Strega Is The Spicy Italian Digestif To Spruce Up Your Coffee

While many of us are used to enjoying the same cuppa day after day, there is something to be said for taking a new approach and enjoying coffee after dinner. And if you are into strong, dark coffee, like a good French or Italian roast, or even a spoon-standing espresso, listen up. There is an Italian after-dinner drink, the digestif, you should know about if you're looking to bring a spicy zing to your evening coffee.

While limoncello may be the most widely known and popular Italian digestif, Strega stands out as an equally flavorful, spicy, and yellow liqueur. Comprising of no less than 70 different botanicals, Strega is a strong, alcoholic concoction so vibrantly yellow that no one could call anything short of mesmerizing. Without going through the entire list, some of the spices and herbs at play in Strega are peppermint, juniper, cinnamon, star anise, and saffron.

Because Strega presents the drinker with such a strong, herbal flavor, you are going to need a strong coffee to pair with it. Hence why you need a darker roast, as these tend to be far heavier and more richly flavored coffees. They have a thicker mouthfeel and tend to have more toasted and smokey notes. Paired together, Strega and coffee make for a highly flavorful drink that is excellent for consuming after dinner.

Adding Strega to your coffee

Think of this as the Italian version of an Irish coffee. Swap out the Jameson for Strega, nix the sugar, and you're good to go. You'll want to stick with a ratio of 1 ounce of Strega per 5 ounces of coffee. Strega is so potent and powerful that it is going to make an impact in your coffee, even with such a small dose. Besides, you're not looking to overly spice up your coffee. One ounce offers just enough spice to pair nicely with the coffee without being too overpowering. You can always add another ounce or two of coffee if the Strega ends up being too strong for you.

You could top this coffee cocktail with some whipped cream and nutmeg to really make it more like an Irish coffee, but this is not required. Anyway, it's not typically common to add dairy to coffee after dinner in Italy. 

If you're looking for the full effect of the coffee and Strega paired together, there is no need to dilute it with further garnishes. And if you want to get really native, just add a good splash to espresso the same way they do with Sambuca. Enjoying the combination as it is will give you the most appreciation for both ingredients and the flavors involved.