Hot Coffee Cocktail: Café Brûlot

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We came across this spiced and spiked after-dinner coffee while researching traditional dishes from Louisiana and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it!

With flavors of orange, clove, and brandy, this dessert cocktail seems particularly suited to the holidays.

Café brûlot traditionally contains fresh coffee, cognac or brandy, orange and lemon peels, cinnamon, and cloves. The orange peel is kept intact in one long spiral, and some recipes add additional orange liquor to boost the citrus flavor (and alcohol content!).

Then there is one more special touch, after the drink is mixed, to make it a truly spectacular party drink.

The drink is prepared in one big heat-proof bowl – there are actually special “brulot bowls” used specifically for preparing this drink! Recipes seem to vary on the exact method of preparation – some combine all the ingredients together, while others add the hot coffee only at the very end.

What is consistent is lighting the drink on fire! This heats up the contents of the bowl and swiftly caramelizes the sugar, giving the final drink a slightly burned flavor (ie, “brulot”!). If the person preparing the drink is feeling skilled and/or daring, they can lift the spiral of orange peel out of the bowl and spoon the flaming beverage over it. This not only creates quite a spectacle, but adds an extra oomph of flavor to the drink.

Here are a few recipes from around the web:

Café brûlot recipe at The Worldwide Gourmet (pictured above).
Cafe Brulot from the Food Network (Emeril Lagasse)
Michael’s Cafe Brulot from Epicurious
Cajun Cafe Brulot from Cajun Cooking
Cafe Brulot from Chef John Folse

Has anyone ever tried this drink – either making it or enjoying it?