So, this is another drink introduced to Mr. C. by our brother-in-law Rick. I tell you, that man has exquisite taste. First of all, he married Mr. Cs sister Katie. His first great move. Then he became, and still is a very successful fine furniture builder. And if that’s not enough, he now instinctively knows how to find fabulous new drinks and happily shares his new-found knowledge with Mr. C. What’s not to like about that? Mr. C. gets to perfect (to his liking) these drinks, and I get to post them on my blog. I call that a win/win situation.

So for this post I’m not going to bore you with the nutritional value of the ingredients. But I will tell you that, according to Frank Whittemore writing for, and I quote, “Many studies have been conducted to consider any potential nutritional benefits that alcohol itself may play in a healthy diet. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism concluded that moderate drinkers have the highest longevity within the general population. The organization also reported that cardiovascular health improved in individuals who drank alcohol occasionally. A study published by the American Heart Association indicated that nondrinkers had twice as high a chance of suffering a stroke as moderate drinkers. Still other reports show that the effects of hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and a list of other illnesses and disorders were improved with occasional alcohol consumption. Alcohol also increases “good” HDL cholesterol in the body.”

So thank you Rick for another wonderful drink introduction. And thank you Arrowleaf Bistro in Twisp, Washington for sharing your recipe with Rick. BTW – I’ve heard nothing but good things about this restaurant. Check them out next time you’re in the Twisp/Winthrop vicinity.

  • 1½ oz. mezcal (the bistro uses Mina Real Mezcal, Mr. C. uses El Zacatecano Mezcal Reposado)
  • 1 oz. pear liquor (the bistro uses Clear Creek Pear Liqueur, Mr. C. uses Berentzen Pear Liqueur)
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • ¼ oz. simple syrup
  • 4-5 ice cubes
  • twist of lemon in the glass

Shake the mescal, pear liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, and ice cubes together in a cocktail shaker. Pour the contents into a short, curved glass tumbler. Add 2-3 of the ice cubes to the glass along with a twist of lemon. Enjoy.


This post was written by guest contributor Andy Carr.

Andy writes, “While I most often enjoy Scotch neat (or with a slight addition of Drambuie), I’m a sucker for a nice, balanced, fruit-inspired cocktail.  This one, called Presbyterian Revenge, is delicious. 

I was curious about Cynar (pronounced chee-NAR).  It’s a bitter liqueur made from various herbs and plants, the most prominent being artichoke.   The bitterness is offset by the citrus from the lemon juice and grapefruit bitters.

By the way, the Revenge is so named because Cynar comes from Italy, a Catholic country.

This recipe calls for Black Grouse, a blended Scotch whiskey which is affordable as a mixer and brings a moderate smokiness to the drink. I used The Famous Grouse in the picture above, because that’s what I happened to have on hand. Both siblings are delicious in this drink.”

Patti writes, “This drink is based on the recipe for Presbyterian Revenge on the Serious Eats website. Proportions have been changed to accommodate Mr. Carrs’ personal taste.

Special thanks to our brother-in-law Rick for introducing us to yet another weird and wonderful drink. Keep them coming. The resident mixologist is having a great time experimenting with some of the unusual ingredients found in these recipes. Maybe someday he may even forgive me for purchasing a bottle of banana liqueur that I only used once 15 years ago. I can only hope.”

  • 1.5 oz. Scotch, preferable The Black Grouse or The Famous Grouse  
  • .5 oz. Cynar (the standard recipe calls for .75 ounce; I prefer slightly less)
  • .25 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • .25 oz. simple syrup (see recipe below)
  • 2 dashes grapefruit bitters (I use Fee Brothers)
  • ice
  • club soda

Pour the Scotch, Cynar, lemon juice, simple syrup, and grapefruit bitters into a shaker. Add ice to about one third up the side of the shaker. Shake and strain the liquid into a rocks or highball glass* and add 5-6 ice cubes. Top with a splash of club soda.

Note: The standard recipe specifies a grapefruit twist as a garnish – I haven’t tried this.

*An Old Fashioned or “rocks” glass is a short tumbler with a wide brim and a thick base.  A “highball” glass (pictured above) is cylindrical in shape and narrower and taller than an Old Fashioned glass, but shorter than a Tom Collins glass.

Simple Syrup

  • 1 part water
  • 1 part granulated sugar

In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Store covered in the refrigerator.




