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Neil Gaiman: Man, Myth, Legend, Coffee Drink

By Widge - posted 01.23.09 @ 6:34 am
Neil Gaiman

So recently Neil Gaiman--or as we call him in shorthand around here, "The Neil"--discovered to his amazement that he was a novelty coffee item in Indonesia.

After The Neil Indonesian Coffee Incident (which is yet another great name for a band...Neil's Dog is Not a Bushel is another one that's upcoming) was picked up by The Guardian, Neil was wondering about what a true Gaiman coffee might entail.

So after two evenings of smacking stuff around the Needcoffee Alchemy Labs and--ahem--consuming a lot of "failed" experiments, I'm throwing this out there: the coffee drink known as The Neil.

'The Neil' coffee drink

Now watch closely, everyone. I'm going to show you how to caffeinate a god.

Recipe as follows:

1. Create four shots of espresso. I used Zombie Dirt from Coffee Shop of Horrors in this example.
2. Pour them into a mug. This particular mug is an Edgar Allan Poe mug from the Poe Museum.
3. Add hot chocolate mix. I used Dagoba Organic Hot Chocolate. A spoonful should do it.
4. Then sprinkle a bit of cayenne powder into it. That you can do to taste.

The aim and end result is a strong, black coffee taste, followed by a hint of chocolate, followed by a hint of heat from the cayenne. It's actually much more pleasant than it sounds.

Once I got started, though, I decided that a dog is man's best friend second only to coffee. And since there is no devotion quite like carrying an 80 pound dog up and down stairs, I decided to make a coffee drink named after Neil's dog. Behold: The Cabal.

Cabal coffee

It is a fool's prerogative to create coffee drinks that no one else will consume.

1. Heat 12oz. or so of milk.
2. Add white chocolate mix in a mug. (Well, he is a white dog, after all.) I specifically used Ghirardelli white mocha. I used about three tablespoons of the mix. The mug is of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, naturally.
3. Add two shots of espresso.
4. Add one teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Again, you get the white chocolate up to the level of the espresso as far as the impact of the taste, and then the vanilla comes across as just a hint.

Obviously, screw around with these recipes on your own and find your own balance of ingredients. I can't be held responsible for any damage you do to yourself with sugar or caffeine. And as always, keep a fire extinguisher handy. Enjoy.

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Widgett Walls is Need Coffee's Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. He is the author of the novel Mystics on the Road to Vanishing Point, and two collections of short stories, Magnificent Desolation and Something Else: The Complete First Season. He is also co-author of the children's book There's a Zombie in My Treehouse! All of those books are available in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon. He is also the narrator and publisher of the first unabridged recording of Seneca's letters, available here. He is active on both Twitter and Facebook. (If you befriend him on Facebook, do say you came via Need Coffee.) He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He hardly ever sleeps.

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