Cafe de olla is a sweet, heavily spiced brew, usually taken hot in the morning with sweet rolls and in the afternoon with crunchy cookies or a pastry. This refreshing dessert drink, served over ice, features cafe de olla’s welcome kick of caffeine.
Cafe de olla is also great as a float, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Piloncillo is raw cane sugar, molded and sold in cones. It has a mild molasses flavor; raw sugar or brown sugar may be substituted.
Yield: Makes 1 drink
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup in a squeeze bottle
4 ounces café de olla (recipe follows), chilled
2 ounces liquor such as coffee liqueur, brandy, dark rum or almond-flavored liqueur
1 tablespoon heavy cream, condensed milk, or whipped cream
Small pinch of ground cinnamon
Café de olla (makes 4 cups):
5 cups water
4 large cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
4 star anise
1 cone piloncillo sugar (or ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar)
¾ cup ground espresso coffee beans, regular or decaffeinated
For the Café de Olla:
Combine the water, spices, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring slowly to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to break up the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, without stirring, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the coffee, cover, and steep for 5 minutes. Line a sieve with a coffee filter and strain the coffee through it. Serve hot or, for iced coffee, store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 week.
Chill a 12-ounce glass. Drizzle the inside of the glass with the chocolate syrup, then fill the glass with ice and pour in the liquor. Top up with chilled cafe? de olla. Drizzle the cream on top (or spoon on the whipped cream) and dust with cinnamon.