Jesus, it's cold out there. Okay, maybe not where I am--Las Vegas this weekend, not that I'm rubbing it in, of course--but when I see the national weather reports and hear the snow-and-ice horror stories from friends around the country, I feel an empathetic chill in my bones. So let's lay off the icy drinks this week, and put together something that'll take the frigid edge off: the Spanish Main.
Named for the mainland coast of the old Spanish empire along the Caribbean, the Spanish Main brings together an ingredient from the old country: Licor 43, a Spanish liqueur flavored with a number of botanicals, most prominently vanilla, with two from the New World--a rich dark rum from Guatamala, and a smooth bolt of black coffee or espresso. True, coffee grows in a number of places around the world, and dark rums from Guyana or Trinidad work just as well in the drink, but hey, you've gotta hang the name off something.
Anyway, it's cold--no time to quibble over trivial details. Don't wait for evening (with the caffeine, you probably won't want to), but fight back January's chill with this rich-flavored winter warmer.
- 2 ounces strong black coffee or espresso
- 1 – 1 1/2 ounces dark rum; Zacapa, Zaya, or Demerara rums such as El Dorado or Lemon Hart work well
- 1/2 ounce Licor 43 (Navan is a suitable substitute)
Pour rum and liqueur in a warmed coffee cup and top with hot coffee or espresso. Add sugar if you like it sweeter.