You can practically see the world from California in just one day. You can start the morning by watching the desert sun rise beyond the cactus silhouettes with campfire breakfast sizzling. You can end it sitting on the edge of a majestic cliff facing a crimson horizon, listening to the water lap along the shoreline. A ski trip to the mountains is also just a day adventure away, and with the right friends, hardly uneventful.
Of course, being a better drinker than I am a skier, by mid-afternoon I would often find myself in the resort lounge with a good friend. On one particularly memorable 2-day journey in the early 90s that involved Cherry Valley sheriffs, breaking into a high school alma mater, and accidentally sideswiping a government vehicle (and this was just on the way to Big Bear) the ski lodge was a welcome reprieve from trouble for me and Cari, my partner-in-crime roommate.
We concocted the perfect winter drink for such occasions and it turned out that the drink was a lodge hit for some warm and fuzzy laughs. We took this recipe home to our favorite sports bar and eventually they were trained to cheerfully serve these up as soon as we arrived. I have since dressed it up for home entertaining.
2 cups really good coffee
Cream & sugar to taste
¼ cup Kahlua
¼ cup vodka
Fresh whipped cream
4 Cinnamon sticks to garnish
Whip the cream and set aside while the coffee is brewing. To the finished brew, add a little cream and sugar as desired. Add the Kahlua and the vodka and vanilla and pour into four festive cups. Serve with a topping of the whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.
Feel free to add additional garnish like chocolate shavings or grated nutmeg to personalize the event. Other ways you can play with this are by using flavored coffees or substituting other liqueurs such as Bailey’s or Tuaca. Serves 4 to start.
Iced Hari Caris
The winters in California are often too sunny for hot drinks in the afternoon and so you can deliver the same yummy buzz on ice. Brew a very strong pot of coffee to compensate for the ice cubes. Once coffee is brewed, add all ingredients except for the whipped cream and cinnamon stick, then pour into a pitcher and chill. Serve over ice and top with the whipped cream and any other garnishments you can think up.