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beatnik breakfast > bait and switch > café au laine >
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Samhain 2010

Dicey Garber (photo)

Beatnik Breakfast

This was Zabet's dream way back when, but she didn't have time/energy to make it, so I did. It's meant to taste like coffee and cigarettes and it does—but in a good way.

by Dicey Garber

Suggested Reading

Howl by Allen Ginsberg
Zabet's Note: I swear we've had this in the works for a while now and she chose this poem long before we knew there was a movie about Ginsberg coming out!


Click here for definitions of difficulty levels.


Sorry, no downloadable recipe PDFs for this issue.


U.S. Metric Ingredient
1 vanilla bean
8 whole allspice berries
20 whole cloves
2/3 c 317 ml dark roasted coffee beans, ground for espresso
2 c 475 ml vodka
2 c 400 g sugar
2 c 475 ml water

You Will Also Need

  • One 1 quart/1 liter jar with a tight-fitting lid
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Either a fine mesh strainer, some cheesecloth, or just a funnel with a coffee filter in it

Chef's Notes

I used a 1 quart mason jar that had markings on the side, which made measurements a snap. It also made adding the simple syrup in a 1:1 ratio easier, because 2 cups of coffee cordial plus 2 cups of simple syrup equals a quart of liquid.

If at any point it starts looking moldy, dump it out and try again, and this time make sure everything is clean when you start!

Serving Suggestion:
I like it best mixed with milk, on the rocks, like the Dude.

The AntiCraft assumes any well stocked kitchen to have certain things on hand. (Click for our basic kitchen items list)

Makes a small bottle of cordial, depending on how much simple syrup is added.


Put the cloves and allspice in your mortar and give them some good whacks with the pestle. Don't bother grinding them fine, just break them up some to help release the flavors. Cut the vanilla bean in half along its long edge to expose its inner goodness to the vodka. You may also want to cut it into shorter pieces so that it is entirely submerged.

Put the vanilla bean, allspice, cloves, and coffee grounds in a clean jar and add the vodka. Seal up the jar and put it in the closet. Mark your calendar so you know when you started. Better yet, write the date on the jar!

Every day or two, open the closet and give the jar a good shake.

After two months, strain the tarry brown liquid into another container. Rinse out the jar to get any remaining solids out, then put your liquid back in.

Now make the simple syrup. Stir the water and sugar together in a pot over medium heat, until the mixture comes to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and continue to cook and stir the syrup for a minute or two, just long enough to make sure the sugar is all dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.

When the syrup is cooled, add it to the coffee-vodka liquid to taste. I like a 1:1 ratio but many people prefer it less sweet, so try adding only 1/4 c/119 ml of syrup at a time.


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