The weekend has officially arrived, which means it’s time to kick back, relax and shake up a cocktail. Cardamom and vanilla are two of my absolute favorite spices – and luckily, those flavors pair incredibly well with my most beloved beverage – coffee.
At first glance, this recipe may seem rather involved for one drink, but trust me – it’s worth it. The coffee concentrate and vanilla simple syrup can also be used in a variety of ways. You can store the concentrate in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and use it for treats like cardamom-infused Italian fried doughnuts, iced lattes or coffee pudding. The simple syrup will keep for nearly a month and is the perfect way to sweeten up other cocktails or mocktails needing a hint of vanilla.
Honestly, though, you’ll probably just want to keep the concentrate and syrup on hand so you’re ready to whip up another Cardamom + Vanilla Coffee Cocktail. Cheers!
Cardamom + Vanilla Coffee Cocktail
Yields 1 cocktail
Recipe developed in collaboration with FreshGround Roasting
2 ounces cardamom coffee concentrate* (see recipe below)
1 ounce vodka
¾ ounce triple sec
½ ounce vanilla simple syrup* (see recipe below)
1 ounce heavy cream
A few ice cubes
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake well for about 15 seconds. Pour into a glass and serve.
Cardamom Coffee Concentrate
4 cups cold water
1 cup freshly roasted, coarse ground coffee
1 tsp ground cardamom
Add coffee to a French Press. Sprinkle cardamom on top of the coffee grounds. Pour the cold water over the grounds, ensuring that all of the grounds get wet. Let steep overnight, or for 8-16 hours.
After the coffee has steeped, use the plunger on the French Press to strain your coffee. Pour brewed coffee concentrate into a container that can be covered and stored in your refrigerator. Discard the grounds. Coffee concentrate can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Quick Tip: If you don’t have a French Press, follow the same process except replace the press with another container. When the coffee has finished steeping, strain out grounds using a couple layers of cheesecloth. This recipe can also be made using a Toddy.
Vanilla Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean pod, split and scraped
4-5 large strips of orange zest (optional)
Add all ingredients, including the vanilla bean pod and the scraped out vanilla beans, to a small saucepan on medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently. Turn heat to low and simmer an additional 7-10 minutes. Strain out the solids and allow simple syrup to cool before using. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 weeks.