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Cold Brew to Mix: The Ultimate Guide to Easy Cold Coffee Drinks, from alcohol-free to Negroni

Refreshing on a hot summer morning, after lunch, or even while taking a stroll, Cold Brew coffee has emerged from its coffee shop confines to cameo in cocktail bars.

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The Cold Brew trend

Cold Brew has grown increasingly popular among Gen Z and Millennials as an alternative to sugary soft drinks or other less healthy beverages. This market proved instrumental in establishing coffee’s “fourth wave”- one centred on home coffee making. Yet Cold Brew’s 12-hour preparation renders it a daunting feat for home baristas.  

As Cold Brew’s popularity increases, coffee shops have expanded their offerings far beyond the standard plain and milky. Nowadays, an array of possibilities with fruity and floral additions, visual and sensory stimulation, sparkling bubbles, eye-catching colours, and limited-edition seasonal flairs abound. As a result, Cold Brew is a suitable option for all coffee possibilities, from an energizing morning drink to a more versatile beverage all day and in the evening.

Regarding the trend’s evolution, Melbourne-based coffee expert Craig Simon of Criteria Coffee has noticed an increased interest in Cold Brew classic cocktails and the drink appearing in less coffee-centric beverages. “Mocktails or fancy Cold Brew style drinks are coming through as well as an alternative to the Iced Latte with hot espresso, ice, and milk,” says Simon. “Cold brew is served with ice and milk of choice. Not a lot of flavours are added.” He has also noticed mixologists gravitating toward Cold Brew, mixing it into citrus- and fruit-flavoured drinks.

A study by The NPD Group, an American market research company, reports that Cold Brew and Iced Coffee sales in coffee shops have soared by 27% and 11% from 2021 to 2022, with consumption of cold coffee shop beverages moving from morning to midday and late evening. Cold Brew is crushing it in coffee shops among baristas, and cold brew cocktails are a growing trend among bartenders.

Cold Brew beyond coffee

Hot on the heels of the Espresso Martini boom, coffee cocktails and mocktails have surged in popularity, with brands and bartenders expanding on formats, flavours, and sourcing practices. In Australia, sparkling cocktails abound, while Cold Brew cocktails prevail in Tokyo and have started to take over Hong Kong. 

Innovative mixologists infuse coffee in new cocktails, inspiring ready-to-drink product development with endless opportunities. Alcohol has boosted the occasions and times of day for coffee consumption, while alcohol-free drinks containing Cold Brew as a mixer have become more standard year-round. Coffee lovers usually turn to coffee shops to satisfy their Cold Brew cravings, but now an alternative allows them to concoct a Cold Brew at home in no time. 

Mix and match with a specific function

De’Longhi’s unprecedented Cold Extraction Technology whips up Cold Brew at home in under 5 minutes instead of the usual 12 hours. Also, it allows coffee lovers to hone their mixology skills by preparing cold brew cocktails in their kitchens.

With the Eletta Explore machine’s game-changing Cold Extraction Technology, home baristas not only have classic Cold Brew coffee beverages at their disposal–they can also channel their inner mixologists with “Cold Brew to Mix”. The function pours just the right amount of coffee to serve as a base to mix with other ingredients into a Cold Brew cocktail or alcohol-free beverage. In addition, the function measures the amount of liquid dispatched, so home baristas and bartenders don’t have to worry about being too heavy- or light-handed when mixing. 

Shake it up, up to a Negroni 

Whether one’s feeling inspired by mixology maestros or just wants to bolster their caffeine with a kick, the “Cold Brew to Mix” function offers a substantial foundation for a vast, drinkable repertoire. Indeed, adding some oomph to reliable classic cocktails is a befitting place to start.

The Cold Brew Gin & Tonic is a straightforward cocktail that combines the sweet notes of Cold Brew coffee with a timeless classic. Alternatively, the Cold Brew Mojito couples the delicate aromas of Cold Brew coffee with the intensity of fresh mint in this barista twist on the famous Caribbean cocktail. Or the Cold Brew Negroni adds the traditional Italian gin, vermouth, and Campari to a Cold Brew base, undercutting the drink’s bitterness with refreshing lusciousness. And the Cold Brew to Mix feature isn’t limited to cocktails; coffee lovers can prepare creative cafe-style drinks like a Salted Caramel Cold Brew. 

Perhaps preparing these coffee and cold brew cocktails at home will mark the start of coffee’s “fifth wave”?  

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Eletta Explore

Explore an endless variety of hot, cold and creative coffee recipes, also with Cold Brew with De’Longhi Eletta Explore.
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