We both love cocktails but it may be safe to say that our love for coffee is almost a tie. Almost. So it seemed like a natural choice to bring our enthusiasm for both together by making coffee bitters. Sometimes adding coffee to cocktails can make them one noted, and leave the cocktails falling flat. We thought coffee bitters would be the perfect way to introduce a coffee flavor without overwhelming cocktails.
If you read our last blog post, The Essential Guide to Bitters, you may know that we have been super into bitters recently. We thought we would give it a go and try making our own bitters. It’s relatively easy, the only hard part is having patience. It takes about a month from start to finish to make this perfect infusion of bitter botanicals, coffee beans with just a hint of nuttiness.
Of course we consulted our favorite bitters book for a little help along the way: Bitters by Brad Thomas Parson.
What you’ll need:
- ½ cup lightly toasted pecans
- ½ cup whole coffee beans, lightly cracked
- 1 teaspoon cocoa nibs
- ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon cassia chips
- ½ teaspoon wild cherry bark
- 2 cups high proof bourbon
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sorghum syrup of molasses
Let’s get started!
We placed all of our ingredients except the bourbon, water and sorghum syrup in a quart sized mason jar. We added the bourbon, so that all of your ingredients are covered. We gave it a good shake and then stored the jar at room temperature out of direct sunlight for two weeks. We shook the jar once a day to make sure all of the ingredients incorporated.
After two weeks, we strained the liquid through a coffee filter and transferred the solids to a small saucepan. We covered the solids in the saucepan with the water and brought it to a boil over medium high heat. We then lowered the heat and let the liquid simmer for 10 minutes.
We removed the saucepan from the heat and let it cool completely. We then added the contents of the saucepan (both liquids and solids) to another quart sized mason jar. We stored the jar at room temperature and gave it a good shake everyday.
After a week went by, we strained the jar with the liquid and solids through a coffee filter into a quart sized mason jar, and threw away the solids. We then added this liquid to the jar containing the original bourbon solution.
We stirred in the molasses, and shook it to fully dissolve the syrup. Then, using a funnel, we decanted the bitters into smaller jars and labelled them.
We think you’re really going to enjoy these bitters and trust us, it’s well worth the wait. Plus they last indefinitely. When catering cocktails at events out of our mobile bar we enjoy adding a few dashes of these bitters to Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, or any bourbon based drink. We think these would also be really good in meat marinades or on baked goods.
What bitters flavors would you like to see?