The BEST Tiramisu Recipe

The BEST Tiramisu Recipe
The BEST tiramisu recipe! Layers of mascarpone custard, espresso and Kahlua-soaked ladyfingers, and cocoa powder make up this traditional Italian dessert.
READ: The BEST Tiramisu Recipe

A white plate with a square slice of tiramisu and a fork in the front right corner.

The BEST Tiramisu Recipe

The BEST tiramisu recipe! Layers of mascarpone custard, espresso and Kahlua-soaked ladyfingers, and cocoa powder make up this traditional Italian dessert.

READ: The BEST Tiramisu Recipe

Bushwacker Drink

The Bushwacker drink is like a mashup of a chocolate milkshake and piña colada! This boozy frozen cocktail stars Kahlua…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

The Bushwacker drink is like a mashup of a chocolate milkshake and piña colada! This boozy frozen cocktail stars Kahlua and creme de cacao.

Bushwacker drink

Here’s a frozen cocktail that will blow your mind with its creamy, chocolaty flavor: the Bushwacker drink! This one is equal parts refreshing and rich…and man, are we glad it’s now part of our repertoire. Invented in the 1970’s, the Bushwacker is a mashup of a chocolate milkshake and piña colada. It’s lusciously smooth with notes of chocolate, coffee and vanilla. It’s perfect for sipping poolside or as a dessert drink any time you’re dreaming of sun. Here’s how to make the best Bushwacker on the planet.

What’s a Bushwacker?

The Bushwacker is as frozen alcoholic drink made with Kahlua, rum, creme de cacao, and cream of coconut. It was invented in 1975 in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, and has since become very popular especially in Florida and beach resorts. How did it get its name? The story goes that bartender Angie Conigliaro and restaurant manager Tom Brokamp named it after a guest’s dog, an Afghan hound named Bushwack!

What’s in a Bushwacker? This frozen milkshake relies on classic cocktail ingredients blended to perfection…not ice cream as you might expect! Here’s what you’ll need for a classic Bushwacker drink:

  • Aged rum
  • Kahlua
  • Creme de cacao
  • Cream of coconut (not coconut cream! see below)
  • Milk
  • Ice

Let’s chat through the more unique ingredients, shall we?

Bushwacker drink

What’s creme de cacao?

Despite what you might think, creme de cacao is not creamy or made with dairy! This special liqueur is what makes a Grasshopper and a Chocolate Martini, and it’s one of the oldest liqueurs around. Here’s more about why to add it to your collection:

  • Creme de cacao is a chocolate liqueur, available in both white (clear) and dark varieties. It’s possibly one of the first alcoholic beverages, made in the 1600’s by monks after cocoa beans were brought back to Europe from America (source). The original Bushwacker had dark creme de cacao, but white is more commonly used so we white used it here.
  • What does creme de cacao taste like? White creme de cacao tastes like milk chocolate with notes of vanilla. Dark creme de cacao tastes richer with dark chocolate notes.
  • How much does creme de cacao cost? It costs between $10 to $20 for a 750 ml bottle.
  • Is it worth buying? Yes, if you like dessert drinks! Use it to make creme de cacao drinks like the Brandy AlexanderChocolate Martini, or Grasshopper.
Bushwacker

Make sure it’s cream of coconut (not coconut cream)

Another important ingredient in the Bushwacker drink: cream of coconut! If you read one thing in this article, note this: Buy cream of coconut, not coconut cream! What’s the difference? Here’s what to know: cream of coconut vs coconut cream:

  • Cream of coconut is a sweetened syrup for drinks! It’s made with coconut cream and lots of added sugar. Because it’s used in drinks, it’s sold in handy squeeze bottles. Cream of coconut is easy to find online or at your local liquor store. A popular brand is Coco Real.
  • Coconut cream is unsweetened: it’s very thick and has a strong coconut flavor. It’s typically sold in cans next to the coconut milk. Coconut cream is made from chilling coconut milk and then skimming off the layer of cream that floats to the top.

What if you accidentally buy coconut cream? You can still save your Bushwhacker drink! Use 1 ounce coconut cream and 1 ounce simple syrup in place of the 2 ounces cream of coconut.

