Imagine the scene. A hot, dry, summer evening, and the sun is beginning to set. Dinner is almost finished and the heat of the day, plus all that food, has got you feeling hot and sluggish. A hot cup of coffee is needed to wake you up but the thought of the warm beverage is too much just now. An ice-cold cocktail is much more suitable for the occasion but how do you choose between this and the much needed cup of java? The question here is, can I enjoy cold brew coffee in a delicious boozy manner?
Cold brew coffee makes a perfect accompaniment to all manner of cocktail recipes. This article takes you through the preparation of cold brew coffee and how you can use it at home to make 10 delicious, decadent, dark cocktails that are bound to impress at any dinner party.
How Do I Prepare The Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew coffee is the key ingredient in all these boozy beverages. The delicious coffee flavor that’s so central to these recipes is greatly enhanced when a cold brew method is used. This is because the slow brewing method allows extraction of all the delicious coffee flavours (and caffeine) without drawing out excess sour or bitter hints.
To achieve this beautifully balanced brew at home first thing you’ll need is coffee beans; ground to a coarse grind. You can do this yourself at home (if you have a coffee grinder and a burr grinder is best) or buy them pre-ground.
Next, you’ll need about 4 cups of water to 1 cup of ground coffee. Using filtered water can greatly enhance the flavor here.
Add the ground coffee and water to a large pitcher or a mason jar and let it sit in the fridge overnight (try to aim for 12 hours) to allow the coffee to fully brew.
Next, strain the mixture to remove the sediment, and there you have it, cold brewed coffee ready to go.
Taste the coffee to assess the strength and if it’s too strong for your tastebuds add some ice cubes which will dilute the mixture over time. You could also add some water here if required.
If strong coffee is your bread and butter then here’s a handy hint to keep it chilly without compromising concentration. Simply make a larger batch and use the extra coffee to make coffee ice cubes. Add them to the cold brew coffee to keep it ice cool or use them in the cocktails to enhance the coffee flavors.
1. Cold Brew White Russian
The White Russian is an absolute classic when it comes to coffee flavor cocktails. It’s smooth, creamy and the coffee buzz is undeniable.
To make this one you’ll need 4 ingredients in equal parts. Start with 1 oz (or 1 shot) of vodka, Kahlua, cold brew coffee and heavy cream and scale it up as you see fit!
To a rocks glass (or any heavy tumbler) add some large ice cubes. Add the coffee and alcohol first and use a spoon to layer the heavy cream. Hold the spoon upside-down over the drink and pour the cream over the upturned spoon. This should allow the cream to float gently on the surface of the cocktail and give you the professional looking layered aesthetic.
Milk can be substituted for the cream as a lower calorie option but this will not layer well over the alcohol. Just stir it in and enjoy!
For any milk allergies/vegans out there try coconut milk in place of heavy cream or try a Black Russian instead!
2. Cold Brew Black Russian
Very similar to a White Russian; the Black Russian is a simpler more sophisticated drink.
Start with the tumbler of ice and add two parts vodka to one part Kahlua and one part cold brew coffee. Mix and enjoy! A simple cherry and slice of orange to garnish rounds it off nicely.
3. Cold Brew Espresso Martini
If you have a cocktail shaker dust it off for this next one. If you don’t have access to one of these you can simply stir this in the glass.
Add 3oz cold brew coffee, 2oz Kahlua, 1oz vodka, and 0.5oz simple syrup (if you like it sweet) to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a few simple coffee beans to perfect the classic look.
Our friends at Balance Coffee have the classic recipe for an Espresso Martini that you can check out here.
4. Creamy Boozy Iced Coffee
For a real decadent treat try this recipe on a hot summer’s day. You’ll want about 6oz of iced coffee in a tall glass, poured over ice. Add 1oz vodka and 1oz hazelnut liquor (like Frangelico). 0.5oz of simple or flavoured syrup (chocolate, vanilla, or hazelnut all go well) to sweeten and stir in 1oz of milk or heavy cream for a rich, creamy taste.
Whipped heavy cream gently spooned over the drink finishes this one off nicely and a sprinkle of cocoa powder or a drizzle of caramel syrup completes the look.
This one is rich and satisfying for even those with the sweetest tooth out there.
5. Kahlua Coffee Soda
A refreshing twist makes this one a must on any hot summer evening. You’ll need a tall glass or a mason jar if you like the rustic look. Fill the glass with ice and add 2oz Kahlua and 2-3oz cold brew coffee. Top with soda water and garnish with a squeeze of lemon or just a lemon wedge for a citrus burst to finish.
6. Kahlua Iced Coffee
If you’re tired and in need of a pick me up this one will be sure to wake you up. So simple yet so delicious. All you need is your cold brew coffee and a bottle of Kahlua. Add a shot (or two!) of Kahlua to a glass of iced coffee and voila!
This bitter-sweet concoction contains ingredients that you probably don’t typically have handy in the store cupboard but if you’re looking for something fresh and classy, and do have a well stocked cocktail ingredient shelf then give it a go!
You’ll need amaro liqueur, sweet vermouth, strong cold brew coffee, simple syrup and club soda.
Over ice, pour 2oz sweet vermouth, 1.5oz amaro, 1.5oz cold brew coffee, 1oz simple syrup. Top it off with club soda and garnish with a slice of orange to finish.
8. Pumpkin Spiced White Russian
For an autumnal twist on the cold brew White Russian (see recipe above) simply switch the heavy cream for a pumpkin spice creamer. You can buy this ready made or, if you have the time, make it and store in the fridge for later use.
To make the pumpkin spice creamer you will need heavy cream (or half and half), pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
Add 1.5 cups of milk or cream to a pan alongside 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and a teaspoon vanilla extract.
Heat it gently over the hob but do not let it boil. Whisk the mixture every 20 seconds until it is gently steaming and the puree has completely dissolved. Taste the mixture and feel free to add more maple syrup if you feel it isn’t sweet enough.
Let the mixture cool and then cover and place in the fridge overnight alongside your cold brew coffee.
Now you have all you need to make a cold brew pumpkin spice White Russian. Add the coffee, Kahlua, and vodka over ice and top with the delicious spice creamer. To really add a flair you can garnish with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick as a stirrer.
9. Dublin Iced Coffee
For a dark, dangerous, delightful drink the Dublin iced coffee is as wild as it sounds. Start with 2oz strong cold brew coffee in a highball glass and add 2oz stout (such as Guinness), 1.5oz Irish whiskey and ¾oz simple syrup. Add plenty of ice and stir to combine. Gently drizzle 0.5oz heavy cream over the top so that it trickles into the drink making waves and swirls as it combines.
Garnish with cinnamon and sip gently, savoring this flavor explosion.
10. Dark Moon
For this devilish treat, you’ll need 1.5oz of cold brew coffee. Add it to a tumbler over ice alongside 0.5oz kahlua and 0.5oz spiced rum. Fill the glass almost to the top with cola and finish the drink with 0.5oz heavy cream gently poured on top.
The dark coffee and spiced rum combines beautifully with the sweetness in cola and the cream adds a smooth, rich finish to this delicious drink.
If you can’t decide on a rum and coke or a coffee after dinner then why not have both?