Cold Brew Heats Up

Bartenders deliver double the buzz with cold-brew cocktails

Good things come to those who wait—even when it comes to coffee. Instead of iced coffee (adding cubes), cold-brewing coffee involves ano-heat steeping process that can take up to 18 hours and, according to devotees, results in a superior, stronger cupof joe. “When you have your first taste of cold brew in the summer, it’s like ‘Woo-hoo!’" says Chicago chef Stephanie Izard,who teamed up with star mixologist (and co-owner of Brooklyn’s Leyenda) IvyMix to create a series of cold-brew mocktails and cocktails for BrewParlor, the Wyndham Grand hotel. “With cold brew, you taste so much more than just coffee,” says Mix, who’s responsible for BrewParlor’s boozier offerings, “and that’s what makes it really excellent for cocktails.”Her Impetus Spritzer is a refreshing tall boy of cold brew, tonic, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, and artichoke-flavored Cynar. “I wanted to create something floral, citrusy, and bitter to exemplify what’s going on in the beans themselves,” she says. Another of Mix’s creations is the Initial Ascent, made with coldbrew, bourbon, Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao, Lindemans Framboise Lambic, sugar, lemon juice, and a garnish of shaved espresso beans and raspberries. “Coffee isn’t new,” she explains, “but being able to taste coffee this way is, and it’s very exciting.” Another benefit of cold-brewing is that the coffee is hyper-concentrated. “I liken it to cold-pressed juice,” says Diane Corcoran, of Chicago’s Three Dots and a Dashupscale tiki bar. Just a half ounce of La Colombe coldbrew brightens up the Cacchen SomeRays, a crushed-ice creation of dark Jamaican and over proof rums, reposado tequila, and passion fruit syrup. “You don’t need much,” Corcoran says, “because it goes a long way.” In San Francisco, Hillside Supper Club’s Austin Ferrari follows a similar minimalistic approach, using an ounce of coldbrew in his Gomez, a shaken sipper of Alvear Solera cream sherry, smoked simple syrup, and lemon juice. “I don’t think these cocktails would’ve worked 10 years ago,” says Jason Barrett of Black Button Distilling, in Rochester, New York, “because we didn’t have the cold-brew techniques we have today.”His Liberty Pole pairs coldbrew from nearby roaster Fuego with the distillery’s house vodka and bourbon cream. “It’s only now that we have high-quality cold brew and spirits that we can bring people these artfully crafted cocktails.”

—NICOLE SCHNITZLER