To celebrate two of our favourite things: espresso and cocktails, we have three espresso-based drinks for you to try. Oh, and just a hint: for each cocktail you’ll need only the finest espresso.
This is probably the most basic of the three, but also the most well-known. You can use this recipe as a base for any other flavours and garnishes.
Start by adding the vodka, Kahlua, espresso, and syrup to your shaker. Once you’ve added your ice, shake, shake, shake! The key to a beautiful, frothy Espresso Martini is shaking it until you feel the texture in your shaker change. After rimming your martini glass with caramel (or your sauce of choice) pour your delicious martini and enjoy!
This espresso cocktail is for those that can’t decide if they want a sweet treat or an amaro after dinner. (An amaro is an Italian herbal liqueur typically enjoyed as an after-dinner digestif). This cocktail combines the syrupy, bitter-sweet flavours of the liqueur with rich espresso and sweet vermouth.
Start by adding your liqueurs, espresso, and syrup to your shaker. Once you’ve added your ice, give your cocktail a few shakes. Pour the contents into a glass and fill with club soda. You can garnish with any fruit you’d like, but with our espresso, cherries pair perfectly!
Cafe Don Juan
The Cafe Don Juan is the perfect espresso cocktail for those with a sweet tooth. It combines spicy rum with sweet Kahlua and of course we top it with whipped cream! This beverage is so good you can almost call it dessert in a cup!
The directions are quite simple: just add your espresso and liqueurs to your glass and top with fresh whipping cream! To keep things classy, add some cocoa powder on top as well!
We hope you took some time to celebrate #NationalLiqueurDay! Have fun with these recipes and make them your own!
Please drink responsibly.
Let’s face it, nowadays, almost everyone is a coffee drinker, whether it be for the taste, the ‘cool’ factor, or for that sweet burst of energy. With all of these coffee drinkers it’s expected that there are a lot of opinions on if coffee is good or bad for you. While there may be quite a bit of health benefits to what you do or do not put in your coffee, such as sugar, cream, syrups or even cinnamon, we should also consider the health benefits of just black coffee itself.
We also often overlook the benefits or impacts on your mental and brain health coffee has. Obviously, there are a few obvious effects that coffee has such as stimulation and alertness, but what about long-term effects such as those towards depression and anxiety? Not to mention, coffee, or caffeine rather, is technically a drug, so what about the effects of withdrawal on your body.
Let’s start with the good.
In recent studies, and one particularly from the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, caffeine has causes the direct response of motivation, alertness, and anti-depressive effects. This is because caffeine is a psycho-stimulant causing your body and brain to want to ‘get things going’. Further, caffeine is known for binding to adenosine receptors and blocking them. If that last sentence was gibberish to you, that’s fine: basically, caffeine stops the hormone that causes drowsiness and a lack of motivation and energy – meaning, your awake, alert, and ready to get shi– I mean, stuff done.
One last thing, coffee is a social beverage. That being said, it’s a great excuse to grab your friends that you may not have seen in a while, meet at your local coffee shop, and talk it all out. It’s a way to keep you out of your room and get you out of the house.
But what about those that battle anxiety? Is coffee good or bad?
The truth is, there isn’t a definitive answer. Those with anxiety tend to feel stress and nervousness at any given time and more often than not, feel almost a weight on their shoulders. Caffeine isn’t necessarily beneficial towards these feelings. This is because caffeine is a stimulant that increases heart rate, blood pressure and can lead to extreme levels of stress hormones in your body.
Now this doesn’t mean if you’re struggling with anxiety or stress that you should give up coffee altogether, it just means you should know your limit and stay within it.
Last but not least, have you ever tried to give up coffee? Or accidentally skipped your morning ‘spro? You might have felt a few of these things…
The number one effect from caffeine withdrawal is a headache – this is because caffeine narrows your blood vessels in your brain, with the absence of caffeine there is a sudden flow of blood to your brain which can cause a headache until your brain adapts to the change, or until your next fix.
Next is irritability. We’ve all seen those t-shirts and mugs that say something like “give me my coffee and no one gets hurt”. Well, there’s a reason those sayings fall true: without your mood-boosting beverage, you’re most likely going to feel angry or ‘moody’.
If you’re thinking of cutting out coffee, try going slow and not attempting the cold turkey technique. Also, make sure you’re staying hydrated and getting the right amount of sleep!
In the end, it’s important to know yourself and your body – what amount of caffeine you can handle and how much is too much. Because, let’s face it, you can in fact have too much of a good thing.
