So I found this article while looking around on the internet the other day.
It seems that the idea of combining espresso and tonic water has been brewing for a while (did ya catch that? zing!), and a few big name coffee shops like Stumptown in Portland, Oregon, have jumped on the bandwagon and started honing their recipes. While it has yet to reach DC, this coffee cocktail is getting a pretty big following in New York and LA and it looks like it’s here to stay for a bit.
Color me intrigued.
And a little grossed out because espresso and tonic?
But mostly intrigued.
After doing a little more digging, I came away with a handful of articles on this mystery concoction but nothing in the way of recipes other than some general guesstimates of espresso-to-tonic ratios that should do the trick. So, armed with very limited knowledge of how one is supposed to taste and a lot of questions (why am I doing this? did I really just spend $15 on espresso and tonic water? what’s wrong with me?), I decided to try it out for myself.
I started out with a 4:1 tonic to espresso ratio and went from there. I’ll admit, I was a little gun shy at first and only poured in about 2/3 of my espresso, and while it wasn’t bad, it definitely wasn’t good. So I poured in the rest of the espresso, making the ratio somewhere around a 3:1, and sipped again. Not. too. shabby. Then I added a little cherry juice and topped it with a couple whole maraschino cherries and gave it to the biggest coffee snob I know, the hub, for final approval.
After a few sips I got the thumbs up I was looking for -- this stuff is blogworthy.
Now, while it's called a "coffee tonic", it can be made with either espresso or strong, cold brewed coffee (or any type of coffee you choose, really). I just chose espresso to keep things interesting, but I wouldn't hesitate to use coffee instead. If espresso isn't your thing and you would rather make this with coffee, start with the same 3:1 ratio and adjustit by taste-testing the mix until you get it just right, which all depends on the type of coffee bean and strength of the brew. So, don't let the name fool you!
Coffee Tonic Recipe
1 oz espresso or strong, cold brewed coffee
3 oz tonic water (I used Fever Tree)
- Fill a glass with ice.
- Pour in your tonic water, then sloooowly add your espresso. Careful! It gets fizzy quickly and might bubble over - just keep an eye on it as your pour.
- Add 1 tsp cherry juice and top with a whole cherry (or 3 because they're really the best part).
- I stirred mine before drinking, but you don't have to. As you sip you'll get a good mix of coffee and tonic whether you stir or not.
If you're not sure how to make cold brew coffee, check out my Ultimate Guide to Cold Brew here where I cover all the bases.
So what do you think? Will you be hopping on the coffee tonic bandwagon?