It has been pointed out a couple of times that I might have mentioned food a couple of times in my Young Adult manuscript, SubAqua. The story takes place 120 years from now, when Baltimore is underwater, covered by a dome. Over the course of twenty or so revisions, I have become a regular at a few of the eating establishments that are featured in the city now known as Aquataine.

One such place–my favorite, perhaps–is ‘All About the Bean,’ a coffee shop run by a supporting character named Annie. When Phelan, my protagonist, needs a place to get a bite without being recognized, his love interest Ariana suggests The Bean as a friendly place. Annie is sympathetic to Phelan’s cause, and after the second visit, Annie presents Phelan with an Aquaccino, a concoction she’s mixed up special for the occasion.

Annie describes an Aquaccino in chapter 18, as “Swiss Chocolate, shaved coconut, and Jamaican rum extract in a rich, dark roast with frothy cream.” I was feeling guilty about including this, because I’d never actually had one. Until… tonight.

The fact that I hadn’t tasted an Aquaccino has been bothering the crap out of me for some time now. I’ve been bothered enough that a few weeks ago, I bought a French Press for the sole purpose of layering and frothing the milk. A week or so back, I picked up some coconut extract. But, I stared at the little tag below the rum extract for a couple seconds. “You know, six bucks is a bit steep for something called ‘extract,’ don’t you think?” Yes, Captain Morgan, I hear you.

So here’s what you need:

Annie’s Aquaccino – Owner, All About the Bean, Aquataine

  • About three-quarters of a mug of delicious instant Maxwell House (please do substitute coffee of your choice).
  • Sugar/sweetener to taste (I used a teaspoon of sugar)
  • A splash of rum for flavor (perhaps half a shot)
  • In a separate mug, heat a couple tablespoons of cream, heated for around 40 seconds in the microwave. (Not too much heat, or it will burn and stink. You don’t want stinky cream.)
  • Add a few drops of coconut extract to the cream and dump that into your French Press.
  • Gently floof the handle of the press. Floofing is a term I am making up for adding air bubbles to your cream mixture. You’ll see. The press (I think ‘layers’ is the right term) layers the cream and makes it all frothy.
  • Add your perfectly floofed cream to your coffee, nice and slow.
  • Sprinkle a little bit of chocolate on top. I actually used a sprinkle of baking cocoa, because well, I didn’t have anything else handy.

You know what? It’s pretty darned good!

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