Coffee and booze together make an extra nice treat. Unfortunately, my insomnia keeps me from consuming much caffeine after 6:00 p.m. So, the first time I saw coffee bitters I immediately viewed it as the solution to my evening boozing.
They’re relatively easy to make, and like all bitters, just involve a fair amount of waiting. For these bitters, the bittering agent and main flavoring agent are one in the same. While the result may not be quite as bitter as if a more typical bittering agent, such as gentian root, licorice root, mugwort, or quassia bark, was used, the espresso still gives off a good amount of bitterness.
2 tbsp ground espresso
2 small cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp clove
5 oz 100 proof vodka
- Allow all components to infuse for between two weeks and two months.
- Taste test every week to achieve the desired flavor.
- Strain and store in a dropper or spray bottle for convenient use.
The resulting bitters can be used in many different cocktails. My favorite use is in a rye Old Fashioned cocktail to replace to Angostura bitters.
4 dashes coffee bitters
1 tsp sugar
2 oz rye whiskey
1 splash club soda
- Muddle the sugar and coffee bitters.
- Add the rye and stir.
- Top with club soda.
While it goes particularly well in this Old Fashioned, the coffee bitters would go nicely in most bourbon cocktails that are not fruity.