The folks at Denver’s Corvus Coffee have always been cold-brew tinkerers. They were among the first to dry-hop their nitro cold brew, giving it a livelier, more fruit-forward flavor than its hopless counterparts. They were also early adopters of single-origin cold brew, a trend gaining prominence now that more serious attention is being given to cold coffee drinks.
It is no surprise then that Corvus would double-down on exploring the joys of the colder side of life and create a full-blown cold-brew coffee cocktail menu for its new location, which just opened in February.
With this new shop, owner Phil Goodlaxson wanted to create a completely distinct experience from the one at the original cafe, to give customers a reason to come to this space as opposed to heading to the nearest location. Goodlaxson wanted to “make something.”
“One of the strengths of Corvus is that we are a group of people who enjoy ‘creating’ things, and I wanted to have something that we visually create here, similar to us roasting in the first shop,” says Goodlaxson. “We capitalized on the idea of making Kyoto [cold brew] and decided to make a new breed of specialty coffee cocktails. This was appealing because I’m always looking for ways to get people to think about coffee in terms that they would associate with other ‘craft products,’ for which they already have high expectations.”
To accomplish this, Goodlaxson enlisted the help of Corvus’s training director Doug Stone, and together they designed a rather stunning rotating menu of playful and unique beverages, each highlighting and playing off the specific flavor profiles of their “base spirits,” the single-origin Kyoto cold brew.
The menu includes drinks such as the Winter Flower, a delicate quaff using jasmine syrup and lime juice to interplay with the strong floral notes in the washed Ethiopia Guji Kayon Mountain Farm cold brew. Then on the more decadent end, there’s the Whiskey Finn, made with Brazil Finca Primavera cold brew aged in Laws Whiskey House barrels (whose bottles just so happened to have been designed by SprudgeLive’s own lead photographer, Charlie Burt), a touch of spice, and finished with cream, so it’s like a coffee hybrid of Thai tea and chai.
These creations may be giving you that “five o’clock somewhere” feeling right about now, though it may be more of an AM sentiment, seeing how there’s only caffeine and no alcohol in these tasty Corvus concoctions. Luckily, Stone was nice enough to give us the recipe for his favorite of their current lineup, the Heart of Darkness. It’s a very fruit-forward cocktail—thanks to the naturally processed Ethiopian coffee serving as the drink’s foundation—with just a touch of heat that lingers after the finish.
Heart of Darkness
3 ounces cold brew made with Corvus’s naturally processed Gigesa from Ethiopia
2 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce ginger cayenne syrup
A few dashes rose water
Shake with ice and serve up!
If you live in the Denver area, you can stop into the new Corvus location to pick up some premade Gigesa cold brew. Or if you don’t have a Mile High existence, you can order a bag from Corvus online and make your base spirit.
Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.