Our studio has been somewhat sorghum obsessed lately, so I thought this would be the perfect time to use this southern treat to create a variation on the everyday latte. I love enjoying a simple coffee on a day-to-day basis, but sometimes it’s nice to spice things up a bit with ingredients that feel near and dear to my southern roots and make me feel warm and cozy inside. While spring has certainly sprung here, I know that a lot of cities just a bit north of us are still covered in snow and need to indulge in something to make the heart feel warm.
A few months ago I walked into one of my very favorite coffee shops in Nashville, TN, and noticed that their featured drink was a Bourbon Sorghum Latte. I thought that, while I wouldn’t have thought to put those flavors into a coffee myself, it would surely be a delicious flavor combination. I was curious as to exactly how all the flavors would play out and was was absolutely delighted with the outcome: full of flavor with just a hint of bourbon to deepen and round out the sweetness of the sorghum. I went home and did a bit of experimenting to recreate this magical and surprising drink. This is what I found to work:
BOURBON SORGHUM SIMPLE SYRUP
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons water, divided
3 tablespoons Old Rip Van Winkle Bourbon (or your favorite bourbon)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ tablespoons sorghum molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
Bring sugar and 1 ½ tablespoons of water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Swirl the pan occasionally so caramel colors evenly, until caramel is dark amber. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/4 cup water. Stir in bourbon, butter, molasses, and salt. Return to heat and simmer, stirring, to dissolve any hardened caramel, if necessary.
This mixture will be your simple syrup. It’s delicious and, while the butter might sound a bit strange, when stirred into your warm drink, you won’t think twice. However, if you want to omit this ingredient, the recipe will still stand on its own.
Once you have your simple syrup recipe, add about 1-2 tsp (more or less to taste) to 1oz of espresso and mix with 6-8oz of steamed or heated milk of your choice. If you don’t have anything to make espresso with, you can use a strongly brewed coffee instead. I would suggest serving this as a dessert drink and don’t go overboard on the syrup; it can get really sweet, really fast. Pair this with the Honey-Lemon Ginger-Molasses Marble Cookies recipe from last week, and you will not be disappointed!