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Easy steeps
The city's leading cold-brewed coffee cocktails

Photos by Matt Haas

September 2016

Cold-brewed coffee. It’s sort of like sun tea, but without the sun and without the tea. Long, long steeping, with cold, cold water equals delicious java with less bitterness. And in Milwaukee, there are plenty of places to sip these iced beauties, but the newest twist is cold-brewed coffee cocktails. Here are five takes on new steeps.


At Rochambo, cold brew is a 12-hour process, and it tastes great in an iced Irish coffee. Or go more exotic with the Bermuda Black Seal — a tasty combination of black rum, Baileys, cold brew and cream. Sort of like a tropical Irish coffee.

1317 E. Brady St., (414) 291-0095,



Storyhill BKC

Storyhill recently changed its "BKC" acronym from "bottle kitchen cup" to "bottle kitchen cocktail," and as such, this destination brews up a variety of coffee-based, spirited drinks. Try Mother’s Little Helper, a cold-brewed coffee base combined with vodka and chocolate liqueur.

5100 W. Bluemound Road, (414) 539-4424,





Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.

Regular cold brew at Anodyne is served on a tapper and preserved with nitrogen to keep the coffee freshly buzzed, but the latest twist is Wolfgang Schaefer’s spirit-less coffee cocktails. Schaefer, director of coffee education, has been experimenting in his laboratory to come up with classic cocktails, using a diverse array of coffees, roasts and ingredients to make actual cocktails in which the coffee is used in place of the spirit — in everything from an espresso old-fashioned to a bloody mary with cold-brewed coffee concentrate. Try the refreshing, citrusy Tolima Dream, a gin-less tonic made with cold-brewed Colombian coffee, bitters, basil and tonic water.

224 W. Bruce St., plus other locations,

(414) 763-1143,

Hawthorne Coffee Roasters

The cold brew here tastes as if spirits were added, but it’s just a smooth, creamy coffee sans alcohol. The kick comes from the beans, which are rested in bourbon barrels before being roasted and then steeped for 18 hours.

4177 S. Howell Ave., (414) 939-6403,

Valentine Coffee Co.

Cold brew and cold-brewed cocktails are a specialty at this roaster, so it’s hard to pick a favorite drink. One customer favorite is the Double-Gary, made with Great Lakes Distillery absinthe, dry curaçao, cold-brewed coffee concentrate and simple syrup. The absinthe even floats delicately to the top.

5918 W. Vliet St., (414) 988-8018, M



This story ran in the September 2016 issue of: