You know cold brew is a decadently bold drink with a healthy amount of caffeine. Enough to really kick start your morning. But it’s also a fantastic base drink. You can add a variety different ingredients in order to elevate its already great flavor or make it more festive for the holidays. Give these cold brew tricks a whirl and we promise you’ll be even more stoked for your midday pick-me-up.
What’s The Best Way To Sweeten Up Cold Brew?
One of the best ways to slurp down your Cold Brew is on the rocks which means sugar doesn’t totally dissolve. If you’re into sweet coffee, this can be a serious deal breaker.
Interested in a “simple” solution? Try adding simple syrup. The syrup itself can be added straight to your jug of cold brew after it’s finished brewing. If you like more control, you can try adding it to each individual cup. Making simple syrup is easy. Just measure out equal parts of filtered water and sugar, then simply heat the water and stir in the sugar until fully dissolved. If you’re not keen on all the mixing, you can buy a variety of simple syrups at your local grocery store. We recommend an organic, natural, non-processed varietal.
Spiced Cold Brew
It’s cold outside…arctic cold, but you’re still feeling festive! You probably want your cold brew tasting equally as festive. Time to spice things up by adding a few select spices to your cold brew. Do this during the brewing phase to transform your coffee concentrate into the perfect winter treat.
The best spices to add are cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, and star anise. Simply add them in with the ground coffee and water before you start brewing, mix, and set the batch aside to brew. How much should you add and at what ratio? It depends on personal preference and the volume of your batch, but we suggest using a teaspoon (or two) of each. Go a little easier on the stronger spices like clove and star anise. A quarter to one half teaspoon is plenty. If you’re lucky enough to have fresh spices, use those instead of powders. The flavor and aroma will have you bowing down to the coffee Gods. Upon completion of your brew cycle, simply serve as is or add cream and your favorite sweetener. Top it off with some cinnamon, rosemary and an orange slice. You can thank us later.
Seriously, Egg Nog?
Yep. Egg nog – another festive cold brew recipe. With eggnog making its way onto store shelves, why not try it with cold brew? It’s quite simple. Pour your desired amount of egg nog into your glass of cold brew, stir, and enjoy. It can be topped with whipped cream, nutmeg, cinnamon, or any variety of holiday spices.
Vietnamese Coffee…Cold Brew Style
Visit Vietnam where an iced drink known as ca phe sua da dominates the coffee scene. Fresh coffee is brewed in a glass with sweetened condensed milk and mixed together. The concoction is finished by topping the glass to the brim with ice.
Traditionally this drink is made with hot coffee, iced and consumed cold, but it can easily be made with cold brew. The sweetened condensed milk is a liquid and mixes nicely with cold brew. Simply brew and filter your cold brew as normal and pour into glasses pre-filled with the desired amount of condensed milk and stir. Finish it off by adding ice or more milk to suit your taste buds.
Our Favorite: Cold Brew Ice Cubes
If you’re the type who really loves the flavor of cold brew, but hates diluting it with water or ice then freezing some of your cold brew is your solution. Simply set aside about a cup of your brew and pour it into an ice cube tray.
You know the rest. Simply allow the cubes to fully freeze and add them to your glass of cold brew to keep it cool and strong. You can also make cold brew popsicles by swapping the ice cube tray for a popsicle mold. Feeling adventurous? Cold brew can also be substituted for some of the water when making homemade ice cream. Give it a whirl!
Photo by The Secret Ingredient Is, “Cold-Brewed Coffee + Hazelnut Coffee Ice Cubes + Homemade Sweeteners,”
Everyone has his or her favorite brewing ratio and brew time for making cold brew, but why not switch gears? Do you find yourself adding a ton of cream, water, or sweetener? Try using a little less ground coffee during brewing. Alternatively, try brewing for a shorter duration. A shorter brew cycle will yield a batch less bold. You’ll need far less cream with a lighter batch. If bold cold brew is your thing, we suggest brewing with more coffee and extending your brewing time. Be cautious, though. If brewed too long the cold brew will inherit a very bitter flavor.
Try flavored syrups, such as vanilla and hazelnut. Cold brew can also be used as a substitute for espresso shots in baking applications, such as brownies or cakes. You can even take your homemade cocktails to the next level with cold brew coffee.
Cold brew is one of the most versatile base drinks out there. There’s an almost endless amount of ingredients that can be added to give it a wonderfully unique taste.