It has been winter where I live for a long while now. Just this morning it was 5 degrees Fahrenheit on my porch. It’s no wonder my Saint Bernard wants to get back in the house as soon as he can (not long strolls this time of year). This is the time of year that I like to make one of my favorite warm cocktails as an after dinner treat, especially when Holiday company calls.
Café Brulot a la Diabolique was created in New Orleans by Jules Alciatore for his restaurant, Antoine’s. The making of it is a show unto itself, with Monsieur Alciatore’s special copper bowl used tableside to flame the brandy in front of patrons. Very impressive.
At home, I just use a good saucepan and I don’t flame anything. I don’t have a crazy urge to get to know the local firemen any time soon. So, here is my version of Monsieur’s recipe based on the one in his great-grandson, Roy F. Guste, Jr’s, book The 100 Greatest New Orleans Creole Recipes.
6 ounces brandy
Peel of 1 lemon
2 sticks of cinnamon
8 whole cloves
1 ½ tbsps granulated sugar (or more, if you like it sweeter)
4 cups of hot, black coffee
Heat the brandy, lemon peel, cinnamon sticks, cloves and sugar until warm and fragrant, but not boiling. Remove from heat and let stand for five or ten minutes. Add this to you coffee and stir. Pour into demitasse cups. Alternatively, serve about half a cup in a regular coffee cup. This amount will serve 6.
Guste recommends adding Grand Marnier for a kick of orange flavor. I like whipped cream atop mine at this time of year. Salute ~
Header: El Jaleo by John Singer Sargent c 1882; this painting reminds me visually of how Café Brulot tastes ~ spicey!