I love the names of some of Mr. C’s favorite cocktails – Kentucky Mule, Penicillin Cocktail (both recipes already posted), Brandy Stinger and Rusty Nail (see recipes below) and now, my favorite – Corpse Reviver. So named I’m sure, because if any alcoholic beverage could wake the dead, this drink would be at the top of the list! 

In my opinion, the individuals who think up these fancy ingredient combinations, then name them, are geniuses. Either that, or they are mad men and women who should be locked up and forced to drink their own concoctions. (Depends on each persons’ perspective, I guess!) Anyway, back to Corpse Revivers.

Since I happen to like these two drinks, they were obviously the inspiration of master minds. (See how this works!) And even though I am not a fan of bourbon, I truly enjoy the reviver made with Kentucky’s finest.

So if you too are a lover of mixed drinks, give a Corpse Reviver a try. They are incredibly delicious and amazingly refreshing. Absolutely perfect served on a warm summer evening. And truly, if one of these babies doesn’t bring you back to life after a long day of work or running errands, I fear there may not be any other restorative as adequate to the task. Cin Cin!

FYI: Mr. Cs latest drink recipe endeavor is called a Presbyterian’s Revenge. This drink contains, of all things, an Italian bitter liqueur made from a bunch of herbs and plants, the most prominent of which is artichoke. Artichoke? Really? I know artichoke plants are common in Italy. But what kind of individual would ever think to turn an artichoke into a liqueur? (Refer to my statement above regarding mad men and women!)  


Bourbon Corpse Reviver (also referred to as a Kentucky Corpse Reviver):

  • ¾ oz. bourbon (¾ oz. = 1 ½ T.) (Andy uses Buffalo Trace bourbon)
  • ¾ oz. Cointreau
  • ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice ½ oz. Lillet Blanc
  • a few drops or tiny dash of Pernod
  • a few ice cubes
  • fresh mint, opt.

Shake the bourbon, Cointreau, lemon juice, Lillet, Pernod, and ice together in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled coupe* glass and garnish with a mint leaf.

Corpse Reviver:

  • ¾ oz. gin (¾ oz. = 1 ½ T.)
  • ¾ oz. Cointreau
  • ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice ½ oz. Lillet Blanc
  • a few drops or tiny dash of Pernod
  • a few ice cubes
  • fresh mint, opt.

Shake the gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, Lillet, Pernod, and ice together in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled coupe* glass and garnish with a mint leaf.

*A coupe is a stemmed glass featuring a broad, shallow bowl. (See picture above) A martini glass can be used in a pinch.

Brandy Stinger:

  • 1 part brandy
  • 1 part white crème de menthe

Stir over ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass, and serve.

Rusty Nail:

  • 2 oz. Scotch
  • ½ oz. Drambuie

Stir over ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass, and serve.





Well, true to my word, here comes another fabulous cocktail recipe. (And no, we don’t spend all of our time drinking amazing adult beverages, but we do usually have an early evening drink while I cook dinner and we discuss the days’ events.) This drink has become one of our favorites.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of tasting mezcal, but possess both an inquiring mind and a wish to obtain mezcal enlightenment, read all about this amazing product at the end of this post.   

Now as the name implies, this drink is called a Margarita for good reason. Basically this is our favorite recipe for a tequila Margarita simply substituting mescal for tequila. Ta Da – that’s it! The difference? Mezcal has a light to moderate smoky flavor that is not found in tequila. The difference is delightful, especially if you happen to love alcohols like Scotch with their inherent smoky flavor. Of course, mezcal doesn’t incorporate that nasty peaty flavor associated with Scotland’s finest. (I don’t care for Scotch. Can you tell?) Mezcal simply exudes a rich smoky essence that is quite appealing.

So next time you are at your favorite liquor emporium, pick up a bottle, especially if you are a Margarita fan. I’m sure you will love this new spin on a classic Margarita as much as we do.

  • 2 parts Mezcal (we use the El Zacatecano Reposado Mezcal for this drink)
  • 1 part Cointreau (orange flavored liqueur)
  • 1 part fresh lime juice  
  • ice
  • coarse salt (kosher works fine)
  • Tajin Clásico Seasoning*, opt.

Combine the mezcal, Cointreau, lime juice, and ice in a martini shaker. Shake well and pour the liquid and a few of the ice cubes into prepared glasses. Garnish with a thin wedge of lime.