We all know that “pumpkin spice” has become it’s own season at this point, but we often forget that there are so many other drinks to consider to get you warm and cozy as you walk through those crunchy leaves. Here are just a few more to consider and try to make at home!
To start, there are many teas that can be turned into lattes and it’s so easy to make them!
This tea latte features a nice frothy texture, a floral lavender taste, and can be sweetened with vanilla syrup as opposed to vanilla extract. Start with brewing your Earl Grey tea – you can brew by filling your cup with just half boiling water because we’re going to fill the rest up with frothed milk. Next, froth your milk until it reaches your preferred temperature or foamy texture. With the addition of the vanilla and a quick stir, the warm flavours of the earl grey tea come through to provide you with the feeling of comfort.
This still falls under the ‘tea latte’ category but with a twist! If you’re someone who enjoys slight spice to his or her morning brew, you’ll definitely love adding chai to your espresso! The easiest way to make this latte is by using chai syrup so that your espresso isn’t watered down by brewed tea. The rest is easy – just froth some milk and pour on top of your espresso and enjoy! The cinnamon and cloves in the chai syrup make a great pairing with almost any espresso!
If you’re not a tea person at all of course we have the perfect espresso-based beverages for you to try!
This flavoured latte-like beverage combines our favourite things: coffee and chocolate! Start by adding chocolate syrup to your cup and pour your espresso on top – give it a quick swirl or stir to melt it up too. Next, just like any other latte, froth your milk! Make sure you don’t make your milk too foamy because you’re going to want to add whipped cream on top and foam definitely gets in the way of that! Last but not least, add a sprinkle of cocoa or a drizzle of chocolate syrup to complete your beverage!
Let’s take it a step further, you’ve got the mocha down, but if we add just a little hazelnut syrup you’ll end up with a beverage reminding you of that oh so gooey chocolate hazelnut spread we all know and love! Finish it off with whipped cream too!
Now, if you’re looking for a fall beverage for the kiddos or just something to cozy up with before bed without a burst of caffeine, this hot chocolate is just for you!
Imagine melting down a Caramilk bar and mixing it with warm milk – this hot chocolate is certainly similar! Start with adding equal shots of chocolate syrup and caramel syrup, then add a touch of hot water just to melt the chocolate and stir it with the caramel syrup. Froth your milk, again not creating too much foam and pour it into your cup leaving enough space to layer on whipped cream (and caramel sauce!)! This beverage is perfect to warm you up after playing outside in the leaves, or cuddling up to watch a movie in the evening.
So next time you’re looking for a drink that’s #InstagramWorthy, a sweet afternoon pick-me-up, or just something tasty to try this fall, refer back to these recipes for some inspiration!
Not everyone is a born coffee-drinker and we often forget that not everyone knows the in’s and out’s of coffee or espresso beverages. For those that may be out of their comfort zone walking into a traditional café or ordering an espresso, I’m going to give you a breakdown of the 4 most commonly confused espresso-based beverages: Espresso, Macchiato, Latte, and Cappuccino.
When the perfect espresso is poured, you can distinctly see three layers with the last being a sweet crema. The lowest layer is the strongest tasting, with a full body and roasty flavour. The second layer usually blends into the lowest quickly but contains all of the identifiable flavour profiles of the espresso. The third layer is the most beautiful. If done correctly, your espresso will be topped with a rich hazelnut-coloured crema that has a smooth mouthfeel and a sweet finish.
If you’re not a straight espresso type of person, try opting for a macchiato. A traditional macchiato contains a shot or two of espresso and is topped with just a little frothed milk for a richer mouthfeel and creamier taste. Adding this small amount of frothed milk can turn your quick espresso into a lasting beverage.
A traditional Italian macchiato is not to be confused with newer, westernized beverages that can sometimes be quite large in size.
One step up from a macchiato is a latte. By just adding a bit more frothed milk, and a layer of fluffy foam you have the simplest yet delicious espresso beverage. Most espresso blends are roasted to create flavour profiles that can not only withstand a large amount of milk, but also compliment the creaminess that frothed milk offers. Lattes are made
by frothing enough milk to fill your cup and poured on an angle to allow the milk to mix with the espresso and the foam to be layered on top. As someone that may not enjoy plain espresso and often takes his or her coffee with creamer or milk, a latte is a great place to start. Consider adding flavoured syrups or spiced toppings to your foam as well!
Not to be confused with a latte, although they are quite similar, a cappuccino is probably the most decadent of these four beverages. Because it only contains a small amount of frothed milk and is mainly comprised of foam, cappuccinos can be described as dessert-like. Cappuccinos are made by frothing the milk for just a tad longer than a latte or holding the frothing pitcher at just the right angle to allow the steam to create a wet foam. When poured, the froth should mix with the espresso and become a canvas of rich brown and golden colours allowing the entire beverage to be a thick consistency.
It’s said that true Italian cappuccinos are no more than 8oz. of liquid and are traditionally stirred after serving to incorporate all of the flavours.
Now you’re a pro at determining which flavour, texture, and size of beverage best suits you!
- Fill a frothing pitcher a third full of cold milk. (Whole milk works best)
- Turn the steamer on so that any water will be pushed out. Don’t get any of this water into your milk.
- Once the steamer is at full force, fully submerge the steam wand quickly into the milk (don’t go slow, if you do, be prepared to clean up the milky mess!!).
- Drop the frothing pitcher down until you position the tip of the steam wand just beneath the surface of the milk. If the surface of the milk becomes violently turbulent, and large bubbles form, then move the nozzle slightly deeper into the milk, you should hear a deep rumbling sound.
- As the milk rises, slowly lower the frothing pitcher to constantly maintain the same depth of the steam wand. Once the milk has doubled in volume, fully submerge the steam wand into the milk and this will increase the temperature of the milk.
- Turn off the steam when the temperature hits 60 degrees C (140 degrees F). If you don’t have a thermometer, judge the temperature with your hand by holding the bottom of the frothing pitcher. The temperature will continue to rise after you remove the wand from the milk. The maximum temperature should be 71 degrees C (160 degrees F).
and cold milk. For a rough idea of how much milk you will need, fill one of the cups you will be using to serve the beverage halfway with milk and multiply that amount by the number of people being served. Steps:
- Pour the cold milk into the saucepan. The milk should not be over the halfway mark of the pan, to allow for expanded foam.
- Place the saucepan over medium to medium-high heat.
- Take your whisk and slowly begin to stir the milk (wide bubbles will begin to form). As more whisking occurs, the smaller and more condensed the bubbles will become.
- Increase the speed of whisking as the milk temperature rises. By now, you should be whisking the milk as if you were beating eggs and the volume of the milk should be increasing. It’s important to not let the milk come to a boil! If you do boil the milk it will ruin the taste and you will have to start over. If you think the milk is about to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and continue to whisk away from the stove.
- Continue to whisk and aerate the milk until it develops into a fluffy velvety froth and doubles in volume.
My Mother recently just came back from a trip to California to see my Grandmother and a friend of hers was telling her all about how she started adding cinnamon to her coffee and had lost 5 pounds already in over a weeks time!
Now before you get too excited, everyone’s metabolism and body types/weights are different. So what might work for some may not work for others. The idea of adding cinnamon to my coffee/teas really got me thinking what types of benefits does cinnamon have that causes a person to lose weight?
So, after doing some research, I came up with the reason and several other wonderful benefits of cinnamon.
– Cinnamon has an effect on blood sugar that makes it a potential help in the battle against weight, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome
– Cinnamon reduces blood sugar and increases insulin levels
– Reduces Bad Cholesterol while keeping the good cholesterol stable
– Boosts the Immune System while removing fatique & increasing longevity
– Treats colds & Influenza
– Helps Brain Function & Memory (this I need!)
– Helps the digestive system- removes flatulence, indigestion, soothes the tummy
– Suppresses the bacteria that causes UTI and fungus associated with yeast infections
– Natural Pain Reliever- I’ve personally used cinnamon for toothaches & cramps and have had instant relief, whereas tylenol or advil take a while to kick in
– Excellent source of manganese, calcium, fiber and iron
And not to mention… adding cinnamon to coffee enhances the flavor! I am definitely sold on the cinnamon idea whether it helps me lose weight or not- the health benefits alone are enough reason to start using cinnamon.
I’ve also been hearing about how cinnamon and honey mixed in boiling water helps with weight loss- just Google cinnamon & honey weightloss and you will see what I mean:
Boil 1 cup of water and add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder and 1 tsp honey: drink 1 cup in the a.m. on an empty stomach and 1 cup in the p.m.
I haven’t tried this yet- but some people say it has helped them to lose weight. Personally, I figure it can’t hurt, so why not try it? Even as I am typing, I am steeping some Yerba Mate Tea and I have my cinnamon & honey on hand! I am going to try to start having 2 cups per day and seeing if I have any positive results and I will come back and update. If you decide to try this out- let me know if it works for you!