On a trip to New Orleans, my husband and I couldn't afford a whole fancy meal at Arnaud's but we did treat ourselves to dessert there in their beautiful front room, with leaded glass windows and black bistro chairs over the black and white tiled floor. We indulged in both Bananas Foster, a familiar favorite, and Cafe Brulot, a boozy coffee spiked with orange liqueur and infused with clove studded orange and lemon zest. In the restaurant it is a true show, with a tableside chafing dish full of your after dinner coffee, lit aflame and poured over a suspended orange peel (peeled all at once into one long corkscrew of rind in a way I can never manage), but at home I leave out the open flame for safety's sake. I started my version with browned butter, as if the recipe needed to feel even more luxurious! I can imagine enjoying this as a digestif after a filling Thanksgiving meal—adding it to my menu now. Enjoy! —Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus
Test Kitchen Notes
I wasn't sure I'd like this drink; it seemed like it might have a bit too much going on. But it was a funky, tasty marriage of a hot buttered rum and "bulletproof coffee." I imagine it would be great in place of a mimosa for brunch, and just as fulfilling as an after-dinner drink. I found the triple sec made it a bit too sweet for me, so if I make this again, I'll cut back on the sugar by a tablespoon or so. I would also suggest whisking the butter rather than just stirring so that it will emulsify a bit more. —Sarahgreenbean
orange liqueur (such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier)
strong-brewed black coffee, still hot
cinnamon sticks, as garnish (optional)
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium-heat and cook until light brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes, swirling occasionally (watch carefully so as not to burn).
Stir the brown sugar into the browned butter, then add the citrus rinds (I use a vegetable peeler to get the rind off of the pith of the fruit), 1 cinnamon stick, and cloves and stir. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.
Briefly remove the saucepan from the flame to safely add the orange liqueur to the buttered spices and citrus mixture. Return to the flame and bring to a low simmer for 3 minutes, then add the brewed coffee and simmer another 4 to 5 minutes.
Ladle into glasses, garnish with cinnamon stir sticks, if you like, leaving behind the solids in the saucepan, and enjoy while hot.