This was a fun recipe that ran on the America Online Food page: Smuggler's Coffee. You can imagine the trail my mind took putting those two words together. Put rum in it! That was my first idea. Rum will give anything overtones of smugglers and pirates. Hey, it suggests a decent Halloween costume.
I was also surprised the other night when I took my dog out for a late-afternoon exercise run--it was chilly in Tucson! Our seasons turn on a dime down here; one day it can be hot and bright, but the next day the thunderstorms can roll in with the monsoon season. Or you can go from the intense summer desert heat to cold nights. Right now it is happening and a lot of crops are coming in as well, like nuts and late-summer fruits and vegetables.
One thing you can buy in Tucson is nuts in bulk and quantity. I was used to pistachios growing up in Illinois, but in the Southwest they come in much larger packages, so you can start experimenting with the basic nut pie recipe and see how it tastes with different elements. And while you pore over cookbooks or the Internet, make yourself a cup of this fun coffee drink.
This would also be a wonderful dessert coffee, especially if you have served something Mexican such as a fabulous enchilada casserole rich with spices--not to mention chicken mole, which will have chocolate somewhere in the mysterious mix of flavors that only Mexico comes up with.
½ cup hot strong coffee
2 tsp sugar
1 oz gold rum
1 oz dark rum
1 small cinnamon stick
1 long strip of orange zest, plus finely grated zest, for garnish
Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
Grated Mexican chocolate, for garnish
In a heatproof glass, stir the coffee and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Stir in both rums. Add the cinnamon and the strip of orange zest. Garnish with whipped cream, grated Mexican chocolate and grated orange zest.
If you are wondering what Mexican chocolate is, I will explain. There are some flavors included in it, such as cinnamon and sugar, so that melting the chocolate down into hot milk will produce a bouquet of flavors that are characteristic of Mexico. In our supermarkets, look for Mexican chocolate preparations such as Abuelita on the shelves next to other chocolate syrups and flavorings.