Drinkology February 2012

Made famous by Huber’s Café in Southwest Portland, OR, the Spanish Coffee is a hot drink that literally begins with a flame. While lighting a drink on fire can be a matter of showmanship and effect, burning spirits will warm your beverage, decrease liquid content and condense flavors, providing a unique richness that’s not possible with safer, more pedestrian pours. In this case, fire is also the vehicle with which sugar is crystallized on the glass. The Pulse Spanish Coffee replaces triple sec from the classic Huber’s recipe with the cognac-based, bitter-orange liqueur Grand Marnier for a more heady, aromatic distinction. Excellent after dinner, this concoction will warm the belly and add a little cheer to any winter evening.


1 oz Bacardi 151 rum
1.5 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur
.5 oz Grand Marnier
Homemade Chantilly cream to garnish
Ground nutmeg
Granulated Sugar

Coat the rim of a tempered 8-10 oz Irish coffee or red wine glass in lime juice, then dip rim in sugar until covered. Add 151 and Grand Marnier to glass and carefully ignite with a long match or grill lighter. Swirl the liquid to help crystallize sugar, then add Kahlua, followed by enough coffee to fill the glass. Top with whipped cream and finish with a dusting of nutmeg. Serve immediately.