I like to invent drinks. Usually they are good, but not always so good that they deserve a name. Last night I mixed a drink that deserved a name, so I named it African-American coffee.
Coffee can be combined favorably with liquor in many ways. Probably the most common hard coffee drink is Irish coffee, a variant of the hot toddy, which is made with coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar or brown sugar. It is the name of this drink that inspired the name African-American coffee, which is made with an African liqueur, an American whiskey, and coffee.
Amarula is an African fruit cream liqueur made from the fruit of the marula tree. My father found this during a trip to Africa and shared it with me. I was elated when I found it at Twin Liquors near the Bailey’s. Ask your local liquor store to stock it if they don’t already.
The original African-American coffee used the 100-proof “Bottled in Bond” Rittenhouse rye whiskey, which I found at my favorite Louisville liquor store. This spirit has a sharp, spicy flavor that complements the sweet, mellow flavor of Amarula. If you can’t find a rye whiskey, any sour mash like Jack Daniel’s or Jim Beam will do.
The proportions and temperature can be varied according to taste. I like it hot with about two ounces of Amarula and one ounce of whiskey. It’s also good over ice with a greater proportion of Amarula.
This article was brought to you in part by my desire to see my favorite liquors gain popularity so that I can buy them in more places. You can help by requesting them at your local liquor store.