More with cream of coconut? Try popular coconut cocktails like the Piña Colada, Painkiller, Coconut Martini or Bushwacker!

Use Kahlua or any coffee liqueur!

The last ingredient of note in the Bushwacker drink? Kahlua! Kahlua is a type of coffee liqueur: the most popular brand, in fact. But what actually is it?

  • Kahlua is a coffee liqueur that’s made in Mexico. It’s made with rum, sugar and coffee. Again, there’s no dairy in it! It’s naturally dark brown in color and tastes like sweetened coffee. Kahlua has caffeine, but it’s only about 25% as much as the same volume of coffee.
  • How much does Kahlua cost? It costs about $15 to $20 for a large 750 ml bottle.
  • Is it worth buying? Yes, there are lots of Kahlua drinks to use it in! Try it in a Mudslide, Espresso Martini, B-52, Kahlua Coffee, Mind Eraser, Colorado Bulldog, Black Russian or White Russian.
Bushwacker

How to make a Bushwacker drink: a few tips!

Once you’ve got your specialty liquors, mixing up the Bushwacker drink is a breeze! Here are a few things to note:

  • You can use any type of rum; we like aged best. Aged rum has the most delicious, nuanced flavor with notes of vanilla and oak. But you can use whatever rum you have on hand! White and dark work too.
  • Use any type of milk. Anything you have on hand works, from 2% to whole.
  • The drink tends to separate, which is normal. Just stir it up with your straw while drinking!

More sweet & frozen drinks

The Bushwacker is one in a family of sweet cocktails and frozen alcoholic drinks. Here are a few related drinks you might enjoy:

  • Painkiller It’s an even tastier, more sophisticated pina colada! It also uses cream of coconut.
  • Strawberry Daiquiri The best daiquiri is homemade, made from frozen strawberries!
  • Frozen Margarita The best tangy flavor! The frozen version of everyone’s favorite, the margarita.

When to serve a Bushwacker drink

The Bushwacker cocktail is creamy and refreshing! It’s great as a:

  • Summer drink
  • Poolside or lake house drink
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Signature cocktail
  • Girls night drink

Print
Bushwacker drink

Classic Bushwacker


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 drinks
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

The Bushwacker drink is like a mashup of a chocolate milkshake and piña colada! This boozy frozen cocktail stars Kahlua and creme de cacao.


Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) aged rum (or white or dark)
  • 2 ounces Kahlua
  • 2 ounces creme de cacao (white or dark; we used white)
  • 2 ounces cream of coconut
  • 2 ounces 2% milk
  • 3 cups ice
  • For the garnish: Shaved chocolate or grated nutmeg, cocktail cherry (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Garnish with shaved chocolate or grated nutmeg, if desired. Add straws and serve. (You can stir with the straw when the drink starts to separate.)
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Bushwacker drink

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Spanish Coffee

Try this homemade Spanish coffee recipe! The showy after dinner drink features Kahlua, rum, orange liqueur, and a caramelized sugar rim. Have you tried the revelation that is Spanish coffee? Flaming Spanish coffee, that is? The name is a bit of a misnomer. It’s actually an American spin on the Spanish concept of carajillo: spiked coffee. But this drink is extra-special. It’s got a caramelized sugar rim and is spiked with Kahlua, rum, and orange liqueur…and topped with hand-whipped fluffy whipped cream! The burnt caramel, citrus, bitter coffee and sweet cream all combine into a literal symphony of flavor. You’ve gotta try this one! What is Spanish coffee? Why’s it called Spanish coffee, when it’s really American? Well, the concept of spiked coffee spans cultures and liquors, from traditional Irish coffee to amaretto coffee. The Spanish version of spiked coffee is called carajillo, and it’s popular in Spain and Latin American countries like Cuba, Colombia and Mexico. Each country uses its own liqueur; in Spain it’s brandy; in Mexico it’s Licor 43, a bright yellow vanilla liqueur. Spanish coffee is an American adaptation of the carajillo, invented at Huber’s Bar in Portland, Oregon. The drink is made tableside by lighting […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Try this homemade Spanish coffee recipe! The showy after dinner drink features Kahlua, rum, orange liqueur, and a caramelized sugar rim.

Spanish coffee

Have you tried the revelation that is Spanish coffee? Flaming Spanish coffee, that is? The name is a bit of a misnomer. It’s actually an American spin on the Spanish concept of carajillo: spiked coffee. But this drink is extra-special. It’s got a caramelized sugar rim and is spiked with Kahlua, rum, and orange liqueur…and topped with hand-whipped fluffy whipped cream! The burnt caramel, citrus, bitter coffee and sweet cream all combine into a literal symphony of flavor. You’ve gotta try this one!

What is Spanish coffee?

Why’s it called Spanish coffee, when it’s really American? Well, the concept of spiked coffee spans cultures and liquors, from traditional Irish coffee to amaretto coffee. The Spanish version of spiked coffee is called carajillo, and it’s popular in Spain and Latin American countries like Cuba, Colombia and Mexico. Each country uses its own liqueur; in Spain it’s brandy; in Mexico it’s Licor 43, a bright yellow vanilla liqueur.

Spanish coffee is an American adaptation of the carajillo, invented at Huber’s Bar in Portland, Oregon. The drink is made tableside by lighting high proof rum on fire to caramelize the glass’s sugar rim. Then the glass is filled with coffee, Kahlua and Triple Sec, and topped with whipped cream and nutmeg. It’s a true dramatic spectacle designed to put on a show: and we’ll admit this drink is totally worthy of it.

Spanish coffee recipe

Ingredients & equipment for Spanish coffee

Here are the ingredients and equipment you’ll need to make a Spanish coffee recipe at home. We’ve created a method that’s easiest for home preparation of this flaming drink: but there are a few different options! The Spanish coffee ingredients are:

  • Coffee: any strong coffee will do, using your favorite brewing method
  • Kahlua or any coffee liqueur like Tia Maria
  • Triple Sec or any orange liqueur like Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • Rum: use aged rum for the home method, or 151 rum for the bar method
  • Sugar and a lemon: to make the rim
  • Homemade whipped cream: you’ll need heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar, or use vegan whipped cream for vegan
  • Kitchen torch for home method (here’s a good one), lighter for bar method

How to make the caramelized rim… two methods!

This Spanish coffee recipe calls for lighting rum on fire to make the caramelized glass rim. Now, we’re always up for playing with fire at home (safely, mind you). But when we tried this trick using our thick glass Irish coffee mug, it shattered when the coffee was poured in! The flaming method also takes a bit of practice, and it’s not practical for a crowd.

Because of this, we prefer to use a kitchen torch for our method: like the kind you’d use to caramelize crème brulee. Here’s more about the two methods:

  • The best method for homemade Spanish coffee is a kitchen torch. This ensures your glass won’t break (like ours did)! It’s also safer, which is a big plus. And it’s faster and easier to make multiple servings for a crowd.
  • Don’t have a kitchen torch? Here’s the kitchen torch we use and it’s only $15. You can also just skip the caramelized rim altogether: it’s still extra delicious without it. Or, try the bar method…
  • The traditional bar method uses 151 rum and a lighter. If you want to try the traditional method, go for it! To get it to light you’ll need 151 rum, a higher proof alcohol than the standard. Go to the recipe below for our pointers! Use a thin glass so the caramelization happens quickly; thicker glasses take longer, get hotter, and then have the possibility of shattering like ours did.

Note: If you end up buying a kitchen torch, you can use it for so many things! Try it for caramelizing creme brulee, charring crust on a pizza to look like a wood-fired oven (our favorite trick!), or melting cheese on nachos (to add smoky flavor).

