Hello, readers! By now, summer is in full swing. If you are like me, you hate the heat. I don’t mean that in a silly high school pubescent way- I mean I really fucking loathe the heat. My blood vessels are too deep seated to effectively cool me; my skin is too pale. I wish I were as fucking swarthy as my forebears.
Anyways, amidst all the normal “beat the heat” summer bullshit, I figured I’d give you a few tasty beverages that will keep your brain from boiling. Let’s jump right in, shall we?
- Cold-brewed Coffee. This one is a goddamned miracle, I swear. I had never even dreamt of something as wonderful as this, and I gave many sexual favors to the one who taught me. It’s easy, tastes better/different than hot coffee, and won’t raise that core temp.
- First, get a pitcher or jar or somesuch. The ratio for coldbrew is the same as hotbrew, so ideally you’d find something coffee pot sized. *CAVEAT: the process leaves a sort of coffeeish taste in the container, so you want to use glass or a plastic container you don’t care about. I bought a pitcher for like $2.50 from Wally World for this purpose.
- Fill it with water and coffee. Again, it’s just like making traditional coffee. You want six cups of java? Get a six cup container and fill it with water and then six scoops of grounds. *IMPORTANT NOTE: coldbrew does not get stale at the same rate as hotbrew. Drinking day old coffee tastes a little gross (opinion), but coldbrew keeps in the fridge for a few days, as long as you keep the pitcher/jar/bottle covered. So make as much as you want!
- Now, the hard part: Waiting. It takes about 24 hours for the coffee to brew. There’s no army of boiling water molecules to savage the sacred coffee oils out of their grounds, so you just have to wait for them to leech out.
- Finally, Filter that ish. I just used a coffee filter, but as long as it keeps the grounds out and lets the liquid through, you’ll do fine.
- Aguas Frescas. This is some superb stuff, especially if you don’t like to drink much else besides water. You can make it with all kinds of shit, but since it is summer, let’s just focus on watermelon.
- First, get a watermelon and chop the fucker up. You can use any melon really; I think watermelon is the most refreshing, but as long as it’s a watery, mildly sweet melon like thing (cucumbers are nice, too!) it will work.
- Put the chopped bits in a blender (or a food processor, if you’re rich, or just put them in a bowl and mash them with a fork, if you’re poor). You have to add water to actually make the juice, otherwise it will be sort of sludgy. For every cup of melon chunks, I add a quarter cup of water. If you want it thicker and sweeter, add less (you can go as low as a couple tablespoons), and if you want it thinner and more hydrating, add more (a 1:1 ratio isn’t very appetizing, as it just tastes like tainted pink water)
- Now, you should be pouring the blended stuff into a bowl or pitcher or something. Once it’s complete, get another bowl or pitcher or something and put some cheesecloth over it. If you don’t have cheesecloth (pleb), you can use a coffee filter. If you don’t have a coffee filter because you only make hipster-cold-brewed-coffee, use paper towels (I did lol). Just pour the blended stuff through the cheesecloth/filter into the next container, and that’s it!
- This is a delicious rice milk desert drink of Hispanic origin. If you’ve had it in a restaurant in the US, chances are it was horribly sweet and tasted like the leftover milk from Cinnamon Toast Crunch (not necessarily a bad thing, but certainly not thirst-quenching). Here is a more traditional, more refreshing version.
- Get some rice. The south-of-the-border variety uses long grain white, but I’ve had success with short grain white, the type used for sushi and such. You’ll need about a cup per 3-5 cups of water.
- Blend the rice. DO NOT COOK THE RICE BEFORE OR AFTER BLENDING. It should be very small broken up chunks and some powder, not completely pulverized.
- Add the rice to your containing vessel and pour lukewarm/room temp water over it. I usually have luck with the 1:3 ratio, but it depends on how much rice flavor you want. If you’ve ever had Rice Dream or somesuch from the store, you’ll know what I mean when I say “rice flavor”
- Drop a few whole cinnamon sticks in there. I always put at least 2, and then 1 more for each cup of rice.
- Now, we wait. Just like the cold-brewed-coffee, this takes a while. First, let it sit out on the counter for a few hours. I usually have luck with 4 hours. Then, strain the stuff into another container through cheesecloth (or whatever filter). This you’ll want to chill before serving. I like to stir in a bit of sugar before I put it in the fridge (so the crystals don’t completely melt), usually about a half cup of sugar to every 4 cups of water.
- It’s best served over ice, with a straw, and a small sprinkle of cinnamon powder over the top (only a bit or you will vomit or something). The straw will suck up the occasional sugar crystal at the bottom and make it all fun and shit.
Now that you have added some beverages to your repertoire, it is important to note that they can be fortified with booze. Obviously, coffee and cream type liqueurs go with the coldbrew coffee, but it can make a mean black Russian, too. Vodka, certain rums, and even tequila can go well with the melon drank. Horchata is even more versatile, as you can add clear or caramel booze to it, as well as a variety of liqueurs.
Madman, pseudo-psychologist, and itinerant mooch, Sebastian Stevenson is also a handsome Illyrian gentleman who wishes he owned a motorbike. Man, motorbikes are cool.
Know any other drank that will keep you cool in the heat and cool at the party? Leave a recipe in the comments.
Here are some others for the weekend: