Recently, Cocktail Chemistry posted this video in which he pours classic cocktails over coffee grounds in a V60. So I had to try it. Note that I did all this experimenting with the first drink, The Manhattan.
1oz of Sweet Vermouth
2oz of Rye Whiskey
2 dashes of angostura (did not have the black walnut bitters)
I made the first drink the way he did in the video, using 15g of ground coffee, stirring the cocktail in ice and pouring it over the coffee in a V60 filter until the liquid ran through. As the cocktail ran through the filter, I noticed that I could not get an even flat bed due to the low volume of the cocktail, so the ground coffee was actually stuck to the sides of the filter. However, the resulting drink was great, but very cocktail forward and the coffee notes seemed to be more of background noise. So I thought I could improve on this by possibly running a bloom phase with the coffee.
For the bloomed drink, I wet the filter and ran 45g of water through the 15g of coffee for 45 seconds. When I prepared the alcohol portion of the drink, I did not dilute it in ice and instead chose to do that after the drink had filtered through the V60. This is a pic of the resulting drinks side by side, with the “bloomed” drink in the left and the original recipe in the right. The resulting drink was too watered down and lost the taste of the coffee or the original cocktail.
For my next “experiment”, I took a suggestion from one of the comments to shake the cocktail recipe with the coffee and no ice in shaker tins and then filter and dilute with ice afterwards for about 15 seconds. I used the same 15g of coffee at a pour over grind setting and shook the mixture in a cocktail shaker for about two minutes and dumped the mixture through the V60. The resulting drink was very coffee forward, but I had lost the flavor of the cocktail. It’s possible that by shaking the coffee for less time may result in a more balanced drink.
My next thought was to use an Aeropress for the drink. So I used the same grind setting with 15g of coffee, prepared the cocktail without diluting it and poured it into the ground coffee in the Aeropress using the inverted method making sure that the coffee was evenly wet. Then I let it sit for 2 minutes. Afterwards, I filtered it into my mixer glass and stirred it with ice for 10 seconds. Then I strained it and the resulting drink was a great balance of the coffee and the Manhattan recipe.
Overall, I think this is a great idea and believe that the Aeropress offers the most promising results by combing the filter with immersion brewing. Also, the drinks will sneak up on you. I’m realizing this as I’m finishing this post. In the future I might look up how ethanol interacts with different coffee compounds to see how to get a good extraction meanwhile maintaining the original spirit of the drink. For now, I recommend Cocktail Chemistry’s original recipe or using an Aeropress. If any of this doesn’t make sense, it’s because Cocktail Chemistry got me drunk.