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How to Use Coffee Liqueur in Cocktails; Part 3

When I first came across the Mulata daiquiri several years back, I thought it looked like a terrible drink, on paper at least.

Cacao and grenadine? Yeah no thanks. Rum and lime? Sure, makes sense. Rum and cacao and lime and grenadine? Yeah that’s gonna be a no from me dawg.

Seriously though, I thought it was some messed up stuff, yet another example of a recipe that should have stayed in the pages of history, surprised that it even made it that far.

Of course, it helps that the Mulata Daiquri was riding the wave of the rum and lime trend that was sweeping across Cuba. Afterall, if wasn’t Constatino Ribalaigua who came up with the drink in the 1930s, alongside his numerous other Daiquiri variations that he perfected and invented, then the other side of story of its creator was Jose Maria Vazquez, who came up with idea in the 1940s and which still falls in line with a time period that allowed the drink to migrate from Cuba to the now ‘wet’ again and alcoholo-friendly United States.

Either way , for me the Mulata daiquiri is the greatest of all daiquiri variations, not only because its looks unconventional and therefore throws you off guard, but also because it tastes incredible. Outside of the rum element – which is the most obvious part of the daiquiri equation – the idea of marrying chocolate and pomegranate and citrus is genius, even if the idea of cacao and pomegranate is a flavour combination that we are guilty of taking for granted in the 21st Century.

On top of that, the Mulata Daiquiri also isn’t the only marriage of citrus and cacao and fruit. The Commodore, a bourbon whisky sour without egg white, essentially employs the same ingredients, but using lemon instead. It’s ingredients and obscurity mean that it’s not really a fully fledged ‘old classic’, although I would challenge anyone to compare it to a Gold Rush in terms of its ability to turn non-whisky drinkers into whisky drinkers.

But I digress.

The Mulata Daiquiri was part of a family of daiquiri variations that came to fruition in the first third of the 20th century. However, as it never really gained any attention in mainstream media or literature compared to the Daiquiri and its famous brother the Hemingway – indeed the only reference I can find is in Charles Schumann’s Tropical Bar Book from 1989 –  it’s fair to say that this gem of a drink ended up losing its way.

The main question here is; why is any of this important?

Well here it is; if someone can put together a chocolate and grenadine daiquiri and make it taste good, then someone can do the same thong with coffee liqueur and citrus.

The Coffee Daiquiri, a pseudo-tiki creation that’s the result of a two-year project, mainly consisting of trial, error and research, is a modern-day attempt at putting into a practice a drink idea that has long seemed almost impossible to accomplish.

The idea of being able to create a ctirus and coffee cocktail and marry it a well-balanced drink that uses both fresh lime and coffee liqueur, in some form or another was a gap, in my opinion, that needed to be filled

Using the amazing flavors found within Blackstrap and Goslings and using them as a the backbone, the biggest problem was how to marry citrus and coffee liqueur without it being unbalanced, too acidic or too bitter.

And the secret to making this taste better than it could sound? With the addition of orange wedges and orgeat.

Coffee Daiquiri

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add one large jumbo ice cub, and shake for 10-12 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe and serve.

Tom Lasher-Walker, Fresh Kills, Brooklyn, 2017

When making the drink in the past, one of the biggest issues was that the drink lacked balanced (it was always a little too bitter), and was often lacking in texture.

Too address both of these, the orgeat and orange wedges seem to move the texture and balance of this drink into another realm.

The wedges add a thickness and a fatness and enhances that coffee mouthfeel, while the presence of orgeat shows that less is more, by taking the edge off the coffee bitterness and stretching out the flavors without interfering with the drink.

In the words of Tony Sorpano, Salut.

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