Why is it when we envision whiskey and coffee together, it's always hot beverages, such as Irish Coffee? As the season (finally!) warms, there’s plenty of room for boozing up our iced coffee. A nip of whiskey can add a much-appreciated kick to that chilly boost of caffeine.
Coffee is an incredible ingredient for cocktails and an even better base for a low proof or quick highball drink. "Loads of different spirits play well with the flavor profile of coffee such as ryes (the spice notes), cognacs (right fruits and slight floral), aged rum (vanilla and caramel notes) and low-proof options like amaros (playing bitter on bitter), and liqueurs (touch of sweetness). Because of the versatility of coffee's flavor and aroma, the liquor you add can craft and build a completely different type of drink every time you play around with different combinations. I like to keep it a bit low proof when mixing with coffee because coffee is a stimulant (excessive caffeine) and can act in ways similar to a Red Bull/vodka if you are not careful with consumption," says Pamela Wiznitzer, Creative Director at Seamstress NY.
"This is essentially a love child between an Espresso Martini and a Rusty Nail. Whiskey makes a great base because it has greater richness than vodka," says Naren Young of Dante in New York City.
• 1 ½ oz. Dewar’s 12 blended Scotch Whisky
• ½ oz. Drambuie
• ¾ oz. agave nectar (diluted at 1:1)
• pinch of cayenne pepper
• espresso coffee
1. Shake very hard.
2. Strain into chilled coupe glass.
Whiskey and Roots
"Whiskey is the perfect addition to any form of cocktail for any season, but it’s especially great as a pick-me-up on a hot summer day. Adding it to an iced coffee or any iced cooler gives it a bold, round flavor. The spirit is becoming more versatile in mixing and is making its way beyond the traditional sour and smash and into iced coffees and teas," says Zachary Blair, lead mixologist at Whiteface Lodge tucked away in the High Peaks of Lake Placid.
• 1.25 oz Whistle Pig
• .5 oz ROOT
• 2 oz espresso
• whipped cream
• fresh nutmeg
1. Add chilled espresso, whiskey, and Root spirit into stirring vessel.
2. Chill and strain over large ice cube.
3. Top with dollop of house-made whipped cream and grated nutmeg.
Rye Chai Iced Latte
"The high-proof rye whiskey is complimented by the cinnamon and clove notes in the chai mix. A bit of rich demerara syrup to sweeten up this lovely latte and add some depth is just what you need to get you going on a hot early morning…" says Zachary Davis, beverage director at the Double Knot in Philadelphia.
• 1.5 oz George Dickel 90 Proof Rye Whiskey
• 1.5 oz whole milk
• 1 oz chai spice concentrate
• .75 oz Demerara simple syrup
• 1 oz fresh-brewed espresso
• 2 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters
• topping of fresh whipped cream
1. Add all ingredients into a mixing tin and fill with large ice cubes.
2. Shake briefly to incorporate and chill all ingredients.
3. Strain into a glass filled with large ice cubes.
4. Top with fresh whipped cream and enjoy.