I was playing around with flavors the other day and coffee seemed to resonate more clearly than ever. Maybe it was the recent cold snap, or perhaps it was my palate calling out for deeper, more intense flavors. New Yorkers are a pretty tough bunch as a rule. When the goal is fast, strong and piping hot, served right now, it’s going to be a better day with a cuppa Vassilaros & Sons coffee. Because for over a hundred years this family owned business knows about what makes New Yorker’s wake up in the morning. But New York is changing if it hasn’t changed in your neck of the woods yet. It’s evolving every second of every day.
There is no metric that challenges the thought that coffee should only be enjoyed in the morning. Far from! That’s where gently Vassilaros & Sons cold brewed coffee comes into play. You see, I’m pretty picky when it comes to strong flavor and in my cocktails, if it says coffee- I want to taste what is going on in my glass and make it memorable. Taking a venerable product like Vassilaros & Sons coffee, and twisting it up a bit in the flavor arena is right up my alley.
I’m sure there are a few of the die-hard taxi driving, the classic Greek Diner blue and white cup guzzling, (are there really any taxis in NYC any longer?), types who would bristle at the very thought of their classic cuppa-joe being woven into a finely made, craft cocktail. Or finding out that their favorite splash of steaming hot courage has been frozen into gourmet-style ice cubes, and then crushed, treated to quite a bit more than just a gurgle of non-chill filtered rum from Barbados?
The French in Normandy add Calvados to their coffee in the morning- to “correct” it. Why not use a large portion of rum or rye whiskey? Why not indeed?
It’s pretty hard to mess up cold-brewed coffee when the beans are well roasted to begin with. Vassilaros & Sons seems to have their roasting expertise down to a minute science, they’ve been honing their art, cup by cup for longer than you’ve been alive! The cold-brewed package that I received is truly plug and play!
You add the heavy paper bag of filtered ground coffee directly to a vessel of cold water in the fridge overnight. That’s it! The end results from this slow and gentle steeping, is coffee brought to a much higher level. Coffee, slowly infused, capturing a snapshot of history in each fragrant drop. This is the pure and authentic factor that hipster, Brooklynite mixologists hunt for. A flavor that they can wrap their tattooed fingers around. The concentrated and salubrious flavor of this venerable NYC coffee, drilled down into our collective psyche- one that says (because it is true)… 1000% Authentic NYC.
Here are some cocktails that go beautifully with Vassilaros & Sons Cold Brewed Coffee:
What About the Numbers?
(A take on the coffee martini-like drink)
- 2 oz. non-chill filtered, nor caramel colored rum- recommendation: Foursquare
- 3 oz. Cold-Brewed Vassilaros & Sons coffee
- 1 oz. Light Cream
- ½ oz. Dark Simple Syrup- 2:1 ratio- 2 cups dark Turbanado Sugar to 1 cup boiling water
- Fresh Nutmeg
- Chocolate Mole’ Bitters – (Bitter Truth is easy to find, or Fee Brothers)
- Pre-chill your Martini glass in the freezer
- Into a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice
- Add the liquid ingredients
- Cap and Shake hard until really frothy
- Strain into a frozen martini-type glass
- Scrape fresh nutmeg over the top and dot with Chocolate Mole’ Bitters
- Taste in a bar straw and adjust bitters as necessary
Moving out of the Rackets
(a take on the Manhattan with Vassilaros & Sons Cold-Brewed coffee)
- 2 oz. Barrell Rye Whiskey
- 1 oz. Vassilaros & Sons Cold Brewed coffee
- ½ oz. Atsby Armadillo Cake Vermouth
- Pre-chill a Rocks glass (ice and water works)
- Empty the ice and water
- Add one or two large cubes of ice
- Pour the Armadillo Cake Vermouth into the Rocks glass
- Pour over the Vassilaros & Sons Cold-Brewed coffee
- Float the two ounces of Barrell Rye – or the Rye of your choice over the top
- Stir and serve with a cocktail cherry- like Luxardo- something elegant, never red dyed!
Rum punch is always a fan favorite for year-round dreaming of warmer climes. Unfortunately, most rum punches are listless things that become merely an afterthought before a good meal. Taking a high quality ingredient like the Vassilaros & Sons Cold-Brewed coffee and freezing it into ice cubes become more than just a metaphor. It becomes the basis for a new depth of flavor in the classic rum punch. This rum punch uses the fine rum from Foursquare. It is never caramel colored, nor sugar added, nor chill-filtered. This rum is as authentic as the Cold Brewed coffee from Vassilaros & Sons and they mix beautifully together. I added to my rum punch and cold-brewed coffee a portion of Pickett’s Medium Spicy Ginger Beer Syrup. If you know of a better and more concentrated ginger beer syrup- do let me know… Until then, I’ll be exemplifying quality by adding this slow burn across my tongue- and vibrant down my throat- ginger syrup to make all my ginger based beverages!
Saw the Guys Passing the Hat
A Rum Punch with Foursquare Rum (Of your choice, because you are worth it!)
- 4-6 cubes of Vassilaros & Sons Cold Brewed coffee ice
- 2 oz. Foursquare Rum
- 1 tablespoon Pickett’s Medium Spicy Ginger Beer Syrup
- 2 oz. Grilled Pineapple Juice- sear or grill pineapple rounds until charred- then muddle to reveal the fragrant juice
- 2 oz. Grilled Orange Juice- sear or grill orange rounds until charred- then muddle for the charred juice
- Fresh Seltzer
- Aromatic Bitters (such as Angostura)
- Freeze the Vassilaros & Sons Cold Brewed coffee in an ice cube tray overnight
- To a Boston Shaker, muddle the pineapple and the orange together
- Add ice to the muddled fruit juice
- Add the Pickett’s Medium Spicy Ginger Beer Syrup
- Add the Foursquare Rum
- Cap and shake hard for 30 seconds
- Strain into glasses of your choice with the cubes of cold brewed coffee
- Splash some Seltzer to add lift (test for flavor with a bar straw)
- Dot with Angostura Bitters to adjust for depth and serve with a smile