Cold Brew Old-Fashioned Recipe
Whether you like your Old Fashioned with bacon-wrapped figs or spiced pecans, Home Grounds agrees on one thing: it’s always better with coffee. Sweet, smooth, and with almost a syrupy mouthfeel, cold brew coffee is the Old Fashioned cocktail’s natural complement.
Wanna learn how to make a fantastic one? Keep scrolling for a few tips on how to make the best cold brew Old Fashioned.
What You’ll Need
- 1 cup coarse-ground coffee
- 5 cups water
- One 51-ounce French press
- One 50-ounce glass pitcher
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup room-temperature water
- 2 ounces cold brew concentrate
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar simple syrup
- Orange peels and Maraschino cherries for garnish
- Rocks glass
- Muddler or bar spoon
At a Glance
16 hours for prep, 5-10 minutes for Old Fashioned
The Best Coffee Beans to Use for This Drink
Traditionally, cold brew coffees incorporate dark to medium roast coffees because of their cup profiles. Cold brew made with coarsely ground coffee benefits from the flavors that develop later in the roasting process via the Maillard reaction. This is why people prize it for low acidity and sweetness.
What’s more, you’ll want to choose your single-origin coffee beans or coffee bean blends to complement the rest of your ingredients. While a bright, floral African coffee works well in a cinnamon orange iced coffee crush—where the prevailing flavors are citrusy and spicy—it may not work well for drinks like the Old Fashioned, where the flavors are less bold and more subdued. So as a general rule of thumb, stick with single-origin coffee beans or coffee bean blends from Central and South America.
How to Make A Cold Brew Old Fashioned
Though you won’t find this drink at many local bars, this cold brew drink is a great way to elevate this classic before-dinner coffee cocktail.
As with our almond milk cold brew and Vietnamese cold brew coffee, this drink starts out by making cold brew. And for us, the optimal cold brew method is pretty simple: coarse coffee grounds, room-temperature water, and a 50-ounce French press.
Room-temperature water quickens the extraction process and ensures that all of the coffee’s subtler tasting notes are extracted from the bean. What’s more, you can simply combine the coffee grounds with water and leave it on your counter for 16 hours.
After your batch of cold brew concentrate is ready, simply press the plunger and decant your cold brew into a glass pitcher. Now, your cold brew concentrate is ready to be incorporated into a bunch of cold brew drinks.
Now that you put all your ingredients together, let’s make this cold brew cocktail.
1. Brew your Cold Brew
Measure 1 cup of coarse coffee grounds into a 50-ounce French press and add 5 cups of room-temperature water. Stir gently to combine.
With the plunger fully retracted, place the French press lid on and leave it on the countertop for 16 hours. Once it’s ready, plunge and decant into a large, 50-ounce pitcher.
Pro Tip: While you can use a plastic pitcher, Home Grounds recommends using a glass pitcher instead. Storing your cold brew concentrate in a glass pitcher results in the cleanest cup profile because it won’t absorb odors or oils.
2. Make Your Simple Syrup
A few minutes before you’re ready to serve your Old Fashioned, place one cup of brown sugar and one cup of water into a saucepan.
Then, bring it to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove it from the heat and let your simple syrup cool to room temperature.
Pro Tip: You can store any leftover simple syrup in a resealable jar in the fridge. Use it as a base for a lazy coffee creamer or other coffee cocktails.
3. Assemble The Drink
In the bottom of an eight-ounce rocks glass, use either a muddler or bar spoon to muddle a dash of Angostura bitters and two teaspoons of simple syrup.
Then, add equal parts rye whiskey or bourbon and cold brew concentrate. For a single, use 2 ounces of each (1). Stir gently to combine.
Add in one large cold brew ice cube, or a few small ones, and garnish the Old Fashioned with an orange peel and a Maraschino cherry.
Pro Tip: For even more control over the viscosity, use a mixing glass. What’s more, a mixing glass lets you make multiple drinks at once.
Now, if you want another cold brew drink with alcohol, why not try our cold brew martini recipe?
This classic Old Fashioned cocktail is sure to bring a fun, caffeinated lift to your evening. While dinner is cooking, serve this cold brew cocktail with some spiced pecans or chocolate chess pie for a classic treat.
Have you made this drink? Which bourbon did you use? Drop us a comment below or in our Home Grounds Facebook group.
Use bitters that are sweeter and fruitier, like Angostura, and avoid ones with herby, minty notes, like Peychaud’s (2). What’s more, to tailor your cocktail further, Angostura offers chocolate and orange bitters, too. but, for a sweeter orange bitters brand, go with something like Fee’s, and for a spicier orange bitters kick, go with The Bitter truth (3).
Use a consistent, firm touch. In muddling cocktail ingredients, your goal is to press just hard enough to extract flavors, not crush them (4).
No, you can use whichever whiskey you prefer. Rye whiskey lends a dryer, note to cocktails, while bourbon is sweeter with a heavier mouthfeel (5).
- Crate and Barrel. (2018, September 7). Types of Cocktail Glasses: An In-Depth Guide. Crate&Barrel; Crate and Barrel. https://www.crateandbarrel.com/ideas-and-advice/types-of-cocktail-glasses
- Tasting Table Staff. (2017, June 21). What Are Bitters, And How Do You Use Them? Tasting Table; Tasting Table. https://www.tastingtable.com/694053/what-are-bitters-cocktails/
- Serious Eats. (2020). Cocktail 101: All About Orange Bitters. Serious Eats. https://www.seriouseats.com/cocktail-101-orange-bitters-fees-regans-bitter-truth-angostura-orange-difference
- How to Muddle Ingredients for a Cocktail: 4 Tips – 2022 – MasterClass. (2020). MasterClass. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-muddle-ingredients-for-a-cocktail
- Rye Whiskey Vs. Bourbon: The Main Differences. Liquor.com. https://www.liquor.com/bourbon-vs-rye-whiskey-6541248