I can have caffeine anytime of the day or night and have no trouble falling and staying asleep. So why do I drink caffeinated beverages if they do not help me stay awake? I love the taste of coffee and tea. Both coffee and tea work brilliantly in cocktails as well. In the case of coffee, there are delicious drinks made with fresh coffee or with coffee liqueur. One night I wanted a nightcap. I did not feel like making anything warm so I thought about making something with a lot of depth and spice. The result is the Insomniac's Nightcap, a drink which probably will not help you sleep, but will help pass the time as you stay awake!
2 ounces aged rum
1/2 ounce coffee liqueur (I used Coffee Heering)
1/2 ounce maple syrup
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 barspoon of allspice dram
1 dash chocolate bitters (you can substitute mole bitters or Angostura)
Add all items to a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a lowball glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.
The idea behind this drink was to layer complex flavor upon complex flavor to add depth. So we start with nice aged rum. The rum I used had great vanilla and toffee flavors, but any good aged rum you choose will give you a nice starting point. Then the coffee liqueur. Coffee Heering, which I used here, a rum based coffee liqueur with chocolate notes. The next layer is the sweet element, maple syrup. Maple syrup, as a cocktail ingredient, is praised for its ability to add depth to cocktails. I took it one step further and used a bourbon barrel aged maple syrup. I am not a huge fan of it on pancakes, but its fantastic in cocktails. The drink will be lovely with normal maple syrup (just use the real stuff -- not the artificial flavored garbage). Then a barspoon of allspice dram. Allspice dram can be overpowering so a barspoon is really all you need. The lime juice will provide that pop of acidity need to balance the drink. And the bitters adds one last layer to the drink. I used chocolate bitters, which work wonderfully because it complements the rum and coffee liqueur, but feel free to sub in any other bitters.
The Insomniac's Nightcap may have been born from the desire for a dark and complex cocktail late at night. But the winter's chill is among us, and the drink is perfect for these cold days!