I’m serving up this coffee-infused old fashioned well before 5 o’clock today as I prepare one live on CTV Ottawa Morning Live. I’m going to be talking about how to host a virtual happy hour and whipping up this riff on a classic.
Luckily, I’ve come to know a lot about hosting a virtual happy hour as I’ve been playing the part of hostess of my own virtual happy hour on my Instagram stories Monday through Saturday at 5 p.m.
It’s been such a pleasure to see people creating the cocktails I share at home and taking advantage of this opportunity to hone their home bar skills. My heart is warmed whenever someone posts a photo of them drinking the tipple I’ve shown them how to make or using the knowledge to make better versions of cocktails they were already well-acquainted with – i.e. the importance of stirring a Negroni over ice instead of just dumping the ingredients into a glass.
Part of my goal is to demonstrate that creating delicious craft cocktails at home doesn’t need to be complicated. With a bare minimum of ingredients and good technique, you can build a cocktail that would fetch $15 at a fancy restaurant or cocktail bar.
To that end, I’ve made an effort to show my audience just how easy it is to master your own infusions by using tea blends, herbs, spices, and now, coffee.
I’ve created a coffee-infused bourbon for this recipe by putting three tablespoons of dark roast whole coffee beans into one cup of bourbon and letting them work their magic over the course of 12 hours.
Since I’m making this drink before some people have eaten breakfast, I wanted to craft a tipple that felt appropriate for the early morning hour. The coffee-infused bourbon adds a jolt of caffeine and blends beautifully with the brown sugar syrup, chocolate and Chinese secret bitters.
The orange twist adds a hit of acidity and brightness when you express the citrus oils into the glass, and run the peel around the rim before dropping it into the drink. A lot of coffee has subtle notes of citrus, and the orange peel helps bring those to the fore.
Coffee-Infused Old Fashioned
- 2 oz coffee-infused bourbon
- ¼ oz brown sugar syrup
- 2 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters
- 1 dash Mr. Lee’s Chinese Secret bitters
- 1 orange peel
- 1 cup bourbon
- 3 tbsp whole coffee beans
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup brown sugar
Add coffee-infused bourbon, brown sugar syrup, and bitters to a mixing glass. Add ice. Stir until chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain into a double rocks glass over one large ice cube. Take the sliver of orange peel between your thumb and index fingers and pinch to express the citrus oils into the glass, run around the rim and drop into the glass.
In a mason jar, add 3 tbsp whole coffee beans (I used dark roast) to 1 cup of bourbon. Close and shake well. Let sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours. Taste every four hours to check the flavour. Strain off coffee beans and keep in the fridge. Infused bourbon will keep for quite a while.
Combine brown sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, stirring often, until sugar is dissolves. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature before using. Syrup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.