Today is the official start of Negroni Week, a Campari+Imbibe Magazine weeklong celebration of the aperitif. We’re big fans of the drink and we’re always ready to try negroni-inspired coffee concoctions. Rowster Coffee out of Grand Rapids, Michigan is participating this year with a coffee cocktail that sounds pretty darn delicious. We spoke with Rowster Coffee Cafe Manager and Trainer Colin Russel about this special drink.
Tell us about yourself!
To answer this plainly…I am a huge coffee nerd [ha ha]. I love being in a place with a coffee shop where I can freely play around with new and strange ways to enjoy a drink that’s been around for much longer than you and I have. I am a lover of photography and all things creative/hands on. Shooting film has always been a passion of mine for that reason. Other than that, just keeping busy with the shop/new shops that are in the works. Getting those all ready for the future!
Is this the first time Rowster is participating in Negroni Week?
It sure is!
Can you explain the components of the drink?
It follows the pretty simple recipe of a traditional Negroni, but with a funky twist. I am doing one part distilled coffee (which is then infused with gin botanicals), one part non-alcoholic vermouth, and a bitter Campari soda by the name of Stappi.
Tell me more about the distillation process!
It has been a long process, that’s for sure. Basically, I take a super concentrated v60 (50g of coffee for 400g of water) and put it inside the steam distilling setup that I have. The idea is to keep all of the flavor and aroma that makes each coffee delicious and unique but eliminating the bitterness that is a large turn off for many people.
Can you share the recipe if we wanted to try this at home?
The distilling recipe is 50g of coffee to 400g of water poured through a v60. I do two of those, so I have roughly 800g worth of coffee inside the distiller. I then distill that for roughly one hour. I infuse the distilled coffee with gin botanicals, mix that with a sweet vermouth, and Stappi Red (a bitter campari soda).
The exact recipe is this:
1oz sweet vermouth
2oz Stappi Red soda
What other coffee drinks have you developed?
I fell in love with Espresso and Tonics last year. Rowster featured its twist on that beverage using a citrus tonic recipe that I had put together…that thing was delicious. Other than that, a few fall drinks that I was pretty excited on…a hot cascara cider & a smoked star anise, clove, and orange cortado.
Haha…the million dollar question. Who knows. I love where Rowster is headed and all of the great things we have planned for the future. Just have to wait and see how it all unfolds I suppose!
Right on! Thanks, Colin!
Photos courtesy Rowster Coffee.