Try this Danish-inspired coffee cocktail that’s spicy and not too sweet on a brisk autumn night.
By Bill Walsh
These days, a growing number of folks know that a well-roasted batch of coffee needs nothing added to it in order to make it delicious. This fact seems to ring true amongst the people of Denmark and their ever-blossoming coffee scene, home to such entities as the Coffee Collective and Sigfreds Kaffebar.
But like all cultures, every culture seems to have at least one coffee recipe that involves a litany of other ingredients to compliment (at best) or mask (at worst) the coffee. In leading up to the North Festival Oct 2 – 7 in New York City, since I couldn’t make it over to Denmark to grab a bag of quality Danish beans or sample their cafe culture, I sought to find a coffee recipe that gave a solid (as possible) nod to the Danes and their coffee.
Thus after some research, two coffee cocktails emerged, and of the two I went with the one more commonly found and that seemed similar to other coffee recipes in the geographical neighborhood. Named simply ‘Danish Coffee’, it’s definitely a perfect drink for a brisk autumn day, even without the rum.
A couple things I would note:
- The original recipe called for cooking the ingredients for two hours, a step that would have obliterated the coffee. So I did some experimenting and made a better way.
- Use a fresh, quality light/medium – medium roast coffee. I used some Mexican beans from roaster Crescent Moon Coffee and Tea that presented a beautifully rich coffee with vanilla sweetness and a full body. I would avoid darker roasts (any beans with exterior oil) as the cloves and cinnamon in the recipe do enough to darken the flavor of the drink.
- Cloves are potent and since I actually like to taste some of the coffee, I reduced the original recipe by a third. This was also why I sought out a dark rum that wasn’t spiced.
- In making the coffee, I found adding sugar to be an optional step (I liked it without it). Use as needed.
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 whole cloves
- 4 cups of water
- ½ cup dark rum
- 56 grams of freshly ground coffee
- Sugar (if desired)
- Pour the water into a pot; add the cinnamon and cloves.
- Simmer the mixture for 45 minutes, brewing a potent cinnamon and clove tea-like concoction.
- At the 45 minute mark, bring the mixture to a rolling boil and then remove from heat.
- Using a pourover coffee brewer (like a V60 or Bonavita) or a french press, pour the cinnamon and clove concoction into the coffee grounds, brewing as normally directed (check brewmethods.com for some good methods). When finished, pour the coffee into a carafe if not already brewed into one.
- Making sure your rum is at least room temperature (heating it a bit will reduce the amount of heat lost to the overall drink), add it to the coffee.
- If desired, sweeten with sugar to taste.
Learn more about Nordic cuisine at the NORTH Festival 2013 in New York City. This post is a collaboration between the blogger and NORTH Festival 2013.
Bill Walsh is a contributing writer at Honest Cooking and the fanatic behind the acclaimed Pure Coffee Blog. He gains his inspiration from God, family and coffee, and loves to take each of them on the road as frequently as possible for a solid adventure.