The most satisfying coffee cocktail I have made so far.
Earlier this year, just when the Coronavirus started to spread around the world, I got a chance to visit Sri Lanka for two weeks.
It was a long-overdue holiday that we planned with my girlfriend, and we were questioning whether to go or not. We decided to go, and until now, I am thankful we did so.
When we came back, I got a few weeks at work, and then the big lockdown came. Everything stopped. Uncertainty started creeping in. How long is this going to last? How are we going to survive? What about our staff?
I had to deal with the situation I have never experienced before. What I noticed though was, that I was doing so with a calm and clear mind without being crazy stressed like I previously used to.
I spent the two weeks in Sri Lanka completely offline, without social media, emails, and work-related things, and for the first time, I was enjoying the moment.
I was observing the lives of people around me, getting to know their culture, tasting the incredible food, recharging. I believe that this time and adjusted point of view on life’s values helped me deal with the crisis in a way I couldn’t before.
So when the time came to create the special coffee cocktail for the people who supported our crowdfunding campaign, I knew straight away it had to be something unique. I thought of Sri Lanka, and how thankful I was for the time I spent there and how grateful I was for the people who decided to support us. The connection was clear. I wanted to translate my experience of Sri Lanka, the flavors and aromas of the island, but also I wanted to do a cocktail that would challenge me as the crisis did.
I heard a lot about milk punch before but never got to try it myself. So I decided to do a coffee cocktail as a milk punch, with flavors of Sri Lanka. And to make it more difficult, I wanted it vegan so everyone can enjoy it.
I used a combination of a lighter spiced rum from Seychelles and an overproof blend of rums as a base to which I added a cold brew concentrate. Luckily enough, I got my hands on an outstanding natural processed coffee from Indonesia, with flavor notes of tropical fruits and spices, which fitted the cocktail profile just right.
I spiced the base and infused it with Sri Lankan spices like cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg ( I got a chance to visit a small spice manufacturer near the city of Kandy and the intense smell of fresh spices is one of the best memories I have from there).
I couldn’t leave out the famous Sri Lankan or Ceylon tea, of course. I sweetened this dark, spicy, aromatic, and slightly bitter base with Jaggery.
Jaggery is a traditional Sri Lankan sugar made of sap of Kithul palm trees and has a very distinct sweet and sour taste. This added richness and a lot of texture to the coffee cocktail.
For the acidity, I chose lime and pineapple juice.
The last step was to clarify the punch with coconut milk. This was the real challenge: figuring out the right proportions and amounts of coconut milk, the steeping time, and then the actual clarification. Coconut milk behaves differently from actual milk, and it took me some time, and a few tries to get the results right.
In the end, I was left with a super balanced, refreshing coffee cocktail in the form of a milk punch: strong spicy aroma, many layers of Sri Lankan flavors, and subtle silky mouthfeel from the coconut.
Bohoma Istuti means “thank you very much” in the Sri Lankan language.
I am very excited that I can share the coffee cocktail that took me the most effort to create with the people who were kind enough to support us in the time of crisis. For me, it truly is a very special kind of coffee cocktail.
- Kerinci Indonesia natural process Cold Brew
- Takamaka Spiced Rum
- Plantation O.F.T.D. Rum
- Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg
- Jaggery (Sri Lankan Palm Sugar)
- Ceylon Black Tea (Uva region)
- Pineapple Juice
- Lime Juice
- Coconut Milk clarified