Mexican Coffee {Mexico}

Mexican Coffee -

Our family celebrated Thanksgiving this year in the most incredible way. If you follow a farmgirl’s dabbles on Instagram, you’ll know that we were in warm and sunny Mexico. And if you know me at all, you’ve learned how I love to come away from any experience with a memorable recipe or two to make at home. It’s such a fun way to revisit a vacation or special event, and always brings about great conversations and reminiscing in our kitchen. This Mexican Coffee, so unassumingly included on a dessert menu at our resort, proved to be the perfect grand finale to a wonderful meal our first evening in Mexico. I knew this had to be replicated back home!

Mexico -

My entire family – to include my parents, plus both sisters and their husbands and kids…15 people total – blocked a week off on our calendars to fly south for a vacation together. It’s the first time we’ve ever done something of this magnitude. And I think I can speak for all of us, that if we found a few extra coins hiding in the couch cushions, we’d pack our bags today to do it all over again!

Mexico -

We flew from Minnesota to Cancun, and then our family filled a small bus and rode about an hour south to our Mexican Riviera Maya home, Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort. This was my first total beach vacation in a tropical location. I’ll readily admit that I’ve always been a beach vacation naysayer, although I’ve always loved spending time at the lakes in beautiful northern Minnesota and camping at South Dakota State Park lakes. But when I think about planning a vacation outside of the Midwest, it’s rarely about spending a week at the beach. I love to go new places, to explore, and to basically go, go, go all the while I’m away, taking in as much as I can of each new area. So I’ve always viewed a week at the beach as (sadly) a waste of time and money.

I was only about 12 hours into sand-between-my-toes and swimsuit-is-my-only-daytime-attire before I realized how wrong I’ve been all these years.

I’m convinced. There’s simply no denying how beneficial a tropical beach vacation is. The big blue skies, filled with warm and embracing sunshine, plus the sparkling Caribbean Sea and its silky soft sand…it’s the very best relaxation therapy for both mind and body, and such a wonderful way to get out of our daily grind and reconnect with beloved family.

Mexico -

From the moment we arrived at Puerto Aventuras Resort, it was evident that delicious beverages were going to play a big part in our vacation. I joke that we were all on liquid diets while we were there. Just steps off the bus, we were greeted with flutes of sparkly fruity drinks (top row, left) and champagne. And then, from morning until night, a beverage routine was formed that followed us through the week. Our family ordered room service after rising each morning, always with fresh pineapple juice and coffee (middle row, left). And then we ventured to the poolside cafe for plates of sweet fresh fruit and omelets made to order, accompanied by more coffee, fresh fruit smoothies made to order, and possibly a mimosa or Bloody Mary. During the morning hours there was a smoothie bar next to the pool that all of us grew quite fond of (lower row, right). And throughout the day, the resort’s amazing little Coco Cafe kept all the adults happily caffeinated with specialty coffees, both hot and cold (lower row, left).

Mexico -

The poolside/swim-up bar was a fascination for us all. Shortly after noon one day, I asked my youngest niece how many Pink Panthers (basically a virgin piña colada with strawberry syrup added) she had drunk so far that day. She rolled her eyes skyward, counting in her head, and then cheerfully replied, “Six!!” 

Mexico -

Drinking a tequila sunrise with my sisters, over the crashing waves at the barefoot beach bar…it’s a memory I’ll always cherish, a stolen moment away from the high energy afternoon pool time.

Mexico -

And here, at El Patio, is where the magic of the Mexican Coffee took place. One of five restaurants open for dinner in the evenings, El Patio served up delicious Mexican cuisine. It was located just steps from the crashing waves (top row, left) and included its own tequila bar (bottom row, right). I enjoyed a most tender and delicious chicken mole under that fabulous thatched roof (top row, right), and am thinking I’ll need to experiment with making mole at home now, too!

