Underneath Bell’s Crossing

Tools of the trade for a classic old fashion cocktail.

I was playing around with flavors the other day and coffee seemed to resonate more clearly than ever. Maybe it was the recent cold snap, or perhaps it was my palate calling out for deeper (read: more intense) flavors. That’s where Death Wish Coffee comes into play. They say that it’s the world’s strongest coffee and I tend to agree with them, as long as I control the brewing method. You see, I’m pretty picky when it comes to strong. I like to do coffee in either a French press or as a pour-over. Never do I use an automatic machine.

It’s pretty hard to mess up coffee when it is well roasted and Death Wish seems to have their roasting expertise down to a minute science.

Instead of the pricey Arabica beans, they have chosen the rougher- and more caffeinated Robusta beans. OK, before you get your underwear all in a bunch, it just happens to be that Robusta coffee is excellent in craft cocktails. Especially when they are treated to a long, cold infusion.

For this is why I do what I do. I love to play around with flavors and Death Wish Coffee makes it easy on me.

I’m pretty well known for simplicity in my craft cocktails. This one is no different with only three ingredients plus bitters. That should satisfy even the most hard pressed for time bartender/mixologist. Because if you are ten deep at the bar on any given Saturday night, let me tell you from my own experience that fewer ingredients make a happier bartender!

This cocktail, a take on the classic Manhattan involves a rum that is near and dear to my heart. I use Mezan XO because of the anything but sweet- funky, slightly smoky (bourbon oak cask aged) demeanor. The XO is a combination of rums from four different Jamaican distilleries. The part of the story that speaks most clearly to me involves the rum from Long Pond. Its distinctive flavor stands out as authentic, untouched rum. No caramel, no added sugar, no glycerin, no chill-filtering. Ah, the good stuff.

So I took a healthy portion of the Jamaica XO and added it to a 24-hour infusion of the Death Wish Coffee (It’s usually called cold brewed, I call it slightly insane) and added to a bit of my favorite for a Manhattan of this demeanor, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth. There is a smoky unctuous quality about Carpano. Perhaps it is the historic recipes that dates back to the 1700’s. I’m not sure- but they did say that Vermouth was originally invented against head lice and stomach worms so it couldn’t hurt you if you use it with rum and coffee.

Underneath Bell’s Crossing

Ingredients:

2 oz. Mezan XO Rum
2 oz. Cold Brewed Death Wish Coffee
2 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1 cocktail cherry – better be home cured
3to 5 shakes Chocolate Mole Bitters
Prep:

Pre-chill double old fashioned glass with ice and water
To a cocktail mixing glass filled ¼ with ice
Add the Mezan XO Rum
Add the Death Wish Coffee- cold brewed
Add the Carpano Antica
Add the Chocolate Mole’ Bitters
Stir 30-40 times
Taste with a straw discreetly; add more bitters as necessary
Strain into pre-chilled glass over fresh ice.
Add cherry
Serve!
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