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A Gift for the Drinkie: Firelit Coffee Liqueur

I got a chance the other day to sit down with the Jeff Kessinger, the man behind Firelit Coffee Liqueur ($45), an excellent spirit which is now on its second batch. It was made with the help of St. George Spirits. "I came up with a basic recipe," said Kessinger. "And they helped me trick it out."

Batch No. 2, which was recently released, was made with Blue Bottle's Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans. We did a little tasting about 4 pm on a Tuesday, a perfect workday pick-me-up of sorts. Just don't tell your boss.

Although much has been written about this delicious concoction—like dangerously delicious—Kessinger has since decided that he's not going to always use Blue Bottle beans. He's going to rotate from roaster to roaster. Next up is Ritual Roasters and then Weavers Coffee, based in San Rafael.

Only six percent of Firelit is sugar—much less than Kahlua's 25 percent—and there's plenty of caffeine from the cold-brewed coffee it's made with, which balances the brandy in it quite nicely. You get your uppers and downers all at once.

Although it's great by itself, I brought it home, warmed it and topped it with a little whipped cream for a after-dinner treat. For something a bit more serious, try Firelit mixed with Guinness.

2 oz Firelit Coffee Liqueur
16 oz Guinness

Build a pint of Guinness.
Pour Firelit down the middle of the head.

Firelit is available at K&L.