Sometimes a mug of hot coffee just doesn’t sound right when it starts to get pretty hot outside. You want a pick-me-up, but you’re in the mood for something lighter and more refreshing than rich coffee. With cold brew coffee’s incredible versatility, you can have both.
I present to you the Cold Brew Coffee Soda.
I know, I know - it sounds a little odd. Just hear me out. Cold brew coffee soda is simple to make, pleasing to drink, and opens up a new realm of drink possibilities that use cold brew concentrate.
I’ll admit, I’m typically a black coffee kind of person. But there’s no shame in enjoying a lighter, less intense coffee drink now and then. That’s the beauty of cold brew coffee: it works in so many ways, including this homemade soda.
Basic Cold Brew Coffee Soda
The most basic form of cold brew coffee soda is delightful and extremely easy to make. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2oz Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
- 8oz Soda Water
- 1oz Simple Syrup
This soda recipe uses cold brew concentrate brewed to a strength that you can find in our Ultimate Guide to Cold Brew Coffee. If you happen to make your cold brew at a different concentration using another recipe, that’s just fine! But you’ll probably have to use a slightly different amount of concentrate to achieve the same result.
What’s your favorite soda water? Sparkling mineral water, club soda, seltzer? Any one will work for this recipe, though they all taste slightly different - so keep that in mind. My favorite is the bubbly elixir from Monterrey, Mexico: Topo Chico.
Simple syrup can be easily made by combining equal parts of sugar and water and heating it up so that it dissolves. To make 1 oz of simple syrup, combine ¾ of an ounce of water and ¾ of an ounce of sugar and dissolve.
To make the magic happen, mix your cold brew concentrate and simple syrup first, add soda water to taste, then top with ice. You now have a simple, refreshing glass of cold brew coffee soda.
Making It Your Own
If you like to experiment and create things of your own, there are several ways you can do that with this recipe. I highly suggest getting creative with this soda.
Just keep in mind that your coffee’s flavor may blend well with some ingredients, but not others. So if you find yourself confused about an experiment that worked well a few weeks ago, but doesn’t taste quite right this week, it may just be that the particular coffee you used doesn’t blend with that extra flavor.
For example, a light and fruity Ethiopian coffee may blend really well with fruity ingredients and an earthy Colombian may pair with chocolate syrup perfectly. Use ingredients that you think will compliment the coffee’s natural flavors.
Cold Brew Lemonade Soda - The juice of ½ lemon pairs really well with some cold brew coffees. When added to your cold brew soda, it turns the drink into something like a sparkling iced coffee lemonade. Trust me, it’s a lot better than it first sounds. Just make sure to use fresh lemon juice. It’s like an Arnold Palmer for coffee people.
Minty Cold Brew Soda - Muddle a mint leaf at the bottom of your glass with a wooden spoon before mixing the other ingredients. Be careful not to break the mint leaves or the chlorophyll may cause your drink to be on the bitter side. Many coffee shops serve something like this called a Mint Coffee Julep.
Mocha Cold Brew Soda - Melt a square or two of dark chocolate for a deeper, chocolaty drink. This is almost always a winner and pairs well with most coffees. A little bit goes a long way!
Peaches and Cream Cold Brew Soda - Mash up some fresh peaches in your soda and let the juices flow. Then top the beverage with a very slight amount of half and half. This one works well with lighter, fruitier coffees, but I haven’t had much success this recipe when using deeper, more chocolatey coffees.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with ingredients you have around the house. Want to try honey instead of granulated sugar? Do it! Want to garnish your soda with a few strawberry slices? I won’t stop you.
Have fun, play with your drink. It’s Summer, so live a little.
Don’t let any coffee snob tell you you’re ruining your incredible coffee by dressing it up with soda water and sugar. Coffee should energize and empower you, no matter the form it takes.
That said, there’s nothing like a well-brewed cup of black coffee or glass of cold brew that’s rich, balanced, and extremely satisfying. I definitely encourage you to source high quality coffee beans and brew them with care. Your coffee will taste better, you’ll feel the satisfaction of making something mindfully, and your life will benefit in ways you would never have expected.
If you’d like to give cold brew coffee soda a try, check out our JavaPresse French Press. It will enable you to make hot and cold brewed coffee, is fun and rewarding to use, and will last you a lifetime.