Warming Up: Day 4

Tonight’s warmer-upper is a little unconventional.  This drink is one of many born from  a constant urge to get experimental in the kitchen.  The flavours are very strong and up-front, the slightly bitter coffee mixing with sweet amaretto and a hint of chocolate, and the finish is quite long and pleasant.

The Caferetto


This recipe is based designed for a single-cup moka pot.  If you’re using a larger pot, just multiply all of the ingredients by the number of cups your pot brews.  Never brew less than the pot’s capacity; they are designed to work with a specific volume.

Put 1 tsp of cocoa powder in the base of the pot and fill to just below the valve with cold water.

Fill the coffee basket with extra-finely ground coffee*.  Do not pack the grounds down.

Screw the top of the pot on tightly and pour in 1.5 oz of amaretto.

Heat the pot over medium heat until the top is around halfway full of brewed coffee.  Removing it at this point will keep it at a good temperature without boiling.  Let the pot fill, then pour your coffee into a heated cappuccino cup.


* I use a medium roast for this as the brewing method can extract a lot of bitterness.  Using a dark roast such as espresso (like I would normally do with a moka pot if I were making a cappucino or latte) will result in a very overpowering bitter coffee flavour since there is no milk added to tone it down.  If you don’t like strong coffee, it may be even better to use a light roast instead.  I haven’t tried this as I love it the way it comes out as-is.


Warming Up: Day 3

Today was so cold my dogs refused to go outside to take care of their business.  Continuing the week’s theme of hot drinks to warm a person up, I present my own heated variant of a New Orleans classic:

Hot Bourbon Milk Punch

Hot Bourbon Milk Punch

Between the drink and the glass, I swear I didn't time warp out of the 70s.

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp dark rum
  • 3 oz hot milk (be very careful not to boil)
  • ground cinnamon
  • grated nutmeg

Combine bourbon, honey, and rum in a warmed Irish coffee glass and mix well.  Add the milk and garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Milk cools off quite quickly, so it’s important to get to the drinking early (although it’s still good — in fact, many variants of this drink are shaken with ice and served cold).

This can be customized in any number of ways.  Feel free to use brandy instead of bourbon, or switch out the honey with another sweetener like maple syrup or simple syrup.  Switch out some of the milk with half and half cream.  Spiced rum can add an entirely new dimension.


Baby, It’s Cold Outside

After a fairly mild November and December, winter has reared its ugly head around my house in a big way.  It’s currently -27°C (-16°F for any non-Canadians out there), and this definitely calls for a hot beverage.

Mid-January Hot Cocoa

A mug of chocolate gold

This rich chocolaty creation is a perennial winter favorite around my house.

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • small pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 1/2 oz of dark chocolate
  • 1 1/2 oz of Frangelico

Combine all ingredients except the dark chocolate and Frangelico in your favorite pot over medium-high heat, whisking constantly.  After everything is thoroughly mixed, add the dark chocolate, continuing to whisk to ensure it does not stick to the sides or bottom of the pot and burn.  Remove the pot from the heat before it boils, and pour it into a heated mug with the Frangelico.

This tastes best when consumed while sitting in your favorite chair, under your warmest blanket, while listening to Louis Armstrong and Velma Middleton.

How do you like to warm up on a day like this?

à votre santé!