Turns out, I sometimes send long winded emails to Trey, reflecting my own special brand of slipshod cocktail making. In this case, an improvised coffee liqueur and the delicious cocktail it spawned...
From: Sean Wilkinson
To: Trey Hughes
So, I was supposed to come up with a cocktail and a punch for the Tandem/Bunker shindig on Saturday, and I didn't know where to start. While I was down there the other day, a patron said "make an Allen's drink, but make it classy."
I've made a coffee liqueur before (though I couldn't find the damn recipe this time) so I asked them for some beans. They gave me a pound of fresh beans and I went home plotting how to do them justice.
I know their coffee is lighter roasted than most locals, so it has great character (and punch) but not that mellow dark roundness we're used to in coffee liquors. So I mixed some Cruzan gold as a base with a bottle of Matusalem to round out the caramel notes and a little 151 to bring up the proof and expedite the infusing process since I only had a week. A day and a half later, it was dark as hell and super strong, so I filtered it out with a Toddy setup. It was really REALLY strong (coffee wise) and surprisingly rich, so I thinned it with some silver rum (4 rums in the mix now... nothing fancy, but also nothing cheap). I added a little simple syrup to cut down on the bitterness and it was pretty good. I took it to the office to test on some more palettes, and got that it was still a little bitter. Tonight I added a little more simple and 3 or 4 drops (in a half gallon) of vanilla to round it out some more. It's really good. I'll bring some tomorrow night.
So, in the meantime, they've decided not to have bartenders and just do a punch, which is cool. But I discovered The Revolver. Have you heard of this? Super simple, super tasty. A reason to have good coffee liqueur on hand.
2 oz bourbon (bulleit suggested, I used Woodfords, which is so caramely and delicious)
.5 oz coffee liqueur (they suggest Tia Maria, which is tequila based, I used my own, obviously)
2-3 dashes orange bitters (this reinforced for me how CLOYING angostura orange is. It totally takes over a drink. I used Scrappys on round two after ditching the first one with one dash of Angostura).
Flamed orange peel garnish (seemed like show at first, but the burnt caramel notes you get from the flamed oil are really adding depth).
In case you didn't get it already, I'm really digging this drink. Honestly, I was thinking this coffee liqueur was pretty bulletproof a couple hours ago, but using it like this lets me taste where it falls a little (little) short. But it's still really, really tasty.
Maybe I'll post an entry, "Emails TO Trey."