Kahlua

Homemade whipped cream: a few tips

Sure, you can buy Cool Whip. But if you’re going to the trouble of making a Spanish coffee recipe, homemade whipped cream takes it up a notch! You’ll just need heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar to sweeten it. it takes only a minute or two to whisk up by hand. Or, you can use coconut cream or coconut milk as a dairy-free option. Here are the various methods:

  • Classic whipped cream: Use this Homemade Whipped Cream recipe. Make sure to use the freshest of cream, which whips the fastest and has the best texture. (Old cream gets too dense.) Whip it to soft peaks, which makes just the right texture for floating on top of a drink. When you add it to the top, do so over the back of a spoon, which helps it to balance on top.
  • Dairy-free whipped cream: Use this Dairy Free Whipped Cream recipe. Keep in mind you’ll need to refrigerate 1 can of coconut milk overnight. Or, you can substitute coconut cream with no need for refrigeration.
Spanish coffee

How to make Spanish coffee

Now that you’ve got your kitchen torch and selected your whipped cream method…this Spanish coffee recipe is a breeze! Here’s the general outline of the steps (or jump to the recipe below):

  • Make your coffee.
  • Make the whipped cream, making sure to whip to soft peaks.
  • Rim the edge of the glass with a 1/2-inch band of sugar. This allows for maximum burnt caramel flavor. Or, skip this step: the drink will still taste delicious!
  • Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar. It should take just a minute or so.
  • Add coffee, Kahlua, Triple Sec and rum.
  • Top with whipped cream. Again, adding it over the back of a spoon helps it to float on top. Enjoy!

Variation that’s even easier: the Carajillo!

If you like this Spanish coffee recipe, you’ll love a Mexican-style Carajillo. As we mentioned, Spanish coffee is actually an American adaptation of this Spanish invention. But Carajillo is also very popular in Mexico, where they spike the coffee with Licor 43 instead of brandy.

Licor 43 is a bright yellow vanilla liqueur made with 43 herbs and spices. Add it to coffee, and it’s got loads of nuance and intrigue. If you top with whipped cream like the Spanish coffee, the two taste very similar. We’d highly recommend giving it a try: or making it instead of this recipe if you’re scared off by the caramelized rim. Go to Carajillo (Mexican Spiked Coffee).

Spanish coffee recipe

More after dinner drinks

There are so many other tasty after dinner and dessert drinks to try in addition to Spanish coffee! Here are some favorites:

When to serve Spanish coffee

Spanish coffee is a showy dessert drink for sipping on after a meal! Serve it as a:

  • After dinner drink
  • Happy hour drink
  • Signature drink
  • Girls or guys night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
Print
Spanish coffee

Spanish Coffee


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Try this homemade Spanish coffee recipe! The showy after dinner drink features Kahlua, rum, orange liqueur, and a caramelized sugar rim.


Ingredients

  • 3 ounces* coffee
  • 2 ounces Kahlua
  • 1/2 ounce Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur)
  • 1/2 ounce aged rum (or white or dark)
  • Granulated sugar, for dipping the glass
  • Lemon wedge
  • 1 large spoonful sweetened whipped cream (or vegan whipped cream), whipped to soft peaks
  • For the garnish: grated chocolate or fresh grated or ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Make the coffee. Allow it to cool slightly while preparing the drink.
  2. Make the homemade whipped cream, whipping it to soft peaks.
  3. Use a lemon wedge to wet a 1/2-inch of the rim of the glass and dip the outside in sugar to make a 1/2-inch band. 
  4. Use a kitchen torch** to caramelize the outside of the glass until the sugar turns brown. 
  5. Add the coffee, Kahlua, triple sec and rum and stir once. 
  6. Gently float the whipped cream on top using the back of a spoon. Garnish with grated chocolate or nutmeg.

Notes

*If converting to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons.

**The traditional method is to place 3/4 ounce 151 rum in the glass first, light it on fire, and tilt the glass to allow the sugar to caramelize. This method doesn’t require a torch, but if you use a thicker glass like an Irish coffee mug it can shatter (which happened to us!). The torch method is safer and makes it easier to serve this drink for multiple people. You can also omit the sugar rim if you prefer; the flavor is still great. Or, you can try the traditional method at your own risk; if you do, add the 151 rum, caramelize the edge, then add the coffee, Kahlua, and Triple Sec (omit the aged rum).

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Spanish coffee

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes