The newest coffee drinks are carbonated! Fun. But this isn’t a 21st century idea. Meet the new espresso tonics.
Last year, food writers called cold brew coffee lemonades the new, craziest thing. But coffee + citrus, and coffee + soda, are combos that have been around a while.
The history of coffee and lemon isn’t clear, but it at least dates back to World War II, when a twist of lemon was used either to enhance the sweetness of espresso, or to sanitize the cups when water was scarce. Lemon juice and coffee together make an Espresso Romano, but it’s not common in Italy. It’s an American thing that’s also served in France.
Coffee and lime together sounds really weird, but it works. Remember, coffee is acidic, too. Pouring espresso over a couple of lime slices makes a coffee drink called a guillermo, which goes by the name sparky in Aussie-inspired coffee shops.
Orange works too. One of my favorite coffee shops, Dancing Goats (Batdorf & Bronson) offers a drink they call an Arancino, cold brew coffee shaken with an orange peel.
Coffee sodas are proving to be 2017’s trendy thing to do with cold brew coffee, with coffee companies producing canned beverages. Coffee soda’s been around for a minute. Check out this recipe from 1886 (I’m leaving the original spellings intact):
For temperance advocates, hot black coffee mixed with soda-water is a good substitute for the spiritous winter drinks. Make black coffee as follows: A quarter of a pound of good coffee and a quarter of an ounce of ground chiccory infused in a quart of boiling water, but not boiled, will make medium strong coffee. Boiling coffee makes it very black and bitter. Use hot black coffee and soda-water in equal proportions, with a palatable addition of cream sirup, or condensed milk and sugar.
Miss Corson’s Practical American Cookery, published 1886
Several companies are combining all three—soda, coffee, and citrus (even grapefruit!) in convenient cans. Revelator Coffee, an Alabama-based coffee chain with shops also in Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, and Massachusetts, released a line of canned coffee sodas that come in lemon, lime, tangerine, and cherry.
Keepers citrus and coffee soda started with a soda stream, cold brew, and fruit. A new company in 2017, their soda is already available in Whole Foods Market stores.
Upruit sells canned coffee sodas in grapefruit mint, hibiscus ginger, meyer lemon, and cherry, all sweetened with maple syrup.
And Stumptown has a trio of cold brew coffee sodas on the market, including honey lemon and ginger citrus.
Finally, a handy side note: coffee and lemon together are an old home remedy for headaches. First time I tried it, I was trying to see everything in Marrakesh in one very hot day, got a headache, and a local man suggested I try it. I was dancing in the medina that night.