Coffee has been around for hundreds of years. You would think by now civilization had figured out every possible combination of how to enjoy it. Dripped, pressed, infused, on ice cream, with condensed milk, doused in pumpkin spices—we thought we’d seen everything. But human ingenuity related to ingesting caffeine knows no bounds, and another fresh take on coffee is popping up on menus wherever creative coffee-lovers live. In other words, everywhere.
The Coffee Tonic – or Caffe Tonics as the connoisseurs are calling it – seems odd at first (mixing tonic water with espresso?!) but you just need to try it once to be converted to a new java jam that’s tasty, visually stunning, and easy to prepare.
What you’ll need:
- 6 ounces of artisanal tonic water
- A few ice cubes
- 1 shot of freshly brewed, low acidity espresso
- Fill an old fashioned (or similar) glass with ice
- Add the tonic water
- Brew the espresso and carefully pour it over the tonic water so that it sits on top. Try not to mix it, as each sip you take will pick up a bit of tonic water and a bit of coffee, balancing the flavors.
Tonic water is a carbonated soda, known for its slightly bitter notes. We suggest using a small batch or artisanal tonic water, as the flavors tend to be more subtle than mass-produced brands. You want something delicate that will complement your coffee, not overpower it.
The Coffee Tonic works best with low acidity espresso. If your shot tastes too tart, try increasing the water temperature before you brew, or give your espresso machine more time to heat up. If the espresso tastes burnt, it might mean the water was too hot, or maybe your beans are over-roasted. Freshly ground beans work best, but espresso from cartridge-based devices work too.
Have fun with it! Experiment and add your own touches according to your taste. Try adding a kaffir lime leave, a slice of lemon peel, a cinnamon stick, or whatever else strikes your fancy. Who knows, you may come up with the next hot (or cold) new coffee drink, and the world will thank you.
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