Coffee cocktails? So 2016. Instead, a growing number of booze brands are putting the cold brew in the bottle, along with a host of other spirits and ingredients. These are the ones worth the caffeine buzz.
Death Wish Coffee Vodka ($30 for 1L)
This is a collaboration between Albany Distilling and Death Wish Coffee Co., which, as an FYI, claims to brew “the world’s strongest coffee.” Each bottle contains approximately 30 percent Death Wish cold-brew coffee, and though it’s not quite the most coffee-forward spirit, there’s certainly enough for a running head start at an Espresso Martini or Black Russian.
Mosswood Espresso Barrel Aged American Whiskey ($40)
This Cali producer sources whiskey from other distilleries, then blends it and adds unique cask finishes. A Tennessee whiskey finished in a barrel seasoned with Four Barrel Coffee ’s Espresso Roast, this bottling is made in very small batches and can be hard to obtain outside of California, provided you can snag one at all.
Caffè Amaro ($30)
As Ryan Maybee, the co-founder of Kansas City-based J. Rieger & Co., explains it, he used to blend together cold brew and amaro as an alternative to super sweet coffee liqueurs. This nuanced, bittersweet elixir is made with coffee from Kansas City roaster Thou Mayest and briefly barrel-aged. It has just the right coffee-cocoa-spice profile for sipping or mixing into cocktails.
Related: Bad Larry’s Cold Hard Coffee ($8.49 for 4-pack of 12 oz. cans): It’s not a distilled spirit, but for those who enjoy “hard root beer” and other alco-pops, cold brew plus malt liquor may be the buzz you’re looking for. Launched this month in Arizona, Florida, Minnesota and western Wisconsin, with an eye on national distribution in the near future, each can will contain 6 percent alcohol, plus 180 milligrams of caffeine—the equivalent of about two cups of coffee. The cold brew is courtesy of Blackeye Roasting Co. and initially is expected to be available throughout the Midwest.