How to Make Cowboy Coffee, or the perfect boost to survive hump day.

How to Make the Cowboy Coffee CocktailIt’s hump day, the middle of the week is here, and none of us really feel like getting up in the morning.  We are all familiar with brunch cocktails and whether you are a fan of mimosas, bellinis or bloody marys,  they don’t do that much to help you wake up on your average morning.  There is however a beautifully simple cocktail that’ll balances great flavor with an extra burst of energy to get you up and ready to work and that is the Cowboy Coffee Cocktail!

Cowboy Coffee Cocktail
  • 2.5 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Demerara Simple Syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dark roast coffee beans
  • garnish with a flamed lemon peel and coffee bean

Begin by muddling the 2 dark roast coffee beans in the bottom of a shaker.  Once the beans have been crushed, add the bourbon, bitters, and syrup and top with ice.  Shake until chilled and then strain into a coupe glass or champagne flute.  Garnish with a flamed lemon peel and single coffee (whole) coffee bean.  I’s a simple cocktail with a great flavor and kick, and even better there are a lot of choices that allow you to customize it further.

The first choice is all about the sweetness.  Demerara simple syrup is exactly what you would expect – 1 part demerara sugar and 1 part water.  Demerara sugar, also called turbinado sugar,  is a less refined form of sugar and thus has a higher mineral content and slightly more nutritional value.  It’s a great choice for cocktails, becuase not only is the premium sugar on the market, but it is used in such small quantities that it won’t adversely affect overall cost of the drink.

The next two choices you will need to make are about presentation, but will also affect the overall flavor.  When choosing between the glasses, I usually go with the coupe glass for Cowboy Coffee.  I tend to enjoy higher proof bourbons, and the glasses design allows a bit more room for the cocktail to breathe, enhancing the experience.  Another issue that you will discover is that assuming you did a good job at muddling the coffee beans, your shaker’s strainer will not be fine enough to catch all the particles.  I personally like this drink a little bit rough around the edges and from drinking Arab and Turkish coffee have grown accustomed to consuming pieces of coffee beans, but that experience is not for everyone.  You may want to get a finer strainer to filter out these little chunks of coffee beans.

The last big choice is that of bourbon.  Bourbon is the backbone of this cocktail, but it’s simple nature leads to a lot of flexibility in the bourbon you choose.  I’ve made this cocktail, with cheap bourbons like Old Crow, industry standards like Evan Williams, Buffalo Trace and Jim Beam, and premium bourbons such as Blanton’s and Angel’s Envy.  Everytime the cocktail was delicious, and everytime it tasted like a new drink.  Use your favorite bourbon or the bourbon that suits your mood, you can’t go wrong with the Cowboy Coffee Cocktail!

Total cost per drink? ~$1.23

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Posted in Bourbon, Celebration Drinks, Cheap Cocktails, Dollar Drinks

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Nick McAfee
Nick McAfee is a student of Princeton University and is passionate about mixology. As a student with a low monthly income, he has developed ways to create simple cocktails with complex flavors from inexpensive ingredients. Learn more about Nick and Broke & Thirsty.
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