Beat the Heat with These Buzzy Cold-Brew Coffee Cocktails

The Covfefe cold brew coffee cocktail by Keely Edgington of Julep Cocktail Club
Image: Julep Cocktail Club

Cold brew fanatics tout its more concentrated and less bitter and acidic flavor than conventional coffee.

But who says you can only drink it in your morning joe?

These libations use it as a modifier, mixed with everything from rum and Scotch to hazelnut and coffee liqueurs. Ready, set, drip!

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Bushy Tailed cocktail by Waylon Dillan at Lowcountry Bistro

Bushy Tailed

Recipe courtesy of Waylon Dillan, general manager, Lowcountry Bistro; Image: Lowcountry Bistro

"This cocktail is great all day, but it's a perfect brunch choice for someone who doesn't like Bloody Marys or Mimosas,” Dillan notes. “The sweetness mellows the whiskey and the orange liqueur gives it some depth of flavor."

Add the first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, top with cream, and garnish with the orange peel.

Vietnamese Coffee Martini cocktail at the Black Sheep

Vietnamese Coffee Martini

Recipe courtesy of the Black Sheep; Image: Madison Freedle of one7 communications

Vietnamese coffee can be served hot or cold, but always has sweetened condensed milk. At this Las Vegas restaurant, it’s built in the glass for a pretty layered look, with house-infused coffee vodka, cold brew and liqueurs, and a few roasted espresso beans floated on top.

  • 1 ½ oz. Espresso bean-infused vodka (see Note)
  • 2 oz. Cold brew coffee
  • ½ oz. Frangelico
  • ½ oz. Kahlúa
  • ½ oz. Sweetened condensed milk syrup (2:1 condensed milk to water)
  • Roasted espresso beans to garnish

Chill all ingredients. Layer in a chilled cocktail glass, starting with the condensed milk syrup, then the Frangelico and Kahlúa, then the cold brew and vodka. Garnish with a few roasted espresso beans.

For the espresso bean-infused vodka:

Add 2 tablespoons of espresso beans to a liter of vodka. Macerate for 48 hours, then strain out solids.

Noggy Roots cold brew coffee cocktail

Noggy Roots

Recipe courtesy of Drambuie; Image: Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee

Drambuie U.S. brand ambassador Vance Henderson wanted to give a unique lift to classic eggnog while showing how versatile Drambuie and cold brew could be. “The Noggy Root is a whimsical take on a boozy beer float wrapped in the seasonal good vibes.”

Add the first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, top with root beer, and stir gently. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.

Filth & Fury cold brew coffee cocktail by Chad Solomon of Midnight Rambler

Filth & Fury

Recipe created by Chad Solomon, co-owner, Midnight Rambler; Image: Midnight Rambler

Solomon’s shot based on the Dark & Stormy is a reference to a 1976 headline from London newspaper The Daily Mirror describing the Sex Pistols after a profanity-laced television interview. “I love single origin cold brew in cocktails and look to source beans with interesting flavor profiles to build a drink around, and cold brew extraction really allows these coffees to shine,” he explains.

  • 1 tsp. Chilled fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Chilled ginger syrup
  • 1 ½ oz. + 1 tsp. chilled Filth & Fury batch (see note)

Build in a shot glass, stir to combine and serve.

For the Filth & Fury batch:

Mix ½ tsp. #4 Mineral Simple Syrup (1 part Crazy Water #4: 1 part sugar; can substitute regular simple syrup), ½ tsp. Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao, ½ oz. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe cold brew (he brews it with Crazy Water #4), ¼ oz. Banks 5 Island Rum, ¾ oz. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and 2 drops mineral saline solution. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Pre-batch everything except the lime juice and ginger syrup. Keep refrigerated,

Thunder Struck cold brew coffee cocktail by David Valiante at Social Costa Mesa

Thunder Struck

Recipe courtesy of David Valiante, bar director, Social Costa Mesa

Valiante’s inspiration for this drink was a South American play on that polarizing fall staple, the pumpkin spiced latte. After Social partnered with Thunderking Brewing and brought in their cold brew on nitro tap, he really wanted to incorporate a cocktail using it. “[It’s] a bold marriage of cold brew and sugar cane to tantalize your taste buds.”

Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Strain into a large snifter over a big rock, and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon and a fresh sage leaf.

For the smoked butternut squash puree:

Cut a butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place skin side down in a smoker or grill filled with a smoker box and wood chips, and cook until it’s soft all the way through. Remove it from the grill or smoker, let cool, scoop out flesh, and puree it in a blender, adding a little water if necessary.

The Covfefe cold brew coffee cocktail by Keely Edgington of Julep Cocktail Club

The Covfefe

Recipe courtesy of Keely Edgington, co-owner, Julep Cocktail Club; Image: Julep Cocktail Club

"We work closely with Broadway Cafe, a local roaster who has an especially nice, strong cold brew concentrate, [and] we really wanted to use it to make a Vietnamese iced coffee meets a cold Irish coffee,” Edgington says “The timing of the name was just fortuitous."

  • 1 oz. Paddy Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 oz. Strong cold brew coffee
  • Freshly grated cinnamon to garnish

Add the first three ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass, and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon using a microplane.

Topo Chino cold brew coffee cocktail by Thomas Thompson of Barrel Proof

Topo Chino

Recipe courtesy of Thomas Thompson, bartender, Barrel Proof

“I made the Topo Chino for the first time for a guest looking for a caffeine boost to his Bourbon one night,” Thompson recalls, adding cold brew from French Truck Coffee that he had the cooler, Bourbon, vanilla syrup, amaro and walnut liqueur. “Add some Topo Chico on top, and it’s essentially a riff on a Bourbon lift.”

Add all ingredients except the Topo Chico to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice, top with Topo Chico, and stir gently.

Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics.