The White Canadian

Big Lebowski fan here. It had been a few years since I’d watched it and so I snapped it up when I saw it on the shelf at the library a couple of weeks ago. (Seemed like an odd match for the library, but who am I to question these things?). And to stay thematic and all of that, I love to sip a White Russian (or two) while I watch. However. I was out of coffee liqueur. What’s a duder to do?

Now, before I get to the bev recipe here, let me pause to share the sub-recipe for coffee maple syrup as well as the story behind it.

So, my fridge often looks like a mad scientist’s lab—jars full of iced teas, cold coffee, leftover miscellaneous, various liquids steeping and awaiting a culinary experiment–all often lacking labels, because I’ll remember, right? And, in the springtime, often a mason jar of maple syrup. Such was the case one fateful day when I made The Best Mistake Ever and I poured some leftover coffee in a jar containing not more coffee, but pure maple syrup, about a cupful.

Here’s what I posted on Facebook after the incident:


“This is the single greatest culinary mistake I’ve ever made and you should try it:
1. Accidentally combine 1 part maple syrup with about 2-3 parts brewed coffee.
2. Curse the loss of maple syrup!!
3. Stop and think….
4. Simmer the stuff for a couple hours until reduced by half or a little more.
5. Super yummy coffee maple syrup to pour over everything. ”

It’s seriously awesome stuff. Really, I can’t think of much of anything that wouldn’t be better with the addition of this amazing concoction. Make it.

I have made it a couple of times since the accidental batch and I would recommend condensing down the coffee a bit before adding the syrup. This gets rid of some of the water and intensifies the coffee flavor.

What I do is boil the coffee till reduced by about a third (this is a great use for that old nasty coffee that’s been sitting on the hotplate for 2 hours) and then add about half the volume of maple syrup (so, that’s about a 2:1 coffee:syrup ratio, but definitely adjust to your tastes).
Heat the mix through till it thickens very slightly, but not too much or it will be sludgy when it cools. Cool it down, store it in the fridge, and pour it over and in everything.

Ok, to the cocktail!

Since I was lacking coffee liqueur but had a plentiful supply of coffee maple syrup, so was born the White Canadian:

Whole milk (or half-and-half or cream)
Coffee maple syrup

I didn’t measure anything out because it’s all what you’re in the mood for regarding sweetness, creaminess, booziness… Just stir it up–no frills here.

Abide, eh?


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