Introduction: Scotch Affogato Recipe

About: I used to work for, now I just make stuff. // follow me to see what I'm up to:

Traditionally, an affogato (meaning "drowned" in Italian) is a coffee and ice cream dessert that is made by pouring an espresso shot over a scoop of ice cream or gelato.

Adding liquor to this dessert is not unheard of, but most often people combine coffee and Frangelico, or some kind of amaretto, to pour over their ice cream. While those are delicious options, I was hoping I could discover a recipe with a little more punch (and a higher ABV, if you know what I mean).

For this boozy affogato, we'll be using the Glen Grant Scotch Whisky - decidedly, a creamy and dry scotch, and great for spiking this ice cream and coffee dessert.

Step 1: Ingredients

For this recipe we used:

Step 2: Determining Flavor Ratios

When dreaming up with cocktail recipe combinations, it can be easy to get, well, drunk. To avoid getting too turned up while working out drink recipes, I sought out ways I could measure out a small amount of liquid into tasting portions.

Duh, Pipettes! Some disposable plastic pipettes have markings down their cylinders that indicate how large or small of a volume of liquid you are dispensing and work perfectly for this kind of 'research'.

I have learned that working with pipettes is a great way to get a close guess at a spirit and mixer ratio that is palatable. Taking notes of findings can help dream up other delicious cocktails in the future too.

I filled one pipette with the Glen Grant and the other pipette with a small amount of coffee. I established 20 drops of coffee would be enough to mix with a small amount of scotch in each taste test to see what the right ratio would be.

I tested with 5 drops, 10 drops, and 15 drops of scotch - each combined with 20 drops of coffee. This was about a teaspoon of liquid at a time

With 5 drops of scotch, the flavor didn't really overpower the coffee. I don't know about you, but if I am going to have a drink - I want to be able to tell that it's got a bit of a boozy finish.

With 10 drops of scotch, the flavor profile was beautifully balanced - the nuttiness of the scotch with the fruitiness of the coffee was quite lovely - but decidedly not boozy enough to be paired with an ice cream. (Note made for the future, 2:1 coffee:scotch = NOM!)

With 15 drops of scotch, the scotch hit you first, but the coffee came in for a sweet finish. On its own, it is a bit bossy of a drink - the coffee almost seems frivolous, but pairing those nutty & apply sweet flavors from the scotch and coffee, then pairing it with a well-tamed vanilla ice cream could create a robust and rich flavor profile.

Step 3: Mix Scotch and Coffee

With a 1 oz/.5 oz jigger, I measured out 4 oz of coffee, and 3 oz of Glen Grant, mixing them in a metal cocktail mixer with a barspoon.

This amount and ratio will get 4 scoops of ice cream drunk, and serve 4 people.

Step 4: Scoop Scoops

I wanted to test this recipe with a few different kinds of ice cream, so I purchased some Vanilla and Coffee ice creams for this affogato.

Each bowl gets one hearty scoop.


A bit of back story: Working in a city like San Francisco, we are lucky to have such great sweets vendors so close to Instructables HQ. I walked to the SF Ferry Building to Humphry Slocombe so I could talk to the shop attendants about their flavors.

When I told them what I was working on, they were really curious about the flavors I was building - and they let me taste a few different kinds of ice cream and talked me through the ice cream's flavor profiles. I was secretly hoping they would have a Mexican chocolate ice cream, that I could add some Espolon Reposado to, but they didn't have it this time of year. Stay tuned for another possible i'ble...

Having tried a few different kinds of ice cream, I selected Vietnamese Coffee and Tahitian Vanilla and walked back to the lab to start drinking begin assembling these desserts.

Step 5: Drown That Scoop

We poured our scotch and coffee mixture over the ice cream one ounce at a time with the jigger, divvying up the quantity as equally as we could.

It should be noted that as we did this, the most sensational sweet smell filled the kitchen. The aromatics of the scotch really opened up.

Step 6: Variations

Some affogato recipes call for shaved chocolate on top, I found a chocolate bar with toffee chunks in it that seemed like it would pair well with our affogato, then grated it over the ice cream with a peeler.

It was good, but it almost doesn't need it - if you are a serious chocolate lover, then I would say it is perfect for you, but the flavor of the coffee, ice cream, and scotch was pretty much perfect on its own.


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