The espresso & tonic coffee cocktail was created the day after a staff party by workers of Koppi Roasters, in Oslo, in 2007. When the founders of the roastery, Charles Nystrand and Anna Lunell, tried it, they were delighted enough to put ‘Kaffe&Tonic’ on their menu when they got back to Sweden.
It was a star feature of the cafe until it closed a decade later. During that time, it became popular not just in Scandinavia, but also as a social-media star in the United States.
When it’s made well, it has the perfect balance of sweetness, bitterness and coffee-kick flavour. Here’s the choice recipe of our head of coffee, Will.
- 100ml tonic
- Espresso coffee (we recommend Tutti Frutti)
- Four cubes of ice
The first thing to consider here is the bubbles in the tonic. In short, bubbles increase when they interact with any coarse surfaces (like the bottom of your glass) – and coffee is particularly coarse! So it’s vital to pour the tonic into a rocks glass, over four or five cubes of ice, first.
Next, it’s time to prepare the espresso. To get this just right, we recommend using the Hario V60 Drip Scale.
Fill your basket with 18 grams of freshly ground espresso coffee. Tamp your coffee and screw the portafilter into place. Put your glass, containing the tonic and ice, under the portafilter and brew your espresso.
Will’s perfect ratio here is 2.5 grams (or milliliters) of liquid coffee per gram of coffee – so you’re looking for around 45 grams in total.
Decant your espresso from the first cup into a second cooler cup and slowly pour it from the second cup, drip by drip, into your tonic. It’s vital to do this slowly – too quick and you’ll get a bit of a volcano effect!
It might seem like we’re being picky with the exact measurements. But it really makes a difference in this cocktail – both espresso and tonic are bitter, so you need to balance the drink to make sure you have just the right amount of sweetness, bitterness and acidity.
Add a slice of lime if you’re looking for a zesty twist - enjoy!