Starbucks, Jack Daniel’s and other coffee shops and breweries are mixing coffee and spirits
These brews are made with booze.
Coffee is getting spiked as coffee shops, vineyards and restaurants experiment with wine and spirits like gin and whiskey.
Modesto, California-based winery Apothic Wines created a namesake red wine called Apothic Brew that’s a blend of merlot, syrah and cabernet sauvignon infused with cold brew coffee. The flavor profile comprises velvety chocolate notes of cold brew with juicy blackberry characteristics from the dark red wine. It hits shelves April 1 for $14 a bottle.
The demand for cold brew coffee grew a staggering 430% between 2015 and 2017 with 50% of millennials specifically drinking the java that’s brewed in cold water for up to 24 hours and contains more caffeine than your average cup. And combined with red wine, the two popular vices tastefully compliment each other, experts say.
“Cold brew coffee is well-suited to wine because people who enjoy red wines are already familiar with coffee notes in wine. Both are known for having certain sensory characteristics, like mocha, brown spice, and chocolate. You’ll also often find coffee or espresso listed as a descriptor for red wines,” winemaker George Neveling tells Moneyish.
It’s not the first wine and coffee collaboration. Last year, Virginia-based Orange County Coffee Roasters did the opposite by making a merlot-infused coffee, infusing the beans in red wine barrels.
The coffee-cocktail trend of incorporating a shot of Joe into hard liquors like bourbon and whiskey has been a no-brainer for mixologists for years, but more recently, mainstream coffee companies are starting to flavor their brews with spirits. Earlier this week, Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle released a mocktail-inspired coffee beverage that features coffee beans aged in gin barrels. Baristas combine the new Gin Barrel-Aged Rwanda coffee concentrate with ice and a few dashes of lime bitters to create the new sip. The beans absorb the botanical aromas of the gin and bring out more citrus notes, with a sweet caramel finish. But don’t expect a buzz — the beans are roasted in small batches, which burns off the alcohol, but still packs in the pepper, cardamom and vanilla flavors.
Similarly, Intelligentsia, a high-end coffee bar chain, partners annually with Goose Island Brewery to collaborate on a coffee beer, which will be released later this year. In 2017, they launched a bourbon stout brewed with Black Cat Espresso coffee. And last year, Jack Daniel’s — perhaps in the “hair of the dog” hangover spirit — came out with a whiskey-infused coffee dubbed Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Coffee. The brand describes the whiskey-flavored brew as premium 100% Arabica coffee roasted medium and infused with Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee whiskey. Like the Starbucks variety, this one is also non-alcoholic.
The demand for coffee shops to incorporate spirits into their beverage portfolios is on the rise. A study by the global on-trade consultancy firm CGA Strategy questioned nearly 1,800 consumers, and found that among those under 35, 27% would be very likely to drink alcohol in coffee shops if it was available to them, compared to the national average of 25%.
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