Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Alhambra Royale

Alhambra is a Moorish palace in Spain, which is a fitting name for this hot chocolate drink. It has flaming cognac added to it. When you make an Alhambra Royale you feel like an alchemist making alcohol in the middle ages. It looks magical.

The flaming cognac is mostly for show. It doesn't add flavor. But the addition to the orange peel produces this orange cognac effect similar to Grand Marnier. The heat really gets the orange oils out of the peel. 

I had to learn how to flame cognac for this drink. Initially I thought the 40 percent spirit wouldn't burn, but you have to warm it to cause evaporation first. Burning evaporating alcohol produces a ghostly blue flame that only appears in a dark setting. Observe the photos below: 

Igniting the cognac warmed over hot water in a ladle. Pouring the dark blue flaming liquid into the hot chocolate mix.

  • 1 1/2 oz. cognac
  • 1 cup hot chocolate
  • wide sliced orange peel
  • whipped cream
Fill a mug mostly full of hot chocolate and twist the orange peel and drop it in. Warm cognac in a ladle over hot water (not quite boiling). Ignite the cognac and allow it to burn several seconds before pouring it into the hot chocolate. Take care while pouring that the fire is extinguished while mixing the liquids, which may require stirring. Garnish with whipped cream. 

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