German Coffee With Rum (Pharisaeer Kaffee) Recipe

Pharisaeer Kaffee - Coffee With Rum

Google Images/Creative Commons 3.0

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 drink
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
104 Calories
1g Fat
5g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 104
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 68mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This German Coffee with Rum (Pharisaeer Kaffee) and whipped cream is the national drink of North Frisia. The scuttlebutt is it was invented for the christening of a baby girl, Johanna Theodora Katharina, on Nordstrand Island on Feb. 29, 1872.

Pastor Gustav Beyer was very strict and always berating his flock for their godless drinking. In order to avoid his wrath, the congregation served a drink made with rum and coffee. The whipped cream on top kept the rum aroma from wafting through the air and upsetting the pastor, who received plain coffee with whipped cream. However, at some point, the good man got a whiff of what was going on behind his back and cried out, "Ihr Pharisäer!" or "You Pharisees!" referring to the sect that heckled Jesus in the Temple. What a delicious way to be evil!


  • 2 to 4 ounces strong coffee

  • 2 sugar cubes, to taste

  • 1 1/2 ounces (40 milliliters) dark Jamaican rum

  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Fill the cup with coffee, sweeten to taste with the sugar cubes, then add the rum. Place whipped cream on top and serve immediately.

  2. This coffee drink is typically served in a large glass tumbler with a saucer made for this drink. If you can't find this cup, use a coffee cup.

  3. Traditionally, you are not supposed to stir this drink, but sip it through the whipped cream. If you stir it, you may be required to buy a round of drinks.

Interesting note: In 1981, a Flensburg court decided that 2 cl (20 ml, less than an ounce) of rum is not adequate for a Pharisäer.

More Coffee Drinks in Germany

Tea is almost as popular as coffee in Germany, but a good old cup of joe (or would that be a cup of Josef?) holds sway. Here are more German coffee recipes to keep your cylinders buzzing along.

  • Milchkaffee, what would be considered café au lait in France, is strong coffee filled halfway in the cup and then filled to the rim with hot milk or milk froth. It is served unsweetened, leaving the sugar up to the imbiber, but sometimes cocoa powder is sprinkled on top. Milchkaffee is often accompanied by a little Danish butter cookie.

  • Eiskaffee is cold coffee and ice cream topped with whipped cream. Iced coffee never had it so good.