Don't Toss Those Coffee Beans After Making Infused Bourbon

Coffee and alcohol are usually enjoyed during opposite parts of the day, but when the two overlap it's a perfect paring. You can sip on some of the best coffee cocktails any time of day, relishing in the complex meshing of flavors. Or, you can prepare a predominantly caffeinated beverage with some booze — say an Irish Coffee with a proper whiskey, or a Pharisaeer Kaffee, the German coffee drink with a boozy twist. It's all to say there's an approach from either angle, so keep your coffee and alcohol crossover open-minded.

Let's say you have infused bourbon with whole coffee beans, and now you've strained away the result. That delicious coffee-flavored whiskey was the aim, so it can be tempting to simply throw out the remaining beans. Not so fast, my friend. Wipe them off, then dry them until they're no longer moist. From there, you can grind and brew as normal. You can employ any preferred coffee-making method for the job, but to really appreciate the bourbon notes, opt for one that produces a rich cup. Something like an espresso, moka pot, or perhaps even a subsequent cold brew coffee infusion will best bring out the new flavor synergy.

Bourbon infused coffee beans can still be brewed into a cup

Coffee is a good mixer for bourbon — there's lots of interesting flavor overlap between the two beverages. The spirit is sweet, has barrel-aged flavors, and packs in some smoke, too. Meanwhile, the coffee is acidic and bitter, so when together, they form a delightful complement. The infusion will act in surprising ways; it's not entirely possible to predict the ratios of the result. Don't fear, it'll definitely penetrate into the beans, as some even soak coffee beans prior to roasting for alcohol-imbued flavors. But exactly how strong they'll end up is a matter of chance, especially since there's variation in brewing methods involved as well. 

You can experiment with a variety of pairings by altering the employed base and coffee. To start, reach for one of the best ranked bourbon brands, with a balanced palate; perhaps Wild Turkey or Maker's Mark. And as for the coffee, start out with a dark roast, as it'll best imbue that classic coffee essence. Remember you can keep the batches small — and perhaps craft several at once — to really compare several resultant brews simultaneously.