Sunday, September 19, 2010

Firelit Coffee Liqueur

St. George Distillery’s Firelit is truly coffee brandy in the sense that it is a coffee-flavored, brandy-based liqueur, and a fairly dry one at that. There are no vanilla or cacao notes. Sampled side by side with Kahlúa, it’s clear that Firelit would be strange in a White Russian. Simply put, it tastes like brewed coffee—at first, anyway. It’s got the strong vegetal note of a plain black iced coffee but with the warmth of brandy under it. This liqueur has obvious applications in after dinner drinks and tropical fantasy items like Mr. Bali Hai, but it also makes me think of the all-too-neglected category of Brunch Cocktails for Serious Drinkers. Yeah, let’s have some gin with that French toast.

All Lit Up

  • 2 oz Junípero gin
  • 1 oz medium sherry
  • 1/4 oz Firelit
  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Lemon twist.

Good any time of day except maybe before dinner. Coffee before dinner just seems weird. Hm—during dinner?

Mr. Bali Hai

  • 1 1/2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz sugar syrup
  • 3/4 oz coffee brandy
  • 1 1/2 oz light Puerto Rican rum
  • 1 oz dark Jamaican rum
Shake with crushed ice. Pour into a Mr. Bali Hai mug. Or if you’re like me and pathetic enough not to have the desired mug, a large snifter or something will be fine.

While I still prefer Kahlúa in my cocoa, Firelit is more successful for Mr. Bali Hai. I tried the updated instructions in Beachbum Berry Remixed, and the drier quality of the Firelit is exactly right. It also works a little better visually with this recipe.


  1. Mr. Bali Hai: freaking legit.

    This stuff sounds awesome.

    Is this the same St. George's that started with the absinthe product? Those guys don't play around.

  2. I realize I should’ve linked to it, so I went back and fixed it. They’re also Hangar One though I realize the absinthe is probably of greater interest to you and a number of other folks I know.

    Like the absinthe, Firelit is a little pricey.


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