Columbus, Ohio meadery Brothers Drake may be famous for its honey wines, but there’s more behind—and in front of—the bar than meets the eye. It also boasts a spacious performance area, a wildly tasty Japanese food truck in the evenings, and a menu that covers a variety of Ohio-centric beer offerings and original cocktails.
Cue the “Local Buzz”, a cocktail whose name is derived from its local ingredients, booziness, and its caffeinated component: Toddy-style cold brew from local roaster Café Brioso. Before the “Local Buzz” recipe launched on the menu in early April, the bar featured a cold brew cocktail named “Brioso On Ice”. Unlike the lighter, whiskey-based Local Buzz, the vodka-oriented Brioso On Ice took a rich, fruity approach made from a harmony of honey lavender syrup, black walnut bitters, muddled blueberries, and heavy cream from Pomeroy, Ohio’s Snowville Creamery.
Brothers Drake bar manager Amy Mesh said that while Brioso On Ice was delicious, the drink was too creamy and heavy for summertime, and sought out a new cold-brew cocktail recipe for warmer days.
“I wanted it to be light and summery,” Mesh said. “Let’s play around and add some coffee, let’s add some chocolate.”
Local Buzz has both, along with a whole lot of local in it, starting with Brioso’s chocolate-heavy blend comprised of light-roasted Costa Rican and Ethiopian coffees with a dark-roasted Guatemalan coffee. Then there’s the booze, which includes two liquors from Middle West Spirits—the literal neighbor of Brothers Drake—as well as some coffee liqueur made by Meigs County, Ohio’s Fifth Element Spirits.
Brioso and Brothers Drake have been collaborating for at least a couple years, if not longer. Alongside serving Brioso’s cold brew plain as a non-alcoholic option, they even brewed up the Brioso Coffee mead last year. Watch for this mutual inspiration to continue as both companies continue to evolve with the seasons.
The Local Buzz
Assemble the following in a cocktail shaker filled with ice:
– 1 ounce mint-steeped simple syrup
– 2 ounces cold-brew coffee
– 10 drops of Aztec chocolate bitters
– 1 ounce Middle West Spirits OYO Whiskey
– 0.5 ounces Middle West Spirits OYO Honey Vanilla Bean Vodka
– 0.5 ounces Fifth Elements Spirits coffee liqueur
Shake then strain into a glass. Garnish with chocolate shavings or a mint leaf, if that’s your thing. If you’re making it at home, Mesh says Kahlua is a suitable replacement for the coffee liqueur.
For you ragers out there, Brothers Drake also offers the condensed Shift Shot—just cold brew, whiskey, and coffee liqueur. Join the bartending team’s tradition by doing this shot with them at midnight.
Matt Lovett is a freelance writer and part-time coffee pro based in Columbus, Ohio. This is his first feature for Sprudge.