Once upon a time on the little island called Nordstrand in the North Sea someday in the 19th century… A festivity took place, the occasion had been a christening. A peasant called Peter Johannsen had become father for the umpteenth time (historians say it might be the sixth or the seventh?) and he had been eager to celebrate this fortunate event properly. Unfortunately the reverend of his church had banned any alcohol, even more he took the pledge. The peasant came up with a brilliant way to hide the booze in plain sight, actually to be accurate in front of the reverend. First off, I’d like to mention that times had been tough. Life wasn’t all beer and skittles near the North Sea back then and especially on this island due to tough weather and severe storms. The islander had been inventive with creating hot beverages that warm up body and soul: tea with a lacing of rum or caraway seed schnaps, Grog (hot water and rum), Tote Tante or Lumumba (hot chocolate with rum). You name it… they put booze in it…
Back to our little christening, the coffee had been spiked with rum and topped with whipped cream floating at the top to prevent the alcohol from evaporating and suspicious smelling. I have to give them credit for creativity! This goes without saying the reverend had been served just regular coffee with cream. Everything went well until (it was bound to happen) the laced coffee had been accidentally served to the reverend, who stood up in rage and yelled: “Oh ihr Pharisäer” He called them all hypocrites, according to the bible: Pharisee. This is the story how the “national drink” of the Frisian in the North Sea had been named.
Fun fact: we Germans might be a little particular with having the Reinheitsgebot for beer and there is also a law for the Pharisäer which says 2 cl is not enough, there has to be 4 cl. So please don’t be a criminal, use enough booze. Also it’s still tradition not to stir the (hot) Pharisäer, you have to drink it through the cream.
Here in Atlanta we enjoy beautiful summery days and it’s just not the right weather for hot beverages, so we simply switch: cold Pharisäer for warm days. I like to serve this as a dessert or afternoon treat, after Sunday supper sitting on the porch sipping ice cold Pharisäer.
- about 200 ml / 6.8 oz. strong coffee, ice cold
- 4 cl. / 2 ½ Tbsp. / 1.35 oz. Rum or bourbon whiskey
- as much vanilla ice cream as you like
- Prepare your coffee a little stronger when usually, let cool.
- Mix everything in a tall glass and enjoy.
- I like to add half of the ice cream and stir well to create a creamy and sweat iced coffee, and then add the the other half to let it float on top.