What is a pousse-cafe?

pousse_cafe

From Jerry Thomas’ 1862 book, How to Mix Drinks

Popularized in the mid-1800s, a poussé cafe is a multicolored, layered drink taken as a coffee chaser. In French, poussé literally means “to push,” as in, to push down the coffee. The differing specific gravities of each liqueur keeps the layers separate, though you have to be careful to pour slowly over the back of a spoon to achieve the Missoni-like layered look. At some point, these concoctions must have been popular.

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Cocktail of the Moment: The Last Word

A sublimely addictive lime-cherry elixir (Photo credit: Poul Lange)

A sublimely addictive lime-cherry elixir (Photo credit: Poul Lange)

The cocktail that most surprised me while researching Storied Sips was an awful-sounding concoction that involved equal parts of four ingredients. I liked the symmetry of the recipe, but was sure this recipe was headed for disaster. After a promising start of gin and lime juice was listed two typically overpowering ingredients—the herbal, bitter liqueur Chartreuse, and maraschino, a vivid cherry liqueur. The formula sounded like a muddled mess.

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