Caffeinated Cocktail: Siciliano
There are a multitude of after-dinner traditions and rituals, spanning from dessert and coffee to drinks and cigars. Some are intended to help with after-dinner energy, like espresso or gelato, and others are meant to wind things down after a long meal with friends and family, like a cocktail.
One particular tradition is that of the digestif, a post-meal liqueur that helps settle the stomach and ease digestion. Though they are popular in many cultures worldwide, digestifs are most prominently found in Europe, specifically Italy and France. If you’ve never tried a digestif, you’re missing out!
If you’re looking for a place to get started, then look no further! Our latest installment in the Caffeinated Cocktail series (Amora’s growing collection of caffeinated alcoholic beverage recipes), The Siciliano, is the perfect introduction to digestifs and an excellent cocktail to boot. With a superb blend of Amaro and cold brew coffee, you’re sure to add this to your regular after-dinner cocktail rotation.
Unlike some of the other alcoholic coffee drinks we’ve shared on our site, there are some specific ingredients that will ensure you get your money’s worth from this recipe! You can undoubtedly use replacements if you have no other options, but make sure you get the right ingredients for the real deal!
Wait, What’s A Digestif Again?
Before we get into the details of The Siciliano, some of you might be curious about the concept of a digestif! Though you are more likely to encounter these on the menus of higher-end European restaurants, they are becoming more common here in the United States.
Digestifs have been around for centuries, though they began as medicine before making their way to the dinner table. In theory, a digestif is supposed to both soothe a full stomach after a meal and help wind down the evening. Depending on the country, restaurant, or even family you are dining with, your choice of digestif can be wildly different.
Italy is well-known for its wide variety of digestifs, so it’s no surprise that our key ingredient is an Italian digestif; Amaro. Amaro is a traditional Italian digestif usually known for its bitterness and often paired with citruses, such as a lemon or orange.
Like we mentioned before, the world of digestifs is vast and incredibly varied, and even Amaro has its own variations within Italy! There are three primary producers of Amaro, but the one we’re focusing on today is Averna Amaro from Sicily (get it? Siciliano?). The recipe has been passed down, generation to generation since 1868.
Getting the proper Amaro is essential because each unique Amaro flavor is difficult to replicate. Averna Amaro is known for its spiced, caramel/herbal flavor that comes from its unique blend of herbs and spices. Even though you can technically make a Siciliano with any type of Amaro, you should try to find Averna Amaro for the absolute best flavor.
Now that our history lesson is out of the way, it’s time to get drinking! You’ll need a few ingredients for this cocktail...the more specific, the better!
- Sweet Vermouth (preferably Italian made)
- Amaro (preferably Averna Amaro)
- Cold Brew Coffee (we recommend our Cold-Brew blend coffee beans!)
- Simple Syrup
- Club Soda
If you can’t find a particular ingredient, that’s ok! You can make replacements and variations to the recipe as needed. However, if it’s your very first time making a Siciliano, why not try for the real thing?
You should also make sure you read up on how to make cold-brewed coffee! There are a number of differences between how you brew hot coffee, and cold brew coffee is a crucial part of the cocktail. Make sure you plan ahead if you’re going to have a cocktail party involving Sicilianos, as you’ll need at least 12 hours to brew the cold brew beforehand.
For our recipe today, we’re using this version of the Siciliano. Unlike our previous Caffeinated Cocktails, this recipe uses actual cold brew coffee rather than a coffee liqueur! It might not seem like a big difference, but coffee alcohol drinks taste very different from coffee itself. If you have been making our other coffee cocktails, this one will certainly break the mold.
This also means the drink comes with a bit of a warning. Mixing coffee and alcohol isn’t always recommended due to the interaction between alcohol and caffeine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about consuming alcohol with caffeine, but for the most part, this refers to alcohol and energy drinks.
The Siciliano is perfectly safe to enjoy, but drink responsibly and with moderation as with any alcohol!
- Start by mixing 2 ounces of the vermouth with 1½ ounces of Averna Amaro and 1½ ounces of cold brew coffee. Pour the liquids into a cocktail shaker, and finish off with 1 ounce of simple syrup.
- Mix the ingredients in the shaker, and strain into a tumbler filled with ice.
- Top the mixture off with Club Soda, just to the top of the glass.
- Garnish with a decorative orange peel and enjoy!
- The Siciliano is known for its bitterness, so to cancel out the bitterness, top with whipped cream before you garnish your drink.
Just like any drink, experiment with the flavors and alcohols to tweak it to your liking!
We can’t provide the liquor, but for all things coffee, we have you covered! Our coffee subscription service will bring you specialty coffee straight to your door. We cut out the middleman, so you get your coffee fresh from the roaster every time. From our 9 step roasting process to hand-packing every single bag of beans, we want your coffee experience to be as wonderful as possible!