Coming up with ideas for recipes is a lot like travel: I don’t always know exactly where I am going. In this case, I started out thinking about grog — more specifically “the grog that doesn’t make you groggy.” But then, I was worried about cooking the coffee long enough to steep in the spices as used for traditional grog (also there is a citrus element that I wasn’t sure would work out great). So my idea shifted over to more of a hot-buttered-rum approach. I made a “batter” with dark brown sugar, butter, and spices that is ready to go (at room temperature) and can be made ahead of time. It’s a good thing to have around during the holidays because you just put a spoon into a mug, add a shot of La Colombe’s Different Drum Pennsylvania Rum (or dark rum), then cover with hot coffee, and everything stays fresh.
Yield: Enough for about 12 mugs
For the batter
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dried orange peel
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
Pinch cayenne pepper
Freshly brewed coffee (We used our classic blend Corsica.)
La Colombe Different Drum Pennsylvania Rum (or dark rum)
Place batter ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, and cream together (using a spatula) until well-combined. If making ahead, transfer to a container with tightly fitting lid, and refrigerate. Pull out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving to let the mixture warm up to room temperature.
For each mug of coffee:
Scoop a tablespoon of batter into a mug, add a jigger of rum (approximately 2 ounces), and pour in hot, fresh brewed coffee. Stir to combine. Works especially well when mixed into a big thermos, ready to pour.