Why It Works
- Swapping out the booze in a traditional Irish coffee opens up a world of flavor combinations.
This is part of a series on Irish coffee variations, including this adventurous version with fernet, and a classic chocolate-hazelnut combo. Hot coffee, different liqueurs, and flavored whipped cream can yield surprising results and add some intrigue to your after-dinner drinks.
Spiced rum slips into a hot cup of coffee like a Jamaican bobsled team sliding down an icy track...which is to say, more smoothly than Irish whiskey. Its spiced flavor and sugarcane sweetness play off the coffee's roasted, bitter bite. On top, a heaping dollop of butterscotch whipped cream, which riffs a little bit on the rum, caramel, and dairy flavors of a classic rum raisin ice cream. To finish, a little fresh nutmeg grated on top plays up those spice notes.
My only challenge was making the butterscotch whipped cream. Thank god I work with Stella Parks, because she had an answer ready and waiting: Just whip some malted milk powder (such as Carnation, available everywhere) and dark brown sugar into the cream to simulate butterscotch's slow-cooked, sweet dairy flavor (a trick Stella uses in her quick butterscotch pudding recipe). It works like a charm, and it couldn't be easier. That whipped cream alone is so good, you'll want to put it on everything.
3/4 cup (175ml) heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon (10g) malted milk powder, such as Carnation
1 1/2 tablespoons (15g) dark brown sugar
Tiny pinch kosher salt
6 ounces (175ml) hot black coffee
2 ounces (60ml) spiced rum
1 tablespoon (15ml) 2:1 simple syrup (see note)
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish (optional)
Combine heavy cream, malted milk powder, brown sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Beat, using the whisk attachment, electric beaters, or a whisk, until dry ingredients are evenly incorporated and cream forms soft peaks.
Combine hot coffee, spiced rum, and simple syrup in a prewarmed mug. (You can prewarm it by pouring hot water into it, letting it stand for 1 minute, then draining.) Using a spoon, dollop whipped cream on top of coffee and top with freshly grated nutmeg, if using. Serve right away. (You may have more whipped cream than the mug can accommodate; feel free to add more as you drink, or use some for the next round.)
To make a 2:1 simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup (120g) granulated sugar with 1/4 cup (60ml) water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is fully dissolved. You can add the syrup hot, since the drink is hot; any extra can be stored in the refrigerator up to three months, and often longer.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 64g||82%|
|Saturated Fat 41g||205%|
|Total Carbohydrate 192g||70%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||2%|
|Total Sugars 185g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||6%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|