Pairing Rum and Coffee – International Coffee Day
27 September, 2023
We know that many would argue everyday is, indeed, a day for coffee. But International Coffee Day brings opportunity to appreciate these magical beans on a global scale.
Originating in the Ethiopian plateau, coffee beans have tangled their way through the jungles of North Africa, greeting both South America and Asia shortly thereafter. The history of the bean is worth knowing, but we think the ability to pair coffee flavors with rum is equally as valuable. After all, the rum and coffee industries share many similarities, including diversity in terms of strength, blending techniques, and worldwide aficionado followings. Given that both coffee and rum are both usually made by hand by passionate people, it’s not at all surprising that they go so well together.
If coffee is primarily known as a powerful productivity booster and an energizing breakfast drink, it is also widely enjoyed after a meal, often combined with dessert. So don’t hesitate to order a café gourmand in Paris (coffee served with miniature desserts), or an afogato in Rome (vanilla ice cream drowned in an espresso), before carrying on the night with a cocktail (or two).
Pairing Rum and Coffee
The coffee industry, not unlike the spirits one, is diversifying. Baristas & mixologists are here to delight our palates, and combining coffee and rum only seems natural. When it comes to pairing the two together, the key is to bring enough contrast to maximize the sensory spectrum while maintaining a delicate balance. Aged rums, like Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva, combine well with those intense bitter coffees that tend to have a strong body. Others, like Diplomático Mantuano, are best paired with spicy, smokey and nutty coffees, which balance its own aromas nicely. Finally, delicate white rums, like Diplomático Planas, pair wonderfully with more subtle and clean coffees with soft fruity flavors that remind us of berries, hibiscus or even cherries and grapes.
Here are a few coffee infused cocktails for you to give it a whirl and celebrate with us International Coffee Day!
Reserva Exclusiva ‘Coffee for everyone’ – Serve for 6-8 people
320 ml Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
8 g Cold brew
8 g Cocoa powder (over 70%)
60 ml Walnut syrup
Mix rum with walnut syrup. Put the coffee and the cocoa in a coffee filter over a jar full of ice. Mix Reserva Exclusiva with the syrup and pour over the coffee with cocoa. Let it filter to the jar. When it is all filtered, serve into espresso cups and enjoy!
Mantuano Coffee Negroni
25 ml Mantuano
25 ml Vermuth Cocchi Torino
12.5 ml Cold brew
12.5 ml Campari
Stir in mixing glass with ice and then pour over chilled glass with fresh ice. Garnish with orange zest.
Planas Espresso Martini
40 ml Planas
30 ml Espresso
15 ml Simple syrup
15 ml Coffee liquor
Add all the ingredients into a shaker, shake vigorously and pour into a Martini glass. Garnish with coffee beans.
Why is International Coffee Day Celebrated?
In March of 2014, the International Coffee Organization launched the first official Coffee Day in Milan, Italy. A year later, it was decided that an international day of recognition should rather be held annually on the 1st of October and the tradition stuck.
Coffee is the most widely traded commodity on the planet, after crude oil. It is also the most consumed
beverage worldwide, after water. Coffee is also one of the youngest household beverages still present in modern society! The coffee drink is only around 1000 years old, while teas and alcohol have been around for roughly 5000 years.
International Coffee Day intends to celebrate the history, popularity and general coffee benefits of the beans. It’s an ode to the plant that is said to have spurred both the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution; a daily ritual that will no doubt carry humankind through many a revelation in years to come!
Who Invented Coffee?
Like most ancient rituals, there is extensive folklore attesting to the invention of the coffee drink. Some pay homage to The Kaldi of Ethiopia, while others credit a disciple of Sheikh al-Shadhili’s in Morocco.
Coffee beans may have originated in Africa (Ethiopia & Sudan), but coffee as a brewed beverage was likely invented further north according to historians. The Sufi Shrines existed in Yemen in the 15th century. It’s believed that this is where beans were first roasted and brewed with water in a similar fashion to how we prepare coffee today.
How did these beans first get from Africa to Yemen? All gratitude goes to the Somali traders who were dominating the commodity markets at the time.
What are the Different Types of Coffee?
There are just four main types of coffee that one needs to know about: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica and Excelsa.
Considering that Arabica (majority grown in Brazil and Ethiopia) and Robusta (majority grown in Vietnam) are the most popular variants worldwide, one could conclude that these are likely also the best world coffees! The latter are less common, grown in Liberia and Southeast Asia respectively.
Surprisingly, the most expensive coffee in the world is not a manmade blend of any of the above. Rather it’s a bean produced as a natural phenomenon through the feces of wild civets. These small mammals eat the coffee plants in both Asia and Africa, eventually expelling a blend known as Kopi Luwak. The coffee goes for $100 to $500 per pound… no big deal.
How to Celebrate International Coffee Day
Nothing says appreciation of the daily grind quite like a well made rum coffee. These flavors are complimentary and compatible on many levels, with both light and dark rums being adaptable to the natural bitterness of the bean. That said, it’s important you choose a high-quality rum for these mixings; in the recipes below we’ve given you our blend recommendations!
A Jamaica Coffee is the perfect drink after a hearty meal. Ideally Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend is used in this rum and coffee duo, but any quality bean will suffice if need be! This coffee is best mixed with a dark rum. You’ll need:
- 25ml of Diplomático Mantuano or Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
- 20ml of any coffee flavored liqueur
- 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee
- Whipped cream to top
Warm Winter Espresso Cocktail
Another dark rum favorite, warm espresso cocktails are the cure for winter’s bite. To some it tastes like tiramisu in a cup. You’ll need a blender at the ready for this one:
- 20ml of Diplomático Mantuano or Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
- 1 cup espresso brewed coffee
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbs cocoa powder
- 1 tbs honey
Gently warm the coconut milk on the stove while simultaneously brewing your cup of espresso. Combine all ingredients into your blender (soup setting is preferable) and pulse for up to 4 minutes until smooth. Divide into two glasses, garnishing with extra cocoa or whipped cream if desired. It’s getting hot in here…
Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte
Last in our list is something special given that October is the unofficial month of pumpkin spice! This one reminds us of our Planas Coconut Coffee, with a twist! A spiked pumpkin spice latte works with both dark or light rum, but we’re going to recommend the latter.
- 50ml of Diplomático Planas
- 60ml espresso coffee
- 30ml pumpkin spice syrup
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Cinnamon and sugar to top
Brew your espresso into a coffee cup. Add the rum and syrup, and stir until dissolved. Heat and froth your coconut milk, slowly pouring it into the cup while stirring. Finish off with a light sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar.
When it comes to drinking beans with booze, these recipes are about as international as it gets. Save the date and celebrate International Coffee Day right!