July always brings along a cold spell with bitterness that reaches right into your bones. The best of coffees only shuts out the cold for a short while before the miserable crones of winter wrap their arms around you again.
On nights like this all you need is a loving drink to snuggle up with and warm your body from the inside. A Café Amore is exactly that drink. Its bewitching warmth will shut the doors on the winter chills.
The Café Amore is based on the French Connection series of drinks, made up from amaretto and congac. The original recipe calls for congac, but I used a South African brandy instead. In fact, congac is a type of French brandy made in a very particular way.
- Black Coffee - I recommend a coffee with strong chocolatey and nutty notes in the taste. I used the Tanzania Mamsera.
- Congac or brandy
- Almonds to garnish
- Prepare some black coffee. In keeping with the French theme of this drink, I used the plunger (or French press) to prepare the coffee. Take look at the "Take a Plunge" post to see how to make the perfect plunger coffee. I don't recommend using any drip method, such as filter or pour over as you really want the strong flavours of the coffee to come through. Coffee prepared with a moka pot and topped with hot water would work just as well for this drink.
- While you are waiting for your coffee, pour the congac or brandy and amaretto into an Irish Coffee glass.
- Whip some cream.
- When your coffee is ready, fill up the glass with coffee.
- Top with whipped cream.
- Garnish with shaved almonds.
As you cradle your coffee glass in both hands, the heat of the glass will warm you from the outside. Take that first sip and the seductive warmth of the liquid will warm you from the inside.