Welcome to another week of ‘the proof is in’. As a special treat, we prepared this week’s hot Thursty Thursday drink off-site. On Monday we decided to bring our recipe to The Rooster Coffee House in Riverdale (www.roostercoffeehouse.com 479 Broadview Avenue), because we wanted to use the best coffee possible. With the help of its expert barista Jay, we successfully brewed an appropriately named ‘cock’-tail, The Spiked Rooster. This yummy little eye-opener makes the perfect post-brunch drink on a lazy weekend morning (or afternoon). Enjoy! To learn more about our brand, visit www.proofbrands.com. Become a friend on Facebook www.facebook.com/proofbrands and Twitter http://twitter.com/proofbrands to get last minute updates on all of our tastings, parties and events.
The Spiked Rooster
1 ½ oz proof whisky
1 tsp vanilla simple syrup*
5 oz espresso (or good quality coffee)
Heavy cream or frothed milk**
Pour 1 ½ oz proof whisky, 1 tsp. vanilla simple syrup and 5 oz hot espresso into a coffee mug or latte bowl, slowly float the heavy cream or frothed milk on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
* Vanilla simple syrup recipe – Combine equal parts of sugar and boiling water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour into a jar or bottle with a lid and drop in a 1” piece of vanilla bean (you can substitute a 1/4 teaspoon of real vanilla extract for the bean). Let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. This syrup is also great in your morning coffee. You can re-use the vanilla bean once the syrup is gone by putting it in your sugar bowl for vanilla sugar. (You can infuse your simple syrup with a variety of flavours like cinnamon sticks, cloves, etc.)
**HINT: Non-Fat Milk will be the easiest to foam. It will however not be as decadent a combination with your coffee. 2% Milk will foam quite easily and is a nice balance between ease of foaming and some fat in the milk making for a creamy and tasty drink.
Whole Milk is going to be the most challenging to create foam with. It will however be some kind of tasty when combined with coffee. The extra fat in the milk makes your latte or cappuccino a special treat. The milk is important, treat yourself.
Jay used an espresso house blend and whole milk to create our drink. We were lucky enough to catch it on video. Check out his technique:
The Rooster Coffee House sells it’s own specialty roast, made to order by the artists at Te Aro (www.te-aro.ca 983 Queen Street East). You can order anything from a standard Americano or choose from their selection of custom blends.
They also offer an assortment of teas from Tealish (www.tealish.com 728 Queen Street West), and delicious sweets from both Jules Patisserie (www.julescafe.ca 617 Mount Pleasant) and Circles and Squares (www.circles-squares.com 3495 14th Avenue, Markham). Their fresh sandwiches come from Loîc (www.loicgourmet.ca 722 Queen Street East)
The Rooster Coffee House is one of the 24 independent coffee shops participating in the Indie Coffee Passport. (www.indiecoffeepassport.com)
The passport is a great way for you to experience Toronto's fantastic independent coffee culture. The concept is super simple. It costs $25, and entitles the owner to one coffee-based drink at each of 24 participating espresso bars. The creators opened the card up to any independent shop south of Bloor Street.
Shawn Andrews is owner of the Rooster. She was sweet enough to answer our few questions:
PROOF: What are your views on Indie Passport vs Disloyalty Card – or does it matter to you at all?
S.A.: I love supporting independent small business and to be honest I really like anything that motivates us to get out and explore other neighborhoods in our city. I was really excited to be apart of the indie passport.
PROOF: Did the programme bring in a lot of new business for you?
S.A.: We have probably stamped 100 cards to date so I think it’s significant. You have to hope that if they had a great experience they will be back and tell a few friends. It’s a great concept.
PROOF: Douglas Coupland did a reading in your store – how did this happen? Will you/do you have lots of these special events? Any special new plans for winter?
S.A.: An editor from Random house is a friend and loyal customer and he asked if we would host an evening with Douglas Coupland. It was a magical night and the first in a series that this editor plans to hold here! We will be doing a lot of things like this in the future. Next is a viewing of an award winning documentary “Vine of the Soul” by Richard Meech. He will be there to do a question and answer after. (Nov 25 & 26 on roostercoffeehouse.com)
PROOF: In which direction do you see the Rooster heading? Do you think that you will ever apply for a liquor license?
S.A.: We have had a lot of people that would love to come and enjoy a drink with friends in the evenings and watch the sunsets over the city.......
PROOF: Will you sell any special holiday gifts? Will you list any seasonal coffees?
S.A.: Yes we will, we will have some wonderful coffees, teas and all the toys that go with it!
PROOF: Any funny stories you would like to share?
S.A.: We have a lot of great stories but to be honest they are best told early in the morning...you will see us and two of our best story tellers under the patio heaters seven mornings a week. Gerald and Robert, (and their two four legged companions) are the most interesting people you will ever meet. Historians that have a circle of regulars around them sharing story after story every morning at the Rooster...i get up early for it!
Thank-you Shawn! It was our absolute pleasure. WE are big BIG fans. :)
Because we cannot all hire Jay for his 24-hour barista services, we will mention a few shops that carry great quality coffee equipment for home purposes.
www.bergo.ca 55 Mill Street (the Distillery District), www.iqliving.com 542 Danforth Avenue, www.thecooksplace.com 501 Danforth Avenue, www.hightechonline.ca 106 Front Street East, www.dinetz.ca 231 King Street East, www.greenbeanery.ca 565 Bloor West, www.faema.ca, www.espressoblu.com 165 Woodbridge Avenue, Woodbridge, www.morala.com 4120 Steeles Avenue, www.peppermill.biz 87 Avenue Road, www.canadiantire.ca, www.kitchenstuffplus.com, www.cayneshousewares.com, www.williams-sonoma.com, www.homeoutfitters.com
And lastly, because we do not believe in drinking on an empty stomach, we leave you with this crisp little cookie recipe to nibble with your Spiked Rooster:
Nonna’s Biscotti (www.epicurious.com)
Gourmet January 2009
By Toni Oltranti
yield: Makes about 42 cookies
active time: 20 min
total time: 2 1/2 hr (includes cooling)
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons proof whisky (we replaced the brandy – Nonna wouldn’t mind)
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole almonds with skin, lightly toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped (optional – can replace with dried fruit or 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger)
3 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Stir together sugar, butter, whisky, and extracts in a large bowl, then stir in almonds and eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined. Chill dough, covered, 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Using moistened hands, halve dough and form 2 (16-by 2-inch) loaves on an ungreased large baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer loaves to a rack and cool 15 minutes.
Cut loaves into 3/4-inch slices with a serrated knife. Arrange biscotti, with a cut side down, on a clean baking sheet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely. Cooks' note: Biscotti improve in flavor if made 1 to 2 days ahead. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature.