Pronunciation: [poos ka-FAY]

1. This French term literally means "push the coffee," and in France refers in general to cordials, brandies, etc. that might be served after dinner with coffee. 2. In the United States, it refers to a very elaborate, multicolored after-dinner drink made by layering 2 to 7 or more various liqueurs on top of one another without disturbing the layer below. A slender, straight-sided liqueur glass is used and the heaviest (usually the sweetest) liqueurs are poured in first. The pousse-Café debuted in New Orleans in the mid-19th century and was all the rage by the early 1900s.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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