3 easy steps to an afternoon pick-me-up

I was out later than usual last night. My friend Sheri was in town from Scotland and a group of us met up for a few drinks. So this afternoon after I took a nap on the lawn in the sunshine with my dog Betty I needed a little something to shake out the cobwebs and get me energized to make a batch of jam. Allow me to introduce you to the Afternoon Energizer


4-5 ice cubes

1/2 cup of milk

1/4 cup of Coffee Booziness

Mix all 3 ingredients in your blender of choice, pour into a nice tall glass and enjoy. It is exactly what this Sunday afternoon called out for!

Coffee + Brandy + Vodka + a preserving girl

This experiment was inspired by my official taste tester; my husband. One of the marmalades that I make is Orange Marmalade with Vanilla and Brown Sugar and the other day James came down the stairs having obviously just sampled some from the fridge, saying "You know what would take this jam over the top?" And when I asked him what, he had a very simple response. "Rum". It got me thinking about how nice dark rum would compliment the marmalade. But seeing as Seville Orange season is behind us and I won't be making any more marmalade for a little while I decided to see what else I could come up with that might be more of an 'adult' jam, jelly or marmalade. I flipped through the recipes that my mom, nona and Aunts have handed down to me and came across what I thought was a perfect grey Monday experiment, though neither jam, nor jelly nor marmalade.  I will call it "Coffee Booziness" for lack of a better name.

Now I have to apologize if this is a recipe that someone out there created and never wanted shared in this way. The only reference I have is a rather old looking recipe card written out by my mom.

2 cups fresh ground coffee. French Roast is the best

3 cups boiling water

2.5 cups white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 vanilla bean, chopped

2.25 cups vodka

.75 cup brandy

Combine the coffee and the boiling water in a glass or metal bowl and stir for 1-2 minutes and then with a sieve lined with a coffee filter, drain the mixture over a medium sized pot and discard the coffee grounds.

Add the white and brown sugar and heat the mixture until the sugar completely dissolves and then remove from heat and add the chopped vanilla.

In a large glass jar combine the cooled coffee mixture with the vodka and the brandy. Cover the jar with a couple of layers of plastic and place it in your "cool room" (Like any of us have one of these any more, but I am copying the recipe word for word, so translate that to - in a cool, dark place).

Now here comes the hard part...as much as you may want the instant gratification of an after dinner "coffee booziness" I am afraid you have to wait at least 3 weeks. My mom says 3-5, so I am going to go with 3 and see how we fare.

After 3-5 agonizingly painful weeks, line the sieve once again with a coffee filter and place over a bowl. Strain the liquid and discard the vanilla. Pour the liquid into a jar, or fancy bottle of your choice (that has of course been nicely cleaned and sterilized) and either close the clamp or pour yourself some asap to try.

I think this would be amazing over vanilla ice cream. If you read my posts I guess you have come to realize that I think almost everything would be amazing over vanilla ice cream. That is why I can NEVER have any in the house. But in 3 weeks time, I might make an exception!

And if you are hoping for a bottle of this for yourself, just invite James and I over for dinner in 3-4 weeks and you might get one as your hostess gift :)