There are a few things I really like. And, I often combine them shamelessly, whether they make sense together or not.
In this case, I’m coming in a few things I’m really into. First and foremost, coffee. I’m seriously into coffee. I have a cabinet full of different coffee makers (though tbh, Aeropress and V60 are used 95% of the time – sorry American Press) and various coffee beans (single origin light roast, duh). I often find myself speaking outloud to my morning coffee, saying things like, “oh coffee, thank you for being in my life”.
Number two, I really like dinosaurs. I mean, who doesn’t, right? My daughter (6months at time of writing) has tons of dinosaur outfits. I just finished an excellent book about Dinasaurs (The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte). I had some weird hipster figurines of T-Rex as decor in my bedroom.
Number three, I enjoy a good Old Fashioned. I don’t like it very sweet so I use less Simple Syrup than is usually called for.
Combining this together, I decided to make a Coffee Old Fashioned. Maybe it’d better be called a Third Wave Old Fashioned? Or the Cretaceous Old Fashioned? Does having a weird science term alienate some potential drinkers?
So, first up, I wanted to infuse a coffee flavored simple syrup. Super fresh coffee isn’t essential here, so if you have any old beans hanging around, now’s the time to use them. I used some decaf beans since I will generally be using this in the evening and I don’t like not being able to sleep.
Start with a 1:1 ratio of water to sugar. I made 1 cup of water so I used 1 cup of sugar. Bring to boil and stir until all of the sugar is dissolved. Next add in your coffee grounds. I used 1/4 as much as the volume of water, so 1/4 cup in this case. Grind your beans as coarse as possible! Simmer for 10 minutes.
Similar to the Chris Baca French Press recipe from YouTube, get out two spoons and scoop out the surface layer of coffee grounds and discard. Get your V60 ready with a paper filter that’s been pre-rinsed (if you don’t have a V60, you can just pour the mixture into a French Press and then use the strainer. If you don’t have a French Press, you could add the coffee ground to the pot using a mesh bag.). Slowly pour the mixture from your pot over the V60 and drip into a jar.
Boom, you’ve got some coffee infused simple syrup.
I mentioned that I don’t like my drinks super sweet. I do 4 parts Bourbon to 1 part simple syrup but you can adjust to taste. Additionally, you’ll need some bitters (here I used coffee bitter, cause if you’re already doing coffee, might as well!). Normally you’d also add some lemon juice but I did lime juice here because… limes are what I had handy! Either way works fine, though with the lime I’m stretching the definition of what an Old Fashioned is.
Add everything to a shaker and shake away. I like the cool metal cup shakers where the it’s two different sized cups fitting together for purely aesthetic reasons.
You’re probably wondering what T-Rex has to do with any of this. After all, with his tiny arms he can’t shake a shaker right? Well, Mr Rex has to do with this because my amazing wife bought me an ice cube mold of T-Rex fossils which I used for the ice in this drink. Pour your rink through a strainer into your cup with the million-year-old fossils and a wedge of lime or lemon peel. It goes without saying that this should be in whatever your classiest/nerdiest glassware is.
So, that’s how to infuse simple syrup with coffee! Add to a drink of your choice, and if possible use some dinosaur related ice cubes. Because, that makes things better.