Below are the finest 900-ish words ever written about mixing airplane bottles of alcohol with Anodyne Coffee Roasting’s Milwaukee Record Blend—which can be found at each of the Milwaukee-based coffee company’s cafe locations and is available for purchase online!—and some accompanying photos.
The handsome packaging on this fine locally roasted product promotes North and South American bean origins, conventional certifications, a little bit darker than medium roast, a net weight of 12 ounces, and tasting notes of dark chocolate, caramel, almond, and mild sarcasm. Using all the tools and research capabilities at my disposal (a mug with hot coffee in it), I can only speak to and confirm the tasting notes and roast…which do check out.
Hints of chocolate and almond are present, with the sarcasm being a little more medium than mild in this reviewer’s opinion. It is entirely possible and likely a bit of cream and/or sugar would enhance said flavors and bring out the promised caramel notes as well. Overall, this is a very approachable, drinkable, tasty, and balanced coffee that can fulfill all your coffee needs. So let’s dump some booze in it!
The following tastings are all performed with one sip less than 50ml of a packaged alcohol product in 8 ounces of Anodyne’s Milwaukee Record Blend, served in a 100% official Milwaukee Record coffee mug…not a Golden Girls mug purchased from American Science & Surplus. Results will be professed in the cherished upper Midwest vernacular habit of using negatives to describe positives. All combos have the chance at the following ratings in order of quality: Not Bad At All, Not Too Bad, Not Too Good, Not Good, and Yeah…No.
Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine – Banana Pudding Cream Moonshine
The Booze: Taking a small sip of this ‘nana-shine right out the ‘lil jar was actually rather enjoyable. The banana and cream flavor is quite predominant, without tasting too much like the candy-flavored version of the real thing. At 17.5% ABV (35 proof), there is a little alcohol burn on the back end, but it’s very slamable overall. I think this could even get the Southern Culture On The Skids stamp of approval.
In Coffee: The mug begins with the enticing aroma of roasted and caramelized bananas, with a first sip tasting of muted banana, coffee, and predominant sweet cream. The sugar and cream in the ‘nana-shine really mellows the coffee into an easy to sip tipple that does drink just a touch thin with a slight hint of banana Runts. Banana becomes more apparent the more you drink (maybe I should have stirred it?), with a clear “more than just coffee” aroma for anyone in the vicinity to ponder about…but certainly not guess correctly what is mixed in.
Overall: Not Too Bad. A little more cream or sugar might have helped the balance. However, the combo certainly doesn’t get better as you drink it. All said and done, it is easier than making boozy banana pudding to eat with your morning cup of Joe.
Jim Beam Honey – Real Honey Liqueur Infused with Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
The Booze: This was not meant to be sipped. This is definitely something designed to be consumed in one big ‘ol gulp, probably much colder than room temp, or mixed. It drinks very sugary with some vague-to-medium vague bourbon flavor on the back end. The “honey” certainty was not chosen for its quality, nuanced flavors or any sort of interesting blossom origins. Let’s hope it does mix well with others.
In Coffee: It does! The mix drinks very much like the unaltered coffee, but with subtle enhancements. The Beam Honey brings just enough sugar to bolster the body of the coffee without reaching the point of cloying. Along with enhancing the chocolate, almond, and caramel notes in the black coffee, vanilla and oak become present in very agreeable amounts.
Overall: Not Bad At All. With a little more effort, a higher quality and more decadent coffee/honey/whiskey combo could be produced with blossom-specific honey and a more refined and well-aged bourbon. But for 99 cents, the Beam Honey does a damn fine job making a tasty mug of coffee into an equally tasty low-budget tipple.
Grand Marnier Liqueur – Made with Cognac and Orange Liqueur
The Booze: Boozy and orange-y. At 40% ABV, a small sip of “Grand Ma” announces itself quite loudly as much more than just an orange liqueur in an airplane bottle. The rich blend of aged brandy and orange more than establishes it as a standalone sipper, but can also add a bit of luxury to any cocktail calling for an orange liqueur such as a Sidecar or its Mexican cousin, the Margarita. One can only assume this will be quite good in coffee.
In Coffee: And it is…but drinks more like coffee was added to the Grand Marnier than the other way around. Unlike the Beam Honey adding subtleness and enhancing existing flavors, the Grand Marnier has taken over the entire show with coffee playing a supporting role, albeit quite well. The resulting mix-em-up has tamed any bite from the alcohol content while preserving an aged spirit base to prop up a lovely mix of orange, cocoa, and vanilla goodness.
Overall: Not Too Bad. I dare say this drinks a wee bit more like a weak unbalanced warm cocktail than a cup of boozy coffee. That’s neither a good or bad thing in and of itself, but in seeking out what works best in a dump and sip scenario, this just isn’t quite right. I would welcome everyone to explore the fabulous combination of orange and coffee, but perhaps not in this exact combination.