Last summer, cold brew hit the scene in a major way. The highly concentrated chilled coffee had folks in a frenzy thanks to its extra dose of caffeine and drinkability. Today, the beverage can be found everywhere, from the Internet (canned, of course) to Starbucks (the coffee giant recently started offering cold brew with a splash of homemade vanilla sweet cream).
But now that cold brew is rampant, it’s time to kick it up a notch by adding a boozy twist. We tapped Grant Wheeler, beverage director of N.Y.C. hot spot The Garret East, for his favorite cold brew cocktails. “When it comes to making cold brew cocktails, the more concentrated the better,” says Wheeler. “Concentrated coffee is both bitter and acidic, so I'd recommend adding anything to it, except for more bitters—both dashing bitters and bitter spirits, like Campari, Aperol, or chartreuse—or more acidity, like fresh lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, passion fruit, or pineapple. You still want it to drink like coffee and be refreshing and stimulating all the same.”
Take a look at Wheeler’s suggestions below, which were made using Blue Bottle Cold Brew, available in Blue Bottle’s Los Angeles, New York and Bay Area shops, and at select Whole Foods supermarkets nationwide. (Alternatively, you can try making your own.) Bonus: Each recipe can be created with or without milk. Cheers!
3. Fruit Liqueur and Scotch
“Liqueurs are super helpful in coffee drinks, since there is typically a lot of separation when using fresh fruit,” explains Wheeler. “With fruit flavors, you probably want to stick to low acid berry flavors and stone fruits.”
1/4 oz Giffard Banane du Brésil ($29; internationalwineshop.com)
1/4 oz Giffard Crème de Frais des Bois ($24; trainoswine.com)
1/4 oz Giffard Abricot Du Roussillon ($29; trainoswine.com)
1 oz blended scotch ($24; wineanthology.com)
8 oz cold brew
Combine all ingredients in a glass. Mix and serve.