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.
After several years as a sales rep for Bock Spirits, where he helped to introduce Hangar One vodka, Jeff Kessinger decided to branch out and produce his own spirit for the first time, as a gift for friends at the holidays. His wife suggested that he try out her family's coffee liqueur recipe, but when Kessinger found out that the brew's backbone was instant coffee, he knew he could do better. So he did what most caffeine-lovers in the Bay Area do when they need a fix: he headed to Blue Bottle.