Mexico -

When we were looking at dessert options at the end of our meal at El Patio, it never occurred to me to try the “Mexican coffee”. But then my husband questioned our waiter about it. He told Blake, “You will like…very hot.” Blake doesn’t give out his trust for free, but there must have been something about the guy’s simple assurance that struck a chord. Both Blake and my brother-in-law ordered a Mexican coffee. And within a few minutes, a large cart draped with a colorful striped Mexican cloth was rolled up next to our table. Torches were lit and glasses were prepared. We were in for a show!

It’s hard to tell the story with the few dimly lit photos I have here, but believe me when I say the whole restaurant was turned in the direction of our table, all of us being thrilled together. Tequila, Kahlúa, and star anise liqueur were heated to flaming and then poured back and forth between hot metal vessels, flowing streaks of electric blue in our table side magic show. This went on for quite some time. There were “ooooohhhh’s” and there were “aaaaahhhh’s”. And then the alcohols afire were poured into stemmed glasses of strong coffee topped with whipped cream. That’s where the “very hot” comes into play! A stemmed cherry was left to sit in a spoon of flaming alcohol over each glass, and then the coffees were served. Everyone was entertained by the coffee antics, but the Mexican Coffee itself was especially lovely. The waiter was right. It was hot. And Blake did like it.
Mexican Coffee -

If you ever visit Mexico and see an unassuming listing of “Mexican Coffee” on the restaurant’s dessert menu, don’t take it lightly. Just order it. It’s definitely delicious, and quite entertaining. Or…if you simply can’t wait, try my version. It doesn’t come with a flaming side show, but it is still pretty darn tasty.

(For more on our visit to Mexico, read here and here!)

Mexican Coffee

Yield: 1 serving


  • 1 fresh lime wedge
  • sugar
  • 1 oz. tequila
  • 1/2 oz. Kahlúa coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. star anise liqueur
  • 1 c. hot strong brewed coffee
  • freshly whipped sweet cream
  • maraschino cherry with stem


Moisten the rim of a wine glass with the lime wedge. Pour a bit of sugar onto a small saucer and then gently press the rim of the wine glass into the sugar to create a sugared rim. Add tequila, Kahlúa, and star anise liqueur to the glass, then pour in the coffee. Top with a couple big spoons of whipped cream and a cherry. Enjoy immediately.

From a farmgirl's dabbles. Inspired by the Mexican Coffee served at El Patio at Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico.


41 Responses to “Mexican Coffee {Mexico}”

  1. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — December 30, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Oh I loved following your photos on IG but this is even better!!! It’s 14 degrees outside and I don’t think we’ll be heading on vacation with a newborn and a toddler anytime soon so this was just what I needed for a mental escape! :)

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      I think I’ll be revisiting this post often for my own escape. Wowzers, it’s cold! Happiest New Year to you, Liz. Stay warm and take care! xo

  2. #
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — December 30, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Ummmmm… hello yumminess! Looks like the most wonderful trip. One of my favorite family vacations was to Merida… so much fun.

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Everything about that trip was wonderful. Happiest New Year to you, Brian!

  3. #
    Melanie @ Carmel Moments — December 30, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Looks like you had an amazing trip! Love the drinks poolside…so fun.
    Mexican coffee sounds like a delish drink. I must try soon!

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      So nice to hear from you, Melanie. If you give this a try, please let me know what you think. Happy New Year to you!

  4. #
    Mom — December 30, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Wonderful post, Brenda! On this bitterly cold morning it is so good
    to inhale the photos from Mexico. Our family was so blessed to be able to vacation together. It was SO fun!

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Thanks, Mom. It was such a wonderful special time. SO blessed. xo

  5. #
    Kate — December 30, 2013 at 8:40 am

    My family did a beach vacation in the mid 90’s and we had so many similar experiences. I was fondly thinking of them while reading of your adventure. It all sounds soothing, delicious, and warm.

    I’ve made a few batches of mole and strongly encourage you to play around with that amazing sauce. It’s a lot of ingredients but your finished result is stupendous, and well worth the effort.

