Flavor Pairing: COFFEE + ORANGE
I have been making my way through Niki Segnit’s brilliant book The Flavour Thesaurus. It has been so useful and inspiring that I started to do drawings based on some of the flavor pairings throughout the book.
Not twenty one pages in, I came across the coffee section and under it, a recipe for orange and coffee-bean liqueur. Adapted from one by Patricia Wells, who I admittedly had to look up, only to discover that she is so my kind of lady: dividing her time between Paris and Provence and dedicating a whole book to salad as a meal.
The recipe calls for an orange, 44 coffee beans, 44 sugar cubes and 500ml of a clear high proof alcohol. And then you let it sit in a jar for 444 days. Niki Segnit describes the recipe calling for such particulars with “marvelously arbitrary bossiness”. So I respected all of these measures and sourced the finest of ingredients.
The oranges I used were from the citrus trees at Montalvo Arts Center where I am currently staying.
Now, with all arbitrary bossiness aside, here is what you do:
Take the orange and make 44 slits in it. Put a coffee bean in each (this part is extraordinarily satisfying and sticky!) and you should have what looks like a work of art.
The coffee I used was Giant Steps, but you could try a variety really. I towered the sugar cubes.
Put 44 sugar cubes in a jar and place your masterpiece in the jar atop the sugar tower and pour in the alcohol. You can use brandy or rum or vodka. (I used Hangar 1 Vodka, which is quite a nice vodka with quite a nice story and made inside a hangar in Alameda). Then leave it for 444 days, agitating it from time to time to be sure the sugar dissolves.
I don’t know what the folks at Hangar 1 would think of what I have done to their Straight Vodka, but it is what it is now.
I was going to try to wait for 44 days to post this (because clearly there is some significance to the number 44), but today is Friday. And it might rain tomorrow. And March is the last month that oranges are in season here until November. And it’s almost 5 o’clock somewhere, so maybe you are already getting your bar on and want to try something new.
This batch will be ready on May 29th, 2015. So mark your calendars. We hope to launch this magic orange liqueur in a cocktail on the rooftop at SFMOMA if all goes according to plan.