The missus and I got married in Jamaica. It was at one of those fancy all-inclusive resorts. The resort was in Ocho Rios, the plane landed in Montego Bay. So we had about a hour drive through Jamaica to get there.
Looking out the window was pretty depressing. Little shacks dotted the roadside with beat up old cars next to them. You could tell those were people’s houses. I saw a little kid dragging a (probably) dead goat down the road by a rope around its neck. Right next to a highway. I’m pretty sure that was dinner for his family.
Kinda depressing, right? Once we reached the comforts of the resort, I forgot all of that. Coming from Ottawa in January, could you blame me? There was a beach in the backyard! Typical of resorts, there was always a big ass buffet on for meals. Presumably, our resort’s buffet was Jamaica-themed, but I have no idea.
One night, after dinner, they had this big pot with a stack of cups beside and a sign that said Jiggy Coffee. No one was around it. I figured, what the hell, and served myself. Then a server came up to the table and asked me what I was doing. She chided me because, apparently, one could burn themselves scooping coffee into a cup. While she was there, I took the opportunity to ask her what was in Jiggy Coffee.
“Coffee, rum and brandy,” she replied.
The reason I asked was that I wanted to recreate it at home. I finally have.
Try the Googles for ‘Jiggy Coffee’ and you won’t get much. Was this a cynical attempt by the resort to get white people to say Jiggy? I don’t think Jamaican people use that word. I’m not even comfortable writing it down.
Try the Googles for Jamaican coffee and you get all kinds of hits for Blue Mountain coffee. This coffee is phenomenal. I’m not one for tasting all that much, but with this coffee you can drink it straight, it’s not very bitter and there is a definite chocolatey aftertaste. Really good stuff.
My point about the coffee is that ingredients make this drink. If you can get good stuff, use the good stuff. In the recipe below, I explicitly list the rum and brandy I used, but I’m pretty sure any rum and brandy will work.
The biggest thing about this coffee was the ratio, which I didn’t get from the server. Too much booze and it’s undrinkable, at least without wincing. Too little and then you might as well just drink coffee by itself. I needed to do some rigourous scientific experimentation, summarized in the table below:
|Eyeball measure the Rum and Brandy||Burns throat, can’t taste anything||I love you, man|
|1 part rum,
1 part brandy,
8 parts coffee
|Strong rum flavour, too strong||A little too boozy|
|1 part rum,
1 part brandy,
10 parts coffee
|There’s the coffee, there’s the rum, no need to wince||Jiggy!|
So there you have it. The magic ratio is 1:1:10. You may want add sugar at 1 tablespoon per 10 ounces of coffee to mellow out the rum.
And when do you serve it? Probably after dinner. Or maybe with Jamaican Patties. If you have to drag a goat down the road for dinner, have it any time you like.
Makes 6 cups
- 5 cups coffee, hot (40 oz)
- 1/2 cup Appleton Estate Rum (4 oz)
- 1/2 cup Wray and Nephew Jamaica Brandy (4 oz)
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
Put all the ingredients in a pourable receptacle, like a coffee pot. Stir.