I could hear it coming, rustling softly through the coffee trees, stirring the monkeypods, and sighing through the sugar cane.
From the start I knew that one of my Hawaiian cocktails was going feature coffee, and it didn’t take long to settle on the other components, all classic Hawaiian flavours that pair well with java: dark rum, macadamia nut, and orange.
Kona is a city and region on the western, leeward side of the big island. For many it has the perfect weather: warm days, cool nights, infrequent rains, and a nearly constant, gentle breeze. There is a lengthy description of Kona’s balmy weather at the beginning of one of Jack London’s short stories, The Sheriff of Kona. The characters talk specifically about that breeze: ‘”You see, the land radiates its heat quicker than the sea, and so, at night, the land breathes over the sea. In the day the land becomes warmer than the sea, and the sea breathes over the land… Listen! Here comes the land breath now, the mountain wind.'”
Kona is the oldest and largest coffee region of Hawaii, and the first place that macadamia nuts and Valencia oranges were planted on the archipelago, so Kona Breeze seemed like a natural name for this drink.
- 1 oz Koloa dark rum (or other high quality dark rum)
- 1 oz very strong coffee (recipe below)
- 1/2 oz Trader Vic’s macadamia nut liqueur
- 1/2 oz Cointreau
- orange blossom water (or orange peel)
- Dry build, adding rum, coffee, macadamia nut liqueur, and Cointreau to mixing glass. Fill glass half full of ice. Stir rapidly until drink is very cold, roughly 30 seconds.
- Fill double old-fashioned drinking glass with ice. Pour chilled drink over top, straining through a julep strainer.
- Swab a very small amount, roughly one drop, of orange blossom water around the rim of the glass. Orange blossom water is very potent, and too much will easily overpower the aromas of the coffee and nut liqueur. If you don’t have orange blossom water you could twist some orange peel over the drink. This is agreeable, though nothing like the aroma of orange blossom.
Very Strong Coffee for Kona Breeze
My first instinct was to make this drink with Kona coffee, but while I don’t mind drinking it when on vacation in Hawaii, Kona is not my favourite brew. I prefer “third wave” light roasts that are fruity and juicy, like those made by Stumptown, Bows and Arrows, and Timbertrain. I have not encountered a roaster that does this type of treatment to a Kona-grown coffee.
- 500 mL cold water
- 45 g ground coffee
- Bring water to a boil.
- Weigh out coffee into a French press.
- Pour boiling water over coffee such that all the grounds are hydrated.
- After about 15 seconds all the grounds will have risen to the top to form a kind of raft. Use a spoon to stir this raft back into the water.
- Put the lid on the French press and depress the plunge so that is it just, just below the liquid level. Set a timer for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes, fully depress the plunger and pour off the coffee into a glass jar. Leave uncovered in the fridge until chilled. Close tightly with lid.
Then it came, the first feel of the mountain wind, faintly balmy, fragrant and spicy, and cool, deliciously cool, a silken coolness, a wine-like coolness – cool as only the mountain wind of Kona can be cool.
-from The Sheriff of Kona by Jack London