, served in a glass rimmed with caramelized cinnamon sugar and topped with fresh whipped cream.
Spiked coffee drinks are part of the brunch experience at The Smith in New York City. Menu favorites include Potato Waffle Benedict and Biscuits and Gravy with the restaurant’s signature cheddar biscuits. Beverage director Jeff Leanheart highlights seasonal, locally produced and housemade ingredients in cocktails. Coffee specialties available at brunch include Affogato, made with ice cream and espresso, the mocha latte Chair Lift, and Salted Brulée Latte, and each is available with spirits added.
At Carriage House in Chicago, Zach Friedlander created the Curious Jorgé brunch cocktail to play off of the chocolaty profile of a reposado tequila. The drink, a fusion of sweet chocolate, bitter coffee and creamy horchata, complements the restaurant’s contemporary Low Country fare. The bruléed banana garnish ties in with the brunch theme.
The innovative cuisine at Fish in Charleston, SC, is inspired by French and Asian influences, and features local and sustainable ingredients. The restaurant also offers a variety of artisanal hand-crafted cocktails. The recipe for the Café Olé cocktail combines flavor notes of cinnamon, chocolate and espresso, garnished with a Madagascar vanilla bean.