We’re celebrating summer by sharing tips and recipes for nonalcoholic coffee and tea cocktails.
“Nothing’s more satisfying on a hot, sunny day than a cooling, booze-free beverage,” said Sustainability Director Brandon Bir.
“Enjoy these refreshing drinks on your patio, while out walking your dog, gathering with friends or even just driving around in your car. They travel well, so all you need is a to-go cup!”
Brandon travels as much as 100,000 miles each year to discover exceptional coffees and teas for Crimson Cup. “It’s no wonder that many of my favorite beverages have a coffee or tea base.”
He suggested prepping coffee and tea concentrates to keep on hand. “Stored in airtight containers in your fridge for up to two weeks, concentrates can turn into delectable drinks whenever you’re in the mood.”
Creating a Tea Concentrate
Brandon begins with a white floral tea from our flagship Crimson coffeehouse at Easton Town Center in Columbus.
“It’s important to start with terrific tea,” he said. “It’s somewhat subjective, but you know it when you taste it.”
To create the concentrate, put 15 to 20 grams of tea into a tea press. Add four hundred milliliters (about 13.5 ounces) of 160-degree water. Steep it for four minutes and then extract the tea.
“It’s really strong so that the flavor will come through when mixed with other ingredients,” Brandon said. “Don’t drink it straight!”
Nonalcoholic Crimson Sunrise Tea Cocktail Recipe
- Pour 1.5 ounces of cold tea concentrate into a mixing vessel.
- Add 1.5 ounces of orange juice, or an ounce of lemon or lime juice.
- Add two dashes cranberry, orange or grapefruit bitters.
- Add a sweetener of your choice to taste. For cane sugar, start with ½ tsp.
“The result is a super fruity, light and floral nonalcoholic beverage that takes the heat off the humid days of summer.”
Creating a Coffee Concentrate
Brandon likes to bloom the ground coffee with hot water, then add cold water and brew for two hours at room temperature.
He uses a ratio of one part coffee to 10 parts water. “Use 40 grams of coffee ground to medium fine for 400 milliliters of water,” he said. “Again, you want to use a superb coffee, like one of Crimson Cup’s natural processed Peruvian coffees.”
Put the fresh-ground coffee in a mason jar, and add just enough 200-degree hot water to allow it to bloom, which releases some of the flavor compounds. Then, add the remaining cold water, put a lid loosely on the top and let it sit on the counter for two hours.
“Do not screw the top on tightly!” Brandon cautioned. “The coffee will release carbon dioxide, which could cause the glass to explode if there’s nowhere for it to expand.”
After two hours, stir the coffee and grounds together and then pour through a sieve or coffee filter into a container with an airtight lid.
Nonalcoholic Orange Coffee Dreamsicle Recipe
- Pour 1.5 ounces of cold coffee concentrate or cold brew into a mixing vessel.
- Add 1.5 ounces of fresh-squeezed orange juice. Use a sweet variety like Cara Cara or Blood Orange.
- Add sweetener to taste. For cane sugar, start with ½ tsp.
- Add 3 ounces of almond, soy, macadamia or other milk alternative.
- Stir, then add two dashes of grapefruit or orange bitters.
- Mix everything together, pour into a tall glass filled with ice, and garnish with an orange slice.
“Drink this in the afternoon or as a nightcap,” Brandon said. “It tastes like a creamy orange popsicle – super, super tasty. It has a bit of caffeine because of the coffee.”
Beyond these recipes, Brandon suggested experimenting at home or dropping into your local independent coffee house for inspiration.