Okay, everybody I’ve got some really good news. Despite what all of the displays at grocery stores, hardware stores, big box retailers, and drug store chains have been peddling for the last two to six weeks it is, in fact, still summer. Actually, it will be summer for almost two more weeks! This means we are free to pursue hot weather activities and treats without ridicule for nearly a fortnight. One of my favorite things to indulge in during the balmy summer months is the plethora of cold coffee beverages with which one can begin one’s day.
I know many people will consider me overly particular, even weak, for refraining from cold coffee when the temperature drops. Heck there’s even an entire state full of people that will trek through blizzard conditions in their sweats, sports jerseys, and beanies to their local “Dunks [sic]” to get a 96 ounce iced coffee in a humungous plastic cup sheathed in another styrofoam cup to make sure it stays nice and cold (not that there’s anything wrong with that; love ya, Mass.).
But what can I say? When it's hot in the morning I prefer cold coffee and vice versa. So during summer, I have to take advantage of the weather while I can and really get my fill of all my favorite chilled coffee drinks. There’s no shortage to choose from; from classic iced coffee to cold brew to the slightly more elaborate espresso tonic, cà phê sữa đá, or the indulgent affogato, but I want to talk here about my personal favorite of all the many options: the shakerato.
The shakerato is an elegant and refreshing coffee drink that takes a little bit of motivation (and equipment) to prepare, but is actually quite simple. The drink consists of only three (or maybe four) ingredients: Espresso, sugar (I use simple syrup), ice, and the smallest amount of salt (which you can opt to omit if you think salting your coffee is silly (which is a valid, if wrong opinion).
In addition to needing some type of espresso brewing equipment to execute this recipe you will also need a set of cocktail shaking tins, a glass for the finished drink, a scale capable of 1 gram precision, an espresso cup, and a Hawthorne strainer. Optional equipment that I use are a Booker and Dax cocktail cube (adding this to your shaking tins allows you to get the superior body associated with shaking with one big ice cube without actually needing to always have hug ice in the freezer), and a fine mesh tea strainer for catching any little bits of ice that make it through the Hawthorne strainer.
Espresso cup not pictured because I forgot it.
The procedure is really quite simple. First place your glass of choice (I’m using a Cocktail Kingdom five ounce nick and Nora glass) in the freezer to chill. Then measure 10 grams of simple syrup into your shaker tins, add the tiniest pinch of salt (seriously like maybe 1/32 of a teaspoon), and pull a double shot of espresso.
Here I’m using a medium roast espresso blend coffee. For my double shot I’m using 18.5 grams of beans in and looking for 35-40 grams of espresso out.
I’ve always wanted to get one of these shots.
Add the espresso to the shaking tin followed by the cocktail cube (if using), and ice (I use about five cubes). Close up those tins and shake. I recommend shaking pretty slowly at first to chill the drink down because the tins can have a hard time sealing while the coffee is still hot which can result in a terrible mess. I shake for a good 45 seconds to really froth up the coffee. Then simply crack the tins, and pour your drink into your chilled glass through the Hawthorne and tea (if using) strainers.
The tea strainer leaves behind a little foam, but I think its worth it for the silky texture it provides.
Now all that’s left to do is enjoy. It may seem complicated or convoluted, but once you get it down this drink can be executed start to finish in probably less than two and a half minutes. Certainly a worthy undertaking once in a while considering how delicious and refreshing the result is even if it seems like a hassle before you’ve had your coffee for the day.
If, once you’ve shaken up your morning brew, you’re craving more shaken drinks (this time with some booze), check out our upcoming Cocktail Happy Hour on Friday, October 27 at 5pm. Cheers!