Three Coffee Drink Recipes for Spring

As Winter transitions to Spring there’s so much to look forward to—farmer’s markets buzz again, trees and flowers and all sorts of plants start blooming, and loads of people get access to truly fresh flavors that otherwise need to be trucked in through the rest of the year. If you come from a cold part of the world like I do, this season change can feel like the whole world is waking up, spurring you to go out and seize this chance to get stonefruits, florals, berries, and more. So, with some encouragement from Mother Nature and a little creative spirit we’re bringing you three drink recipes designed to highlight the lively and varied flavors of the season, showcasing Springtime freshness, lesser known coffee products, and in one case a little bit of fun transformational food science that I promise is too cool to miss out on.

The Wildflower Coffee Soda

Wildflower Coffee Soda, with chamomile and red clover, topo chico, and mixing glass

This first recipe was inspired by warm weather road trips, fueled by iced coffees and the sort of uplifting sensation that can only be attained while you’re driving with the windows down. The recipe can be a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure because you can make it with filtered espresso like I did or with cold brew concentrate, and the floral infusion can be made with any floral components you love and have available to you. I used espresso because I don’t typically keep cold brew concentrate on hand, but definitely remember that either way you’ll have to run your coffee through a paper filter to remove any suspended solids—this will ensure those solids don’t cause your fizzy drink to release all of its carbonation when you mix it all together.

Ingredients:

  • 25 g Filtered espresso or cold brew concentrate
  • 30 g Floral tea
  • 16 g Simple Syrup
  • 3 g Lemon Juice
  • 150 ml Topo Chico

To make the floral tea:

  • 4–5g dried florals (I used equal parts chamomile and red clover)
  • 150ml water (205°F)
  • Steep all together for 5 minutes
  • Strain and chill

To build the drink:

Combine your coffee, simple syrup, lemon juice, and floral tea in a 12 fl oz glass. Add ice, preferably large cubes, and then top the drink with Topo Chico. Garnish with lemon or other citrus peel, give it all a stir to combine and serve with straw.

Blueberry + Basil Cascara Sweet Tea

Blueberry + Basil Cascara Sweet Tea served with a straw and ingredients on the table

Cascara is, in my opinion, a woefully underrated coffee-adjacent ingredient. Luckily it's becoming more readily available through coffee roasters all over, and it's an ingredient fully worth seeking out. Made of the dried husks of coffee cherries, cascara can be steeped like tea for a brew full of dried fruit flavors and complex savory tones. Iced cascara tea is bright, mildly sweet, and unavoidably uplifting on a warm day, making it the perfect base to add some familiar and well-loved flavors to. I make this one by keeping two concentrates in my fridge—one cascara concentrate and one blueberry syrup—so that I can combine them with a little water and ice whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Ingredients:

  • 100 g cascara concentrate
  • 75 g water
  • 25 g blueberry syrup
  • 3–4 basil leaves

To make the cascara concentrate:

  • 10 g cascara
  • 200 ml water
  • Bring to a low simmer for 10 minutes on your stovetop
  • Strain out and chill for up to 5 days refrigerated

To make the blueberry syrup:

  • 250 g fresh blueberries
  • 250 g cane sugar
  • 125 ml water
  • Combine all ingredients and bring to a low boil for 10 minutes. This is particularly important because it will break down the pectin in the blueberries, keeping it from thickening and setting like a jelly afterward.
  • Strain and chill. This will keep for two weeks in the fridge.

To build the drink:

Start with ice and 2–3 basil leaves to your glass. Combine your cascara concentrate and water in the glass, stir together to combine. Pour your blueberry syrup over the top and garnish with a basil leaf.

The Apricot Latte Milk Punch

Apricot Latte Milk Punch with Lemon and Thyme

Okay, so this one is a little extra and I’m willing to admit that up front, but I’ve been wanting to try this technique out with coffee and oatmilk ever since learning about how milk washing works. Essentially, we’re using an acid to curdle the milk, and those curds will strain out all kinds of suspended materials that contribute bitterness and color to the beverage. This recipe uses one of my favorite spring flavors, apricot, by making a syrup out of apricot preserves (unfortunately upon writing this it’s still too early to get these fresh where I am, but if you have access to fresh apricots you could make a syrup like in our blueberry recipe above), balancing that stonefruit with fresh ginger and espresso, and rounding it all out with the creamy texture contributed by the oatmilk.

A note: this drink has a bit of a process to it, so if you get the opportunity I recommend multiplying this recipe by the number of servings you’d like to make and storing it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Another note: the citric acid can be replaced with an ounce of citrus juice in a pinch, and this process will work with dairy milk as well as oat (I can’t speak to any other alternative milks unfortunately).

Ingredients:

  • 40 g espresso
  • 25 g apricot syrup
  • 1.0 g citric acid
  • 4 g grated ginger root
  • 250 g Oatly (or comparable oatmilk)

To make the apricot syrup:

  • 250 g apricot preserves
  • 125 ml water
  • Combine and heat, leaving the mixture at a low simmer for 5 minutes
  • Strain and chill

To build the drink:

Combine espresso, apricot syrup, ginger, and citric acid in a mixing vessel. Slowly stir in heated (~125°F) oatmilk, it should curdle almost immediately, then let it all rest for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture carefully through a fine mesh bag (like a nut milk bag) or layered cheesecloth, then repeat this straining process through the curds 2–3 times, and finally filter the mostly clear beverage through a coffee filter to complete the clarification. The drink will still have some color, but should be free of any obvious suspended particles or cloudy appearance. Chill and serve in a rocks glass over a large ice cube or sphere and garnish with lemon peel and thyme.




Tell us what you think! Did you try these recipes? What flavors do you look forward to each Spring? Do you keep any recipes in your back pocket for times like this? Drop a comment and let us know!

Happy Springtime, y’all.

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