Cold brew. Everyone is on a cold brew kick. If you aren’t familiar with cold brew the concept is pretty easy to get on with. Starting with your favorite coffee or espresso or blend, you measure some out and stir it into chilled distilled water. You let it rest for a few hours and strain through filters and you have a light flavorful cold brew.
Here’s the thing. In cocktails it works and doesn’t work. For example, the Espresso Martini. The recipe I stick to is very simple, very minimal. The most important factor is the coffee. Cold brew for an espresso martini for me doesn’t work. Of course this works for a very light really rounded drink that if stirred is equally as pleasant but, I’m a kid from Long Island and there are some habits I just can’t break. Like shaking the heck out of your espresso martini and vying for a beautiful pillowy froth that is stable enough to cradle three espresso beans.
First things first. Specs.
2 oz. Vodka (Belvedere or Ketel One works best)
1 oz. Espresso (freshly pulled)
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1)
I’m sure you’re aware of the crema that is inherent in all craftfully made shots of espresso. A tan layer of micro foam that carries this amazing bouquet and spice. Well the science behind the crema is quite simple. The hot water and pressure from espresso machines awaken the coffee beans to release oils and carbon dioxide. Yep. CO2.
On the other hand, cold brew lacks that crema. Hence lack of foam when shaking using the same specs listed above. Although there is aeration it’s not sufficient to hold espresso beans.
The question becomes to stick with the old method of brewing shots of espresso a la minute for drinks? Or abandoning the foam and making a stirred drink? Hot or Cold?
Well, why can’t I get foam using cold brew? There must be some method? Nitrogen. Nitrogen infused cold brewed espresso. Nitrogen has great aeration abilities and is known for making foams and whipped cream. The only thing is that nitrogen naturally adds some level of sweetness so recipes must be adjusted accordingly.
This is my current experiment. Impregnting cold brewed espresso with nitrous oxide gas. After that going back to the previous recipe and seeing if the froth develops!