Why? Because I enjoy coffee. I like to roast it, smell it, taste it and I do drink many beverages based on coffee as long as I can taste the magic black liquid. My choice for a warm and sunny summer like the one we have this year in Europe is a coffee tonic.
The recipe is very easy: Espresso, tonic water, ice and if you like it also a twist of lemon. The proportion of the ingredients depends on you and your taste. I like to use one part espresso (one espresso) and two parts tonic water. To prepare it first pour the tonic water and ice into the glass. Then pour the espresso. Finally add the lemon zest.
Coffee from different types of beans will make the drink taste different logically. A fruity coffee bean such as those from Ethiopia matches well with the citrusy taste of the quinine. However, a nuttier coffee bean (as the Manabi coffee from Engrano) or beans with more chocolate taste (as the Coatepec coffee from Engrano) will add depth to the drink. So, when I use my Latin American beans I add the twist of lemon to balance the acidity and sweetness. If lemon is too acidic for you then better use zest of mandarins, sweet oranges, cherries (natural or extract) or extract of pomegranate. You could play around with the flavour of the coffee and the intensity of the fruit. Adjust the coffee to tonic water ratio accordingly.
Coffee tonic can be also prepared with cold brew coffee. In Mexico at the famous Cafe Avellaneda I enjoyed a delicious drink with cold brew (called by them cafe reposado), tonic water and the lemon twist. Very refreshing!
These high temperatures in Europe call for cold drinks! A good option for a refreshing caffeine buzz is cold brew coffee. I’m sure you have heard about it because it is in fashion. I was not convinced about it the first time I tried one. It was a bottle drink and my concerned was correct, it was weak, bitter and had an unpleasant after taste. So, to give cold brew a second chance I decided to make it myself. Much better!
There are two methods to make cold brew, the cold dripper and the immersion method. For cold dripper you will need … a dripper. It is a fancy method but not so easy to apply at home. The immersion method is easier, simpler and properly prepared can be as nice as with the dripper. So, if you want to try it, here is my recipe.
I used a cold-brew coffee maker. They are not so expensive but lucky me I found one on discount just after last Christmas. In case you don’t have one and are not willing to buy it, you can use a French press, a big tea pot for loose-leaves tea or even a simple jug and a filter.
As you can see in the photo, the cold-brew maker is kind of a big tea pot. It has a big filter, where we will place the coffee, inside the jar. We will use freshly roasted coffee of course. Prefer a light roast. Ground the coffee coarse as you will ground it for the French press.
I put 200 grams of coffee in the filter. Then, place the filter back in its position in the jug. Pour the water slowly over the coffee to make it wet. I needed to pour water a few times because the coffee was very dense inside the filter. When the coffee is wet take the filter out, place it temporary on a dish and fill the jug with about 1 litter of cool water. I then placed back the filter in the jug. You will see the water colouring from the coffee. Put the lid on to cover the coffee before placing the jug into the fridge. Let the coffee rest there for 24 hours.
The ratio of 200 grams coffee to 1 litter water is rather high, but I do like strong coffee. Try with a lower amount if you prefer a smooth flavour, but from my experience less than 120 gr of coffee per litter of water will result in a weak tasting drink.
If you don’t have the cold-brew coffee maker but a tea pot, you can just follow the same indications as above. If you use a French press or a simple jug pour the ground coffee on the water and leave it for 24 hours in the fridge. For the French press once the coffee was brewed, you can use the press to separate the coffee from the infused water. Pour the infused water into another jug to avoid further contact with the ground coffee. If you use a simple jug, then after 24 brewing you have to filter your coffee-infused water. Use a cloth filter for good results.
Once the coffee has been brewed for 24 hours you can serve it with additional ice or milk. Place a straw and enjoy! Cold brew coffee, independent from the method you choose to prepare it, will produce a naturally sweeter cup with a softer acidity compared to hot brewed coffee of the same origin and roast.
We made a video about this brewing method that you can check on the link below:
Whether it’s cold coffee, freshly-made lemonade, iced-cold beer or a frozen cocktail, let’s grab a cool drink and enjoy the summer!