Coffee cocktails aren’t only for brunch. Besides being a conduit for caffeine, coffee (at least the high quality stuff) is full of oils and rich flavors that pair nicely with a variety of spirits and liqueurs, including whiskey and vermouth. The ideal nightcap for the coffee-inclined, the combination of cold-brew, chinato and cream in this cocktail from the Bennett in New York City makes for the perfect balance of caffeinated zip and herbal calm.
There’s a lot going on in the Prairie Buzz, which starts with Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey, a blend of bourbon, corn whiskey, rye and a small measure of aged oloroso sherry. For the coffee aspect, it calls for a half-ounce of cold-brew, which is all the caffeine you’ll need, considering its strength. The sweetness in the drink mostly comes from amaretto—a rich liqueur made with either almonds or stone fruit pits—though it also gets a scant amount of cinnamon syrup. Vino chinato, an Italian grape-based aperitif similar to a sweet vermouth, adds more botanicals and complexity, which is mellowed by the addition of heavy cream. You could play around with cream substitutes, if you don’t normally consume dairy but still want to try the Prairie Buzz.
This rich, herbal and creamy drink serves as an excellent and flavorful nightcap, though you might want to use decaffeinated cold-brew if you’re planning on turning in soon after enjoying the drink—even a mere half ounce of the real stuff can give you a serious buzz, and not that of the boozy variety.
- 1 1/2 ounces Rieger’s Kansas City whiskey
- 1/2 ounce vino chinato
- 1/4 ounce amaretto liqueur
- 1/2 ounce cold-brew coffee
- 1/2 ounce heavy cream
- 1 barspoon cinnamon syrup
- Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg
Combine the Kansas City whiskey, vino chinato, amaretto liqueur, cold-brew coffee, heavy cream and cinnamon syrup into a shaker and dry-shake (without ice).
Add ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.