Obscenely fluffy, deliciously creamy and super simple to make, Dalgona coffee has swiftly become the internet’s isolation drink of choice. If you thought this whipped beverage couldn’t get any better, cocktail specialist Lucy Morton has created a delightfully boozy upgrade in the form of the Courvoisier Dalgona Martini. Here, the spirits and cocktail specialist shares how to make her indulgent creation…
If you’re one of the many people who has adopted an obscure hobby in the throes of lockdown, I applaud you. These are testing times – to put it lightly – and frankly, the world needs all the wholesome, morale-boosting activity it can muster. With that said, you can keep your banana breads and your home-made kombuchas. You don’t know it yet, but what you really, truly need is an adult version of the internet-famous Dalgona coffee recipe – and you need it stat.
Named after the Korean sweet it supposedly resembles, this foamy drink is made by whipping equal proportions of instant coffee powder, sugar, and hot water until it becomes creamy and then adding it to cold or hot milk for an immensely Instagrammable morning treat. Though the trend started in Korea, the drink is also said to closely resemble an Indian beverage known as ‘phenti hui’ or ‘beaten’ coffee, says Morton – the former sees milk poured on top of the whipped mixture (rather than spooning the whipped mixture over the milk).
So, why is the world going mad for whipped coffee? Morton explains: “People are fascinated by trying Dalgona coffee themselves because it’s simple to do, it has ASMR-like qualities when watching videos of it being made, and of course, it’s something to do whilst we’re not allowed out to coffee shops.” Ah, coffee shops. If you’re yearning for that barista latte art, prepare to have all desires well and truly satisfied as you whip up a Dalgona. (Side note: It’s tough work, so ideally you should use a hand blender. Or not, if you need to work on your biceps at the moment.)
Better yet, the recipe pairs especially well with Cognac, as Morton discovered. “Two icons of French culture are coffee and Cognac, with Courvoisier being served at the highest tables since 1889. We’ve made waves across the nation with our Courvoisier Espresso Martini over the years, now felt like the time to elevate it with upcoming trends.” See Morton’s video here.
What is it about the flavour notes found in Cognac – and Courvoisier especially – that works well with the other ingredients? “Cognac, in general, has wonderful tasting notes of dried fruits, very floral aromas and caramel moving into chocolate tones on the palate, all wonderful to pair with coffee,” Morton explains. “Courvoisier VSOP has all of the above, but with heightened aromas of jasmine and toasted almonds, meaning that we add complexity into what is essentially quite a simple drink, without losing any of that lovely raisin and oak flavours within the coffee and milk.”
Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? If you’re not on board by now, there’s simply no pleasing you. For those who are nodding ‘yes’, take note: you can’t make Dalgona coffee using ground coffee, it has to be instant coffee. Apparently it’s entirely responsible for that irresistibly dense and foamy topping, something to do with the drying process of the coffee granules. A surefire blow for the coffee connoisseurs out there, but fret not – once you taste this Courvoisier-spiked Dalgona, you won’t miss the fresh-brewed stuff one bit.
Right, are you ready to get whipping?
50ml Courvoisier VSOP
25ml vanilla syrup*
2 tbsp instant coffee
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp hot water
Whisk the coffee, sugar and water together until light brown in colour and peaks form when you remove the whisk. In a cocktail shaker (or protein shaker, if needed) add the milk, Courvoisier VSOP, and vanilla syrup. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Spoon over Dalgona mixture and top with powdered coffee or chocolate. Instagram with gusto, then sip and savour.
*No vanilla syrup? No worries! Use 12.5 ml vanilla essence and 12.5ml sugar syrup. Alternatively, Morton says either 25ml caramel syrup or 25ml butterscotch syrup work wonderfully too.