At the recently opened Kobrick Coffee Co. in NYC, coffee meets alcohol in a number of quite unusual ways.
For starters, there’s the three-hour Kyoto Negroni, a tweak on the classic gin, Campari and sweet vermouth cocktail. The Kyoto Negroni is mixed and then run through the slow-drip device made famous in Kyoto, Japan, as a superior method of creating that tangy and low acid cold brew coffee. At Kobrick the device makes enough in three hours for about 10 servings. Luckily, the operators have so far been able to keep just ahead of the curve, as once it’s made the drink can last about 36 hours before losing any of its vibrancy.
The cocktail program, whipped into shape by Hella Bitters co-founder Tobin Ludwig, doesn’t stop there in relation to coffee. Coffee bars throughout America are expected to feature a broad variety of coffee drinks, and Kobrick delivers on that expectation. Putting their creativity on display, the Koco Freddo is made with shaken cold brew, coconut oil and egg white, while the Tiger Strip & Tonic is a mix of house espresso and Hella tonic syrup.
There are also many versions of classic cocktails, but more significantly there are several twists on coffee processes. Most notable among them is the Old Slip, their take on the Old Fashioned. For that riff on a classic Ludwig has developed a way to extract flavor from Sulawesi coffee using an Aeropress, a trendy by-the-cup process used at home by many coffee aficionados. Bartenders at Kobrick pour Four Roses bourbon into a press with a measured amount of the coffee, and after a brief rest the bourbon is forced through the press. Then Demerara sugar and two kinds of Hella Bitters are added, and another signature cocktail combining spirits with everyday ingredients in a new and compelling manner is born.
Other coffee cocktails are more traditionally crafted but no less interesting. These include the Mexican Jumping Bean (reposado tequila, ristretto shot, China-China Amer liqueur and agave nectar), the Stay at Home Dad (St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur, Cointreau, Green Chartreuse, Laphroaig), and the Loca Mocha (ancho chile liqueur, Irish whiskey, chocolate milk, cold brew coffee, aromatic bitters). This inventiveness shows that, given a little thought, nearly any every day ingredient treated correctly can make new cocktails bloom.