One of the many wonders of cold brew is how versatile it is. An example of this is how it serves as a perfect base for other drinks. As I have talked about in some of my other articles here, cold brewing coffee extracts very little acid from the bean. This makes it the ideal base for many cold drinks, but especially acidic or sugary ones.
Now what do I mean when I say ‘acidic drinks”? You guessed it, cocktails baby! Making cocktails at home is just one of the best feelings and experiences. It is that time of year when the sun is coming out and we are all dreaming about sipping refreshing cocktails in our back garden to wind down after work.
However, here on this website, our focus is on coffee, especially cold brew coffee. So, I have found 5 delicious, non alcoholic, cold brew ‘mocktail’ recipes for your pleasure. If you would like to add the alcohol back in, that is also perfect. We focused on non-alcoholic beverages because adding alcohol negates the health benefits of cold brew coffee. The recipes we have ar focused on minimizing the the number of additional ingredients, in order to preserve the health aspects of a great cup of coffee.
All of the recipes here are using cold brew coffee concentrate. Check out some of our other articles that talk about how to brew your cold brew coffee concentrate.
Just to be clear, cold brew coffee is not the same as iced coffee, and we talk in our dedicated article about the difference between cold brew and iced coffee.
I tried to use recipes that are simple and easy, with ingredients that you hopefully already have at home. So I hope you find something to your taste that you can enjoy next Friday evening!
Cold Brew Sour
As a proud Irish man, I am a huge fan of whiskey based cocktails. An absolute classic whiskey cocktail is the whiskey sour.
As our non alcoholic base we are going to replace whiskey with our cold brew.The citrus fruits in this cocktail and the more basic notes from the coffee pair wonderfully together. This recipe is courtesy of the guys at javapresse.com.
- 2oz cold brew coffee concentrate
- Juice of ½ Lemon
- 1oz simple syrup
- Lemon wedge garnish
Traditionally a whiskey sour is mixed in a cocktail shaker. If you have a shaker in the house, rock on. Pour your liquids and ice into your shaker and shake well.
However, if you don’t have a cocktail shaker to hand, we’ve got you covered.
In keeping with the coffee theme and ethos, the tampa bay times recommend using a leak proof takeaway coffee cup as a great replacement for a cocktail shaker. A 16oz cup is the closest to a cocktail shaker in size. Just plug the opening with a finger when you shake and you’re good to go.
Alternatively, if you simply mix the ingredients together in your favorite glass you’re not going to go wrong.
Garnish this gorgeous bevvy with the lemon wedge and tuck in!
Virgin Espresso Martini
Now, we can’t talk about coffee cocktails without mentioning the espresso martini. I don’t know about you, but this espresso absolutely lights me up for the whole night.
If chilling out for the evening is more the order of the day, the Virgin Espresso from Absolut is just the ticket.
- 60 ml or 4oz of cold brew
- 30 ml or 2oz vanilla syrup
- 30 ml or 2oz water
- 2 coffee beans for garnish
- Ice cubes
Again, the method for the Virgin Espresso is no nonsense. All you have to do is make sure your ingredients are mixed together well and chilled by using any of the methods we mentioned in the last recipe.
Pour into a martini glass if you have one and add the classic espresso bean garnish to finish it off. Classy.
Cold Brew Cabana (non-alcoholic version)
This next one is inspired by the Cold Brew Cabana that the folks over at Town and Country came up with.
In one or two of the recipes, to keep the alcoholic feel in our cocktails I have substituted alcohol for rum extract. As an extract , rum extract is much more concentrated than rum. A good ratio is to replace rum with half the amount of rum extract.
- 50 ml or 5oz of rum extract
- 200 ml or 5oz of cold brew
- 1 drop of vanilla extract
- 3 drops of ginger bitters
- 1 drop of extract of choice (optional)
This is another shaker cocktail. Don’t be afraid to play around with the recipe here. If you aren’t feeling the rum taste, dial it back a bit. Feel free to add other flavors to your cocktail as well, if you have them handy. Any fruity syrups or extracts will go down a treat or if you’re not worried about the alcohol, some fruit liqueur. Some maple syrup for extra sweetness is also a lovely touch.
Garnish with any fruit that takes your fancy, the more tropical the better!
Cold Brew Irish Coffee
Of course, as an Irish man I couldn’t leave out the Irish coffee. I have taken inspiration for the recipe from Tim Herlihy and the gang at Savor the Flavour. Irish coffee is of course typically made with whiskey. I am using rum extract here again as a non alcoholic replacement but if you fancy a cold brew Irish coffee in all its alcoholic glory, fire in your favorite whiskey instead of the extract; just don’t forget to double the amount.
- 1 tbsp of rum extract
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 3.5oz of 100ml cold brew
- 2 teaspoons hot water
- Fresh, partially whipped cream
First, add your rum extract and your brown sugar to your hot water. Then stir until the sugar has dissolved and let the mix sit for roughly ten minutes so that the hot water can absorb the flavor of the rum.
Next add this mixture and your cold brew to your cocktail shaker, coffee cup or glass with ice and shake or mix well. Pour this mixture into your glass.
Now we have the cream. Now, getting the cream right on an Irish coffee is difficult at the best of times, and when you change the recipe of a traditional, hot Irish coffee it becomes a little more complicated.
I used to work as a barista and barman at Bewleys on Grafton Street in Dublin and I always dreaded the Irish coffee cream. However, I have developed a few tips over the years for you to get that delicious layer of cream to sit perfectly on top of your cold brew Irish coffee.
- First – partially whip your cream. Dispersing a bit of air through the cream will help it to be more buoyant and sit on top of the coffee. You don’t want to fully whip your cream or change the classic look too much, just a quick whip with a whisker or a fork before you pour.
- A great little hack is to use an empty plastic condiment bottle that has a thin nozzle. Fill your bottle half way with pouring cream, put your finger over the nozzle and give it a shake before you pour. The thin nozzle helps with a controlled, accurate pour.
- Next, pour over the back of a spoon and onto the side of the glass. Breaking the surface of the cream twice like this will give it the best chance of settling on top of your cocktail.
- Pour as slowly as you can then slow down even more.
- Add a little more sugar to the recipe if you still aren’t having any success. This helps the cream to float.
If you can’t be bothered with the stress of the cream layer, just add your dash of cream into your cocktail and enjoy the marble effect as it swirls throughout the coffee.
For those of you who would like to get as close as possible to the traditional look of an Irish coffee, don’t add any ice to your glass. If you would prefer your beverage to look and feel more like a cocktail, go ahead and serve over ice.
Cold Brew Tonic
Nothing beats a refreshing gin and tonic on a summer’s day. So, I’m going to finish up with the cold brew tonic. This beautiful, thirst quenching drink is rising in popularity all over the States, and for good reason too. Replacing gin with cold brew is a genius way to avoid alcohol or to give yourself a caffeine instead of alcoholic kick, and the combination is an absolute winner.
As cold brew is naturally sweet, it balances the sharper taste of your tonic excellently. Give this one a try and trust me, you’ll be drinking it for life.
- 2oz, 30ml or 2 tbsp of cold brew
- 8oz or 225ml of your choice of tonic.
- ice for serving
The method here couldn’t be simpler. I’m sure you’ve all made a gin and tonic before. Just mix your tonic and cold brew in a glass with ice and you are ready to go. If you feel that your cold brew tonic could still use a little sweetness, add some maple syrup or brown sugar. Hello summer!
If you want to further play with your own cocktails, remember what ingredients go well with cold brew coffee: milk, cream, sugar, tonics, and even citric fruits. Play withem at a small scale, so you don’t waste precious ingredients, but always measure, and write down. This way you can always replicate that fantastic recipe you just discovered. Nitro cold brew is not as versatile as pure cold brew coffee, because the Nitrogen adds a new dimension to the beverage. But you can play that to your advantage and create more subtle cocktails that have just a splash of cream, but have a full texture.