Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Cold-Brew Buzz Loved by consumers for its less bitter, less acidic, smooth, fruity flavor, cold brew is also making a play at the bar, where mixologists are leaning on those qualities to add backbone and panache to their cocktails

Cold-brew coffee is red-hot today, seeing an unbelievable 883 percent increase on menus over the last four years, according to Datassential.

Loved by consumers for its less bitter, less acidic, smooth, fruity flavor, it’s also making a play at the bar, where mixologists are leaning on those qualities to add backbone and panache to their cocktails. It carries premium value, hip swagger, and promises a little jolt to boot.

When looking for the right boozy partner, here are a few on-trend choices that bring out the best in the cold-brew:

  • Mezcal—its smoky profile plays nicely against the bright, bold side of cold-brew coffee.
  • Oloroso sherry—its sweetness acts as a great counterpoint, brightening up the coffee
  • Cane-based rum—its big, round, tropical notes works well with the richness of cold-brew

5 Menu examples highlighting creative uses of cold-brew coffee in cocktails

  • Snooze Fashioned: Breckenridge Bourbon, cold brew coffee, orange simple syrup, and a hint of angostura bitters
    Snooze, based in Colorado
  • Café con Chatta: Cutwater Fugu Horchata vodka, cold extract nitro coffee, finished with a cinnamon sugar rim
    Azul-Latin Kitchen, Lake Tahoe, Calif.
  • Nitro Brut with Grand Marnier, simple syrup, nitro cold brew coffee and a champagne topper
    Beatrix, Chicago
  • The Best Buzz: Coconut rum, cold brew, vodka, amaro, salted vanilla and cream
    ThunderKing Coffee Bar, Costa Mesa, Calif.
  • Pico & Robertson: Coconut-infused bourbon, punt e mes vermouth, yellow chartreuse, Chambéry dry vermouth blanc, cold brew
    The Nomad Hotel, Los Angeles

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About The Author

Jillian Werb

Digital Editor for Flavor & the Menu magazine. Based in Portland, Maine, and surrounded by good food.