Coffee Cooler

This caffeinated non-alcoholic cocktail is perfect for the beginning or end of a night out.

Coffee Cooler
Photo:

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Oset Babür-Winter

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We are truly in a non-alcoholic cocktail renaissance, and in cities across the country, it's becoming more common to find bartenders paying cocktails without booze the same attention and care as spiked drinks. While an ice-cold cranberry and soda is objectively delicious, it might not feel as special or celebratory as a multi-step cocktail. That's where drinks like the Coffee Cooler come in. This surprising, thoughtfully crafted caffeinated NA cocktail is sure to delight. 

Made with fragrant cardamom, brewed coffee, orange juice, and club soda, the Coffee Cooler is a slightly fizzy cocktail that is packed with floral aromas. While it feels like just about anything can be flavored with coffee nowadays, keep in mind that pairing with coffee can be deceptively complex. For example, coffee can have gentle, tea-like aromas like citrus, flowers, and even vanilla, but it has a backbone of bitterness that can easily overpower a pairing. 

Aside from freshly brewed coffee, you'll notice that orange juice is a key ingredient to this drinnk. The aromatic sweetness from freshly squeezed orange juice can actually highlight dormant citrus flavors in coffee, and its acidity helps tame coffee’s sometimes astringent sour flavor; the bitterness from the pith and zest or the orange also melds with coffee’s bitter flavors. Each respective flavor is amplified by a bit of simple syrup, whose sweetness goes a long way in making this a cocktail we can't get enough of.

Coffee and orange juice aside, the real MVP of this recipe? Cardamom. A gorgeous pairing for coffee, cardamom has a floral fragrance and citrusy flavor that pairs perfectly with the orange juice and the coffee. It’s likely you have everything you need to whip up this delicious non-alcoholic cocktail in your fridge and pantry at home. Cheers!

Ingredients

  • 5 cardamom pods

  • 3 ounces brewed coffee

  • 1 ounce orange juice

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

  • 1 ounce club soda

  • 1 orange twist (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add cardamom pods, brewed coffee, orange juice and simple syrup and shake for 15-20 seconds until combined.

  2. Double strain into an ice filled highball and stir in the club soda. Garnish with twist. 

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