Summer Coffee Cocktail? Try the Mazagran
Hardcore coffee lovers have no problem brewing a steaming hot cup of joe in hundred degree weather with humidity off the charts. After all, who doesn't like a hint of hard-earned salt when sipping scalding-hot coffee through sweat-beaded lips with perspiration dripping from nose tip into mug?
Yeah, we can't think of anyone either.
It is well known that in the United States one is to stop drinking coffee at about the time one begins to drink cocktails. For some this happens around 5pm. For others around 6pm. And for yet others at 9am.
We think this is an unhappy aspect of contemporary culture - one that exhibits and enforces the same spiritual compartmentalization that tells business men they cannot possibly write lyric poetry and professors that they really ought not know anything about small engine repair.
Enter the Mazagran.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have no fear of overselling the elixir-like attributes of the Mazagran, so highly does it recommend itself as a cure for the spiritual ailments of contemporary culture. Surely it was something like the spirit of the Mazagran that inspired that insurance executive Wallace Stevens to compose a poem like: "Description Without Place" in the dim and flickering corporate offices of the Hartford.
Thus the theory of description matters most.
It is the theory of the word for those
For whom the word is the making of the world...
It is a world of words to the end of it.
This poem was published in Stevens' book entitled Transport to Summer...and this is where the Mazagran comes in. Yes, the Mazagran is a transport to summer, full of bright and refreshing citrus but structured with nutty undertones of fresh coldbrew coffee.
How to make it?
There are a handful of approaches to the Mazagran, some sweeter, some drier. Here's my favorite recipe with a few variations you can use if you'd like.
Fill a highball glass with ice.
2oz fresh coldbrew coffee
1oz fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 an average lemon)
2oz silver rum
Stir, garnish with a lemon slice, and enjoy!
A few variations to consider:
If you'd like it sweeter consider adding honey based simple syrup. The honey compliments the lemon and nutty undertones of the coffee.
If you like cream in your coffee, you can add it to the Mazagran too.
If you don't like or want the alcohol, the Mazagran is also fabulous without the rum...but in this case I'd recommend adding the honey-based simply syrup.
If you'd like to use iced coffee instead of cold brew, go for it. The acidity will be a bit higher since cold brewing tends to cut the acidity, but if you're ready for that, go for it!
One final note, if you're using a high quality single origin coffee (such as Ad Astra's "The Hawk") you'll have the added benefit of exquisite tasting notes like crushed berries and florals...I'd recommend it!
Enjoy the Mazagran this 4th of July weekend and throughout the summer. If you develop your own recipe we'd love to hear about it (and try it out)!