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      I’ve tried mole a few times at restaurants before, but was never very impressed. This, however, was amazing. Rich and deep and smoky, with a touch of both heat and sweet. If you have a favorite recipe, I’d love for you to share with me. Happiest New Year to you, Kate! xo

  6. #
    Katie — December 30, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Yay! My parents have a time share in Mazatlan Mexico and I was in 2nd grade the first time we went. We definitely have a love of beach vacations. Now that I’m an adult also we still go occasionally, and one of our favorite restaurants serves coffee like this, but at that place the liquor you choose changes the name, spanish coffee is frangelico, irish coffee is whiskey, its all delicious though!

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Ooooo…love the sound of that, too, with the different liqueurs! We had NO IDEA what we were in for. It was so much fun! Happy New Year, Katie!

  7. #
    cheryl — December 30, 2013 at 9:26 am


    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Close your eyes. Can you hear the waves? Can you taste the salty rim of that margarita glass? Ohhhhh…to be back there right now, when it is so very frigid here. Heaven.

  8. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — December 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Nice! Would you kindly adopt me into your family so I can participate in such events?

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Sommer Score. Has a nice ring, don’t you think?! (We actually have a niece named Sommer Score!)

  9. #
    Wendy — December 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Same thing I was thinking Sommer! Please adopt me! Great pictures and diary of your vacation. You’ve made us all envious as we experience an arctic blast from the north. My husband and I are planning a vacation like this for next year.

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Next year? Yay, that’s awesome! If you have any questions about this specific resort, just let me know. Happiest New Year to you, Wendy!

  10. #
    Julie Marques — December 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Loved your post – my husband and I stayed at that same resort back in March of this year! We also enjoyed the same Mexican coffee twice! What a great show! Our fave place to eat was in El Patio. Very romantic and gorgeous setting!

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      I think El Patio was our favorite, too. I also liked lunch at the Seaside Grill, finished off with a big scoop of coconut ice cream. So fun to hear from someone else who stayed there! Happy New Year to you!

  11. #
    Judy — December 30, 2013 at 11:19 am

    This sounds yummy!

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      It is! ;) Happy New Year, Judy!

  12. #
    Lisa @ Garnish with Lemon — December 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    What a heavenly way to spend Thanksgiving! I absolutely love that part of Mexico. SO wishing I was somewhere like that today when it’s so cold here :) Happy New Year!

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Oh. My. Goodness. If we could only be there RIGHT. NOW. Geez, it’s cold!! Happy New Year – stay warm!! :)

  13. #
    Paula — December 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Your family trip sounded magical! I’d never be able to make a Mexican coffee the way your waiter did, quite a talent. Love that you made your own at home and shared it with us. Best wishes to you and your family throughout 2014.

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      I really wanted to light up the liqueurs at home, but thought I might be pushing it in my own kitchen!! :) Happiest New Year wishes to you, Paula! xo

  14. #
    Nicole Lindstrom| Simply Happenstance — December 30, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    This Mexican Coffee sounds amazing! I am sure the Mexico trip was truly inspiring. Love all of your fun family pictures. What a lovely way to spend Thanksgiving. Cheers to 2014!

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      Lovely to hear from you, Nicole. Happy New Year to you!

  15. #
    Miss — December 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    What an amazing trip and so wonderful to share it with your whole family. I am such a coffee fanatic and I need one of these very soon. Happy New Year!

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      It really was an amazing place and time. Do make yourself one of these wonderful coffees. Here’s to 2014!

  16. #
    Layla @ Brunch Time Baker — December 31, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Never tried Mexican coffee before. It looks fantastic! Have a Happy New Year!

    • Brenda replied on December 31st, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      It’s so fun…and so pretty! Happy New Year, Layla!

  17. #
    Dina — January 1, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    sounds delish!

  18. #
    Amanda — January 2, 2014 at 7:11 am

    This sounds wonderful… and your trip looks like it was just awesome!!!

    • Brenda replied on January 3rd, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      It was such an awesome time! And…I wanted to hear about YOUR trips to CO and FL…we’ll catch up next week!! :)

  19. #
    Shaina — January 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Looks like you had a wonderful trip!

  20. #
    Cheryl — May 10, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I think we need to start saving our couch coins for next year!!!!

    • Brenda replied on May 12th, 2014 at 11:30 am



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