Cocktail/Mocktail #5: Cold Brew! Old Fashioned/Cold Brewed Cocoa

As you know, cold brew is trending hot right now so I thought it high time to post about this burgeoning trend so that you can all give it a try. I chose to put this together as an episode of Cocktail/Mocktail. For those of you who haven't tried it, cold brewed coffee is like 1000 times better than iced coffee, so even if you don't want to make it yourself, try it on nitro at your favorite hipster coffee shop.

It is hella easy to make yourself though, so I recommend giving it a shot. Coarsely grind up about 4 ounces of coffee, and put it in any vessel that will hold 32 ounces of water. Let it sit for a day in the fridge and bam - cold brew. You can experiment with weaker/stronger brews, or leaving it at room temperature to steep, but that should be obvious. Enjoy neat, or get wild and crazy like the guys at Onyx Coffee Lab and make a cold brew old fashioned:

4 oz cold brewed coffee

1/2 tsp vanilla simple syrup

2 dashes favorite bitters (chocolate if you got 'em)

No garnish, be a man today

While riding the bleeding edge of the cold brew trend wave, I found a great way for the kids to start their hipster training early - by cold-brewing some roasted cacao beans. Nothing is more hipster than taking raw, organic ingredients that do not taste good by themselves (try raw cacao nibs  - don't believe the hype, they are awful) and turning them into something only marginally better that you can then obsess over until it becomes something truly noteworthy. Full disclosure, I'm at the "only marginally better" stage of this journey. 

I successfully roasted some raw cacao nibs, ground them up and made some cold brew for B. It was actually quite easy to drink chilled on its own. Nothing like sweet hot cocoa or chocolate milk, but rather light, nutty, a little tangy all the while being faintly reminiscent of chocolate. The next time I served it, I mixed with about a half-ounce of cream, and it was quite good. I used the same process as the coffee when I brewed it, though I had added roasting step for the nibs. If you can find raw beans, go for it. I found raw nibs on Amazon, and just roasted at 300 in my toaster oven for about 10 mins (you will smell it when it is ready). No controls, no science, just enthusiasm. 

This is what Cold Brew Cacao looks like

This is what Cold Brew Cacao looks like

I had a ton of fun with this, and I can see how, with more time and dedication to the process the cold brewed cacao could be phenomenal, even a rival to coffee. So, I present it here as encouragement for you to try it out. Throw some against the wall and see what sticks!