Warm up this winter: Coffee with a Kick

 

Winter is a wonderful season.

The first snowfall is magical as it covers the streets and trees with a clean, white coating. December holiday decorations of Hanukkah lights and Christmas colors twinkling from windows and trees only add to the festive spirit at the end of the year.

Now the holidays are over. We are in the dead of winter; the days are still short and bitter and the nights long and cold. The snow seems here to stay and with the holiday lights taken down and packed away, winter has lost all of its festive flair.

Classy Classics: Irish Coffee, Mexican Coffee

It’s cold and you need to warm up quickly.

Irish coffee is a great go-to drink after a long day of work and an even longer night ahead of you. Recipes abound on how to create the perfect cup; but why over-think something so classic. Dark roasted coffee with a splash (or a full shot) of Irish whiskey can warm the soul after the first sip. One thing to remember is that Irish whiskey has an earthier and sweeter taste than Scotch whiskey, so don’t try to substitute.

With the nutty-sweetness of Kahlua, Mexican coffee is another popular favorite in the cold, winter months. The sweetness provides the perfect background to rich, dark roasts and enhances the flavor of lighter roasted coffee blends as well. Perfect for a Sunday morning brunch or in a hot cup of decaf after a long day at the office, this coffee needs no frilly additions; just pour and enjoy.

Splash of Flavor: Schnapps

Schnapps is an under-appreciated liquor; it often takes a back-seat behind popular flavored vodkas or overlooked by fans of white rum. But I have always been a fan of schnapps; it is versatile and flavorful and adds a great splash of flavor to your coffee.

One of the best things about schnapps it the wide variety of flavors offered. For those with a sweet-tooth who enjoy flavor shots in their morning brew you can add a splash of vanilla, butterscotch, or peppermint schnapps to your coffee. The extra splash of flavor will add a warm sweetness to your Sunday brunch.

If you are entertaining the evening there are alternative flavors to compliment chocolaty desserts, especially fruity schnapps like raspberry or cherry. For a smooth, mild addition to your coffee there are also banana flavored schnapps for a more exotic flavor.

Remember, the best thing about schnapps is that you can mix and match flavors for a specialized taste to compliment your coffee.

Exotic Aromas: Dark Rum

What could be better way to spend a cold winter night than dreaming about a sunny, tropical paradise?

Rum was developed in the Caribbean in the 1600s with the cultivation of sugar and dark rum provides a rich, spicy-sweetness to your coffee. Perfect for a light or a dark roast, adding dark or spiced rum to your brew will transport you to far-away sun-filled beaches and bring an exotic flavor to your morning.