Coffee Orange Punch

Making cocktails is like cooking, the creative process is nearly as enjoyable as consuming the final product. My professional cooking background urges me to play with recipes, tweaking them and making them my own, while living on a budget forces me to use what’s in the fridge or growing in the garden as opposed to running to store with each new recipe. By blending practicality and technique I’ve had some truly unique and enjoyable drinking experiences.

One of the pleasures of summer for me is iced coffee. Hot summer mornings demand a cold beverage when a hot caffeinated cup of Joe simply won’t do. Below is a recipe I modified from Martha Stewart Living magazine. I’ve found that well tested recipes, food or drink, are great places to start.

The original recipe called for chicory flavored coffee which I didn’t have so I substituted regular cold coffee. The original recipe also called for rum based orange liqueur which I switched with the Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao that was already on my bar. Because the Curacao is relatively dry compared to other orange liqueurs, the resulting drink wasn’t too sweet and worked well with food. Lastly, the original did not include mint but a large sprig smacked (releasing the oils) and plunged into the icy orange-coffee goodness was a lovely touch. Cheers!

Ingredients
• 4 cups brewed coffee
• 6 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
• 1/2 cup, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
• Ice cubes
• Orange twists, for garnish
• Sprig of Mint, lightly smacked

Directions
Combine coffee, milks, and Curaçao, and stir to combine well. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 1/2 hours. Serve over ice, garnished with orange twists and sprig of mint.

Photo Courtesy of www.marthastewart.com