Mardi Gras Bowl of Fire: Café Brûlot | How to Drink

Coffee Drinks
It’s Mardi Gras so I’m making a New Orleans Tradition: Café Brûlot! It’s a delicious bowl of flaming coffee and brandy and it’s also terrifying to make.

It’s possible that Café Brûlot dates back all the way to the days of Jean Lafitte though that’s tough to confirm and is likely just mythology. Café Brûlot is a New Orleans classic now served at a handful of French Quarter establishments but I’m fairly certain that it was invented at Antoine’s in the 1840’s or sometime shortly thereafter, so this is a drink that’s been around a long time and carries a lot of tradition. The few places that serve it all have slight variations on method, but they seem to arrive at more or less similar results- I’m choosing to go with the Antoine’s preparation. You’ll begin by creating a Brûlot mix, a blend of brandies citrus and spices, and let it sit overnight to work it’s magic. Once that is strained and bottled you’re ready to prepare the Café Brûlot. In a large metal bowl suspended over a large metal dish add 2 oz. of the Brûlot mix for each guest you wish to serve. Alongside that prepare some hot coffee. Remove the entire peel of an orange in one continuous spiral and stud it with cloves. In the dish below the bowl splash a bit of overproof rum in. Set the overproof on fire. Using a long fork hang the orange peel over the bowl. Using a ladle pick up some Brûlot mix from the bowl and hold it in the flames to set it on fire as well- then begin pouring the flaming Brûlot mix down the suspended orange peel into the bowl. The Brûlot mix will now catch fire as well, and you’re standing before a tremendous bonfire of booze. Continue to ladle the fire down the orange peel until the peel and cloves are well cooked and you see your life flash before your eyes. Drop the peel into the bowl and pour in the hot coffee until the flames are extinguished from proof reduction. Put out any errant fires. Add demerara simple syrup to the bowl to taste, checking as you go to get it right. Remember, it’s a desert drink, so don’t be too shy with it. Serve in demitasse.

Café Brûlot
• 2 oz. -or- 60 ml. Brûlot Mix Per Guest
• 1 Whole orange peel studded with cloves
• Overproof Rum (for fire)
• Heat mix over burning rum, light mix aflame as well
• Cascade the burning mix over the orange peel into the bowl
• Add hot coffee to till flames extinguished
• And Demerara simple syrup to taste

Brûlot Mix
• 25 .36 oz. -or- 750 ml. Brandy
• 12.68 oz. -or- 375 ml. Cherry Eau De Vie
• 3 whole orange peels
• 3 whole lemon peels
• 10 cloves
• 6 cinnamon Sticks, Broken
• Combine and let sit overnight
• Strain and Bottle

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