To prepare the glasses, rub the rims with lime and dip into coarse salt combined with a pinch or two of Tajin Clásico Seasoning.

Chilled glasses are always wonderful. If you have the time, and presence of mind to chill your glasses ahead of time, you’re doing better than we are! But I highly recommend chilled glasses for the best presentation and mouth feel.

We enjoy the following two brands of Mezcal:

For mixed drinks – El Zacatecano Reposado Mezcal – Made in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains, this 100% agave-based spirit is elegant and powerful, with herbal notes of rosemary and mint, along with cooked agave and green olives. It won a Silver medal at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Its appearance is golden, with yellow straw highlights. Its distinguished elegant style, with notes of vanilla, caramel, and almonds, come from time spent in white oak casks. The powerful and intense palate has herbs and spices, while the finish shows cooked agave, anise, and subtle remnants of white oak. Information Source – Crafts Spirits Exchange

For sipping – Fidencio Clásico Mezcal Joven – Made from 100% agave and double distilled. Earthy and slightly fruity on the palate, with mineral, smoke, and dried herbs, with a consistent fruit and agave undertone. Information Source –

*Tajin Clásico Seasoning – a delicious blend of ground chili peppers, sea salt, and dehydrated lime juice

Mezcal: The following information is from an article on (now discontinued) with a little editing by yours truly.

“Mezcal (traditionally spelled mescal) is a Mexican distilled spirit that is made from the agave plant. Tequila is technically a mezcal, however, there are differences in production technique and in the types of agave used. Tequila is made from a single type of agave plant – the agave Tequilana (blue agave) – and can only be produced in the Mexican state of Jalisco and in small parts of four other Mexican states.

Mezcal can be produced from up to 28 varieties of agave (including blue agave) and is made around the city of Oaxaca and, according to official government regulations (NOM -070-SCFI-1994), can also officially be produced in some areas of the states of Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas. Most mezcals are made from the Espadin agave, although some mezcal producers blend agave varieties to create a distinct flavor.

Mezcal traditionally has a very unique, smoky flavor that makes it fairly easy to distinguish from tequila. It also tends to taste sweeter, or richer, than tequila. Some mezcal producers have adopted production processes similar to tequila, and the resulting mezcal has flavor profile similar to tequila.

Traditional Production Methods:

When tequila is made, the agave head is baked in an above-ground oven. This began in the late 19th century. Mezcal producers, however, often follow the traditional method of using in-ground pits. The agave heads (also called agave hearts, or piñas) are roasted or grilled over hot rocks in a cone-shaped pit (called palenques or hornos). A fire is started and burns for about 24 hours to heat the stones that line the pit. The agave heads are put into the pit and then covered with moist agave fiber that is left over from the fermentation process. A layer of agave leaves or woven palm leaves cover the fibers and the agave heads are left to cook for two to three days.

Types of Mezcal:

Mexican government regulates mezcal, defining various types and aging categories in a manner similar to tequila. The regulations split mezcal into two categories:

Type 1: 100% agave (using any or all permitted agave plants)

Type 2: Minimum 80% agave and maximum 20% other sugars.

There are three aging categories:

Abacado (also called joven or blanco): clear, un-aged mezcal that results from the distillation process. It is often bottled immediately, but flavoring or coloring agents can be added.

Reposado (also called madurado): aged in wood barrels for two to eleven months.

Añejo: aged in wood barrels for a minimum of twelve months.

(The regulations also forbid mezcal producers to make tequila, and tequila producers cannot produce mezcal.)

Mezcal is widely known for the agave “worm” (or gusano) that floats toward the bottom of the bottle. It is primarily a marketing gimmick to help boost sales, especially in the United States and in Asia. In fact, it is not a “worm” at all, but one of two insect larvae (a caterpillar of a night butterfly or the larvae of the agave snout weevil) that can infest yucca and agave plants. Tequila never (ever!) has a worm in the bottle.”







There are just some drink recipes that should be shared. And these are two recipes you really must add to your collection. I don’t even like bourbon, but I like this drink be it made with either vodka or bourbon. That should tell you something!

Both of these drinks are perfect on a hot day. And when served in an ice cold copper mug, there is just nothin’ more sophisticated, unless of course it’s a Kentucky Corpse Reviver (recipe coming soon to Chez Carr Cuisine) served in a coupe glass. (Didn’t know I knew about coupe glasses, did you? Well you would be right. Only learned about them while researching recipes for Bourbon Corpse Revivers. But more about corpse revivers in one of my next couple of posts.)

The only thing left to say about these mules, is that as the name implies, they can kick just like a mule. So be advised. They go down so effortlessly, it’s easy to forget that you are drinking an alcoholic beverage. So thank you brother-in-law Rick for introducing us to Kentucky Mules and friend Jim for initiating us into the wonderful world of Moscow Mules. We are forever in your debt. I think!?!?

Kentucky Mule:

  • ice
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice (don’t even think about using that bottled stuff)
  • 2 oz. good bourbon (recommend Buffalo Trace or Maker’s Mark)
  • 4-6 oz. good ginger beer (recommend Bundaberg or Fever Tree)
  • mint sprigs, garnish, opt.
  • thin wedge of lime, garnish, opt.

Fill a cold copper mug or Collins glass with ice. Add the fresh lime juice and bourbon. Fill the mug or glass with ginger beer. Stir gently and garnish with mint leaves and a wedge of lime.

Moscow Mule:

  • ice
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice (don’t even think about using that bottled stuff)
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 3-6 oz. good ginger beer (recommend Bundaberg or Fever Tree)
  • mint sprigs, garnish, opt.
  • thin wedge of lime, garnish, opt.

Fill a cold copper mug or Collins glass with ice. Add the fresh lime juice and vodka. Fill the mug or glass with ginger beer. Stir gently and garnish with mint leaves and a wedge of lime.




I very rarely let another person add a recipe to my site, but I made an exception in this case. I also almost never provide a recipe for something that is never, ever, under any circumstances, going to pass my lips! But in this case, even though I think Scotch belongs in the class of alcohol that is fit only for possible survival if you are lost in the wilderness*, I decided I would post this recipe for one of Mr. Cs favorite drinks. (I even let him write up the ingredient list and instructions.)

And yes I do know that many people consider Scotch and other types of whisky drinkable. But I have never found any whiskey that I can get past my nose, much less down my throat! But Scotch is the worst. Who in their right mind would drink an alcohol made from rain water that has flowed over hill sides overgrown with heath and through peat meadows? Not to mention that the Caol Ila recommended in this recipe also tastes of iodine and smoke, with a distinct medicinal smell. Think Band-Aids! (The taste of Caol Ila is consistent with the peaty, iodine taste associated with Islay (pronounced “eye-luh”) malts, of which Caol is one. Plus it’s readily available. That’s always a nice thing!)

So there you have it. Mr. C is a Scotch lover. He of course loves this drink, but he also loves his Scotch neat, on the rocks, or in a Rusty Nail. (Mr. C prefers a not-so-sweet Nail – 4 part Scotch, 1 part Drambuie).

So setting my own bias aside, and once again offering incontrovertible proof that I respect my dear husbands palate as much as my own, I offer you this recipe from Rick, our dear brother-in-law.

And should you try this drink and like it, please leave me a reply. Mr. C would love to hear from you. If you hate the drink, just remember, you were warned. But don’t fret. Go fix yourself a lovely dry martini, and within 15 minutes, the world will be back in order. Ahhhhh – I’ll drink to that!!

*For more information, go onto the site and search under “Survival: Lost with…Only a Bottle of Whiskey”.

  • 2 oz. blended Scotch whiskey*
  • 1 oz. King’s Ginger Liqueur
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice
  • ¼ oz. honey syrup (see recipe below)
  • ¼ oz. single malt Scotch whiskey**

In a cocktail shaker, combine the blended Scotch, ginger liqueur, lemon juice, and honey syrup; add ice and shake well.  Decant into a Tom Collins glass with some of the ice.  “Float” the single malt Scotch on top by pouring slowly over the back of a spoon into the glass. Makes 1 cocktail.

*The blended Scotch whiskey used in this drink should have a moderate to strong peaty flavor.  “Islay Mist” brand is excellent for this drink.

**The single malt Scotch whiskey used in this drink should similarly have a moderately strong (but not overwhelming) peaty flavor.  An Islay malt such as Caol Ila is a good choice.

Honey Syrup:

Combine 1 part honey and 1 part water in a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer while stirring; allow to cool.  Leftover syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.





I recently realized that I hadn’t posted any recipes for adult beverages since December of 2015. That’s just sick and wrong! Because mixed drinks, when done correctly, rank right up there with any other truly great recipe. So I plan to immediately remedy my deplorable lack of good judgement in this regard.

The first recipe I am going to post is my rendition of a Bloody Mary.

To begin with, I don’t start with V-8 or any other already doctored tomato juice. I like to control the flavor completely by just the ingredients I add to the mix. Plus, V-8 tends to be more expensive than plain tomato juice, and contain more sodium.

Now one thing you should know about this recipe. It’s not for sissies! It possesses a goodly amount of pucker power from the lemon juice and a lively kick from the hot sauce and horseradish. But what it does for simple vodka is nothing short of amazing.

So next time you feel like greeting the morning with a new taste sensation, build a batch of this seasoned tomato juice. Then simply add a bit of vodka (or none at all for that matter) and watch the sun rise with new found enthusiasm. Good morning, America!

  • 1 c. tomato juice
  • juice of 1 lemon (save the juiced lemon carcass in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for when you serve the drink) 
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 5-6 drops hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. celery salt
  • 1 tsp. prepared horseradish, or more to taste
  • 3 oz. cold vodka
  • kosher or other coarse salt
  • celery stalks, pickled beans or asparagus, etc., garnishCombine the tomato juice, lemon juice, W. sauce, hot sauce, pepper, celery salt, and horseradish in a pitcher. Refrigerate overnight. Just before serving add the vodka. Adjust seasoning. When ready to serve, rub the reserved lemon carcass around the rim of the glass and dip in coarse salt. Add ice to 2 glasses and pour in tomato juice mixture. Garnish with celery stalks, leaves side up.




A quick and easy Christmas gift – a bottle of Glögg and a Christmas tin filled with Speculaas (Dutch Ginger Cookies)

To me glögg is the quintessential Christmas beverage. And I know, some may argue that eggnog holds that distinction. But that’s only because they have never tasted my late friend Julie Finzimer’s sweet and spicy recipe for this warm Scandinavian holiday beverage.

Julie first served me a small cup of glögg one cold winter’s evening in (I think) 1974. I immediately asked for the recipe because I had never tasted anything like it. I knew without a doubt that this incredibly delicious drink had to become part of my own family’s Christmas tradition.

So needless to say, I have been making it ever since. And I have some wonderful memories associated with this drink. Allow me to tell you one.

One of the first Christmases that my daughter Eden and her new husband Willie spent with us, I offered Willie a cup of glögg after dinner. He nearly said no, mainly because he wasn’t overly fond of sweet drinks. But in the end he agreed to a small cup. So I warmed some up for all of us, and served the drinks with a big old plate of ginger cookies. Willie was comfortably settled in an easy chair close to the fire (a real one!) when he took his first sip. The rest of us waited while he decided if he liked the drink. He said that it was actually quite good, and could he please have some more. We warned him that glögg was almost pure alcohol, but he said he could handle it. And he did too, until after his third cup and he tried to stand up. It was only then that he realized why we had issued the warning. We still laugh when we are together, 30 some years later, about his first “glögg experience”.

So if you too love drinks that warm you through and through, give this delicious recipe a try. You won’t be sorry, unless of course you drink three cups of this potent concoction at one sitting. But then you’ve been warned, now haven’t you. Happy Christmas everyone!

  • 1 qt. water
  • 25 whole cardamom seeds
  • 40 whole cloves
  • ¾ c. raisins
  • 4 oz. (½ small container) candied orange peel
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 750ml bottle port (ruby or tawny)
  • 1 750ml bottle cabernet sauvignon
  • 1 750ml bottle brandy
  • 1½ c. granulated sugar
  • ½ c. brown sugar

Combine the water, cardamom seeds, cloves, raisins, candied orange peel, and cinnamon in a covered saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for at least 4 hours.

Strain into a large saucepan. Add the port, cabernet sauvignon, and brandy. Bring just to a hearty simmer. Remove from heat. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL.

Meanwhile place a 2-quart saucepan, or my personal favorite, a small cast iron fry-pan over medium-high heat until the pan is warm, not hot. Add the sugar and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until all the sugar has melted. (The sugar syrup will take on a light golden brown as it melts.) Pour syrup very slowly into the large pot with spices and liquor, stirring constantly as you pour. The sugar syrup will sputter and harden when it touches the hot liquid, but will dissolve again very quickly. Add the brown sugar and stir until it too is completely dissolved. Let glögg cool before decanting into bottles. Serve very warm. Best served with ginger cookies, especially Speculaas. (Recipe on site.)




Most of you know I’m a martini drinker. But on occasion I leave the comfort of ice cold gin and go over to the wild side and have either one (and I do mean one) of Mr. C’s Margaritas in the summer or for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, one or two (never more than two) of his delicious cosmopolitans. (I couldn’t finish dinner preparations if I had more than two of these babies!)

Cosmopolitans are delightful served any time of year, but are especially wonderful served at holiday time. They look festive, reflect the cranberry flavor we have all learned to associate with “the holidays”, and the tang of the lime juice beautifully counter balances the sweetness of the orange flavored liqueur. Cosmopolitans are wonderfully tart and refreshing and perfect served with appetizers.

Mr. C usually combines the vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, Rose’s lime juice, and fresh lime juice ahead of time. (Depending on how many guests we expect, he makes enough for one each.) Then when a drink request comes his way, he does the whole shaker with ice thing and serves up a freshly made drink. Yea Thanksgiving! I can hardly wait to make sure I still like these marvelous drinks. (Maybe I should ask Mr. C to make me one before the big day; you know, make sure he hasn’t lost the Cosmopolitan touch.) Oh, honey…….

  • 3 oz. vodka
  • 1 ½ oz. Cointreau or or other orange flavored liqueur
  • 4 oz. cranberry juice cocktail
  • splash of Rose’s lime juice
  • juice of ½ large lime
  • ice
  • 2 slices of lime, garnish

Pour vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, Rose’s lime juice, fresh lime juice, and ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into 2 chilled martini glasses. Garnish with a slice of lime.


There are few adult beverages that can warm the cockles of your heart better than a really delicious Irish Coffee. (You may recall that Sweet Molly Malone once wheeled her wheelbarrow through Dublin’s fair city, crying “cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh!” Makes me hope her own “cockles” were occasionally warmed by “a wee bit of the Irish” too?) But, and this is important, so pay careful attention to my next statement; any good coffee drink must start with really good coffee. In just the same way you use decent wine in cooking, good coffee is of equal importance when making a fine coffee beverage. So, keeping that in mind, I have a huge treat for you. We have a good friend who small batch roasts his own coffee beans. And marvel of marvels, he then sells his freshly roasted beans for a reasonable price to those of us lucky enough to know about this marvelous product. Larry’s Coffees are “Specialty coffees”, the term used by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) to refer to “gourmet” or “premium” coffee beans. According to the SCAA, in order for beans to be graded as “specialty”, a score of 80 or above is required. (The highest score being 100.) Beans classified as “specialty” are grown in ideal climates, and are distinctive because of their full cup taste and few to no discernible defects. The unique taste is a result of the individual characteristics and composition of the soil in which the beans are grown; the terroir as the French are fond of saying when speaking about wine. Aside from the fact that the beans Larry chooses are from some of the most respected coffee growing areas in the world, his roasted beans are about as fresh as you can get. If you wonder why that matters, roasted coffee beans reach their peak in both flavor and aroma about 48 – 72 hours after roasting (depending on the coffee). This rest period is not actually required but is preferred by true coffee aficionados. This resting time allows coffee beans to fully develop excellent taste and aroma by allowing excess CO2 to dissipate and the bean chemistry to stabilize. (Analogous with letting cooked meat rest before slicing or red wine breathe before drinking.) In the case of Larry’s coffee, the good news is that this rest period often occurs while the beans are being shipped. Because Larry generally roasts beans to order, you usually receive the beans when they are at their peak. How cool is that? For more information about our favourite coffee bean purveyor, please visit Larry’s website And if you live in our vicinity and can’t wait the short time it takes to order and receive your own package(s) of beans, stop on over and Mr. C. will make you an espresso drink featuring one of Larry’s offerings. Mr. C. loves to fire up our espresso machine. Your visit would provide him with yet another good reason to enjoy a little cuppa. (Like he really needs a reason, but you know what I mean!)  So for “those who love coffee” or abakundekawa as they say in Rwanda, give both Larry’s coffee beans and this recipe for Irish Coffee a try. You won’t be disappointed with either.

  • 1 c. hot strong coffee
  • 1 tsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 oz. Irish whiskey
  • whipped cream (heavy cream, powdered sugar, and a wee splash of more Irish whiskey)
  • chocolate covered coffee bean, opt.

Combine coffee, powdered sugar, and Irish whiskey in a mug or glass. Dollop with whipped cream and top with a coffee bean.