Coffee Cocktail: A Classic Recipe With No Coffee Involved

The Classic Coffee Cocktail
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  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

You may not get actual coffee in this "coffee cocktail" but you do get a taste of a great classic drink. The name may refer to the look of the drink when properly concocted and the fact that the brandy-port combination makes it a fine drink before and after dinner as an alternative to coffee.

Despite its deceptive name, this is a classic cocktail. It first appeared in print in Jerry Thomas' 1887 book, "The Bar-Tender's Guide or How to Mix All Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks." It is one of the more unusual drinks from the time, though the brandy, ruby port, and egg with just a hint of sweetness make a fabulous drink that is very enjoyable. That's especially true if you seek out one of the finer ports available.

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1.  Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the brandy, ruby port, egg, and simple syrup.

  3. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.

  4. Strain into a chilled port or sour glass.

  5. Dust the top with freshly grated nutmeg.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • There are two keys to mixing cocktails that include eggs: Make sure your egg is fresh and shake the drink more than usual to ensure the egg is properly mixed. Put extra effort into the shake, even going until your arms hurt.
  • Give the egg a quick freshness test before cracking it: Place it in a glass of water and if it sinks, it's good. Whenever your egg stands on end, it's best reserved for food in which it will be cooked. Floating eggs should be discarded.
  • Large eggs are the most common today, though this recipe is sized for a small egg. If you find that it's too eggy with a large egg, your easiest option is to increase the brandy and port to 2 ounces each. This will create one large cocktail or two smaller ones.
  • If you like, rim the glass with a mixture of brown sugar and nutmeg to make the drink extra special.

How Strong Is a Coffee Cocktail?

The egg brings the coffee cocktail down to a comfortable alcohol content for most people. This recipe should fall into the 17 percent ABV (34 proof) range, which is typical of this style of drink.

Recipe Variations

Very similar to the coffee cocktail, the porto flip uses the same ingredients but changes up the way they are used. This recipe focuses on the port and leaves the brandy as an accent. The porto flip is a common "flip" drink, which were once very popular but lost some of their appeal in the late 19th Century.

  • To make the drink, shake 1/4 ounce brandy, 1 1/2 ounces ruby port, and 1 egg yolk thoroughly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pinch of nutmeg.
  • Some recipes create a creamier porto flip by adding 3/4 ounce of cream and 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar.