In a series of drinks experiments lasting the better part of two Saturdays, I have come to the conclusions that I really, truly, never need buy anything except Oreos and Skippy. I can make everything else myself.
Not that I want to. The patience and investment it takes to extreme home cook or run a self-sustainable farm is not a life goal. Girl has other priorities.
And also, nothing compares to eating food someone else made for you. I’m like, “I’m not too tired to enjoy this.” I take great delight in paying people to take all the individual ingredients out of the fridge and assemble a decent salad or sandwich. Or in letting someone else buy a wood-fired pizza oven so that the crust is just so. Or in paying someone else to get sticky and sweaty and peeved trying not to overcook the meat.
BUT WHEN I DO
RUN MY OWN SUSTAINABLE FARM CHOOSE TO MAKE THINGS FROM SCRATCH, it’s usually pretty cool to me. Not worth it every day, but somedays. Saturdays.
Here are my drinks experiments:
- Cold-brew cacao
- Cold-brew cacao + coffee
- Cacao-infused milk
- Cacao-infused coconut milk
- Date-sweetened chocolate almond milk
You know about the almond milk already, but the brewed cacao was the actual cool thing. It is like coffee, except slightly less caffeine and more CHOCOLATE. Because cacao beans make chocolate, did you know that? And don’t ask me how to pronounce “cacao,” because you will embarrass me. Actually, you won’t, but please still don’t ask me.
I drank it like I would have done cold-brew, with a little milk or cream. I mixed it into cocktails. I drank it straight. I also brewed the cacao with coffee to make a chocolate-coffee cold-brew hybrid. It is summer chocolate dreams over ice.
Adapted from Jenni Avins
6 ounces (170 grams, or about 1 1/2 cups) of roasted cacao nibs
½ gallon of cold water
Grind your nibs using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle to a texture that’s fine but not powdery. I used a super cheap coffee bean grinder and pulsed it until it looked approximately like Frech press ground coffee.
Line the pitcher with a nut-milk bag and dump the cacao grounds inside. Fill the bag-lined pitcher with cold water, and stir to make sure to get all the grounds wet. Cinch the bag, cover the pitcher, and leave it at room temperature for about 16 hours. If your home is very hot, put it in the refrigerator, but add a few hours to your brew time. Remove the nut-milk bag and squeeze all the liquid into your pitcher. Store in the refrigerator.
Stir before serving, as cacao particles will settle toward the bottom. Enjoy over ice, straight or with your favorite kind of milk.
- Replace 3 ounces of the cacao with coarse-ground coffee for a cold-brew coffee/mocha thing.
- Bold brew any kind of milk in the fridge with cacao for a sophisticated chocolate milk. I tried coconut milk, whole milk and almond milk.
- Use the cacao in cOcKtAiLs like this cacao Manhattan.