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.