I have never been a big cocktail drinker, but recently I have really come to enjoy a well-made Old Fashioned. Of course it didn’t take long before I thought about how I could make the awesome cocktail even better—coffee. While I still enjoy the standard Old Fashioned, this variation has become my new favorite.
Choosing Your Coffee
I experimented with a variety of different ways of adding the coffee to the drink—espresso, pour over and cold brew. Both pour over and cold brew worked, but I settled on cold brew for a few reasons:
- It more reliably creates a balanced coffee that won’t overpower the rest of the flavors in the drink.
- It is easy to make ahead of time and have on hand (to avoid having the brew coffee at the same time as making the drink)
- It allows you to make a concentrate that gives the same amount of “coffee flavor” with less liquid (therefore requiring you to dilute the drink less)
Choosing Your Sugar
A traditional Old Fashioned is made with a muddled, white sugar cube. While this works, I prefer brown sugar or coconut sugar, which have a bit more depth of flavor and seemed to pair with the coffee and bourbon a bit better.
The recipe below uses straight brown sugar, but you can also create a simple syrup with white or brown sugar using 1 part water to 1 part sugar. The benefit of the simple syrup is the sugar is pre-dissolved, so you don’t need to worry about that when making the drink. I personally go with the straight brown sugar and just give the bourbon a quick stir after adding it to the drink to help it dissolve.
Cold Brew Old Fashioned
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar or simple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz cold brew concentrate
- orange peel
- Muddle brown sugar/simple syrup and bitters in a glass
- Add bourbon and coffee, stir if necessary
- Add one large ice cube or 3-4 smaller ones
- Garnish with an orange peel
Let me know what you think and if you try out any twists yourself, be sure to share!