Breakfast and booze. Was there ever a better pairing? It’s right up there with macaroni and cheese, PB and jelly, Carrie and Big, Netflix and rainy days. Who doesn’t like their orange juice topped with a little Prosecco, their peach puree accompanied by a shot of vodka? Sometimes you just need an extra kick to ease you into the day, amirite?
Coffee has long been used as a vessel for alcohol consumption, and rightly so: Its bitterness is the perfect match for sweet liqueurs and caramel-y liquors like bourbon. I also noticed a rad new menu offering at my local Peet’s, called the Black Tie, and set out to adapt it.
I added in this amazing NOLA coffee liqueur by St. George Spirits, which offers just the right amount of booziness without overwhelming the other elements of the drink. I also skipped the chicory syrup but used a coffee with chicory for the added bitterness. It’s perfect over ice for the summer months, but I think it would also be stellar hot, ideal for cozy-ing up with during the cooler months.
I love my coffee with a sweet something, so I made a batch of macarons and spiked the ganache with the same coffee liqueur, in an effort to tie everything together. Coffee and macarons: another perfect pair.
The Tipsy Penguin
- 1 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 6 oz cold-brewed coffee; this one with chicory adds extra bitterness to offset the added sweetness of the liqueur and condensed milk
- 2 oz coffee liqueur; I used St. George Spirits’ NOLA Coffee Liqueur
- 1 oz half + half
Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a glass, then fill with ice. Pour cold coffee over the ice, followed by the coffee liqueur, followed by the half + half. Give a good stir. Top with fresh whipped cream and coffee grounds.
I like to eat mine with a straw and a spoon, so you can get all that delicious condensed milk from the bottom. It sort of reminds me of an affogato. So yummy.
Classic Macarons with Spiked Chocolate Ganache
I use this amazing guide from the Pastry Pal for the macaron shells. I know the process can seem daunting but if you follow the recipe to a T, you’ll get great results.
For the ganache, I used the basic recipe in that same guide: I brought 3/4 c. heavy cream to a boil, then poured it over 8 oz good dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips). Allow it to sit for a minute to melt the chips, then give a good stir. Once combined, stir in 2 oz coffee liqueur. If it seems a little runny, stick it in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden a bit – just be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t firm up too much!
Further reading: Want to know more about coffee cocktails? Check out this fascinating article on how Irish Coffee came to America. San Francisco’s Buena Vista Cafe makes, arguably, the best one in the country.
Barware notes: The mason jars can be found at most stores, but I got mine at World Market. The small pitcher, bowl, and spoon were all thrift finds. The napkin is also from World Market.