Riff Cold Brewed wants to set the record straight: cold brew is not fancy iced coffee. The term “cold brewed” is in regards to the way the coffee is brewed — with cold water instead of hot — which requires more time to produce a coffee that is smoother and less acidic. The Bend, Oregon, company launched in November at Urban Farmer in Portland, showcasing not just its cold brewed coffee — which will be available in bottles, cans, kegs and concentrate next month — but the cold brew’s versatility in one of the things Urban Farmer does best: cocktails.
“Cold brew blends well with many different spirits, including but not limited to bourbon, vodka and mescal,” says co-founder Nate Armbrust, formerly of Stumptown production fame. “The chocolatey, fruity and sweet flavors in cold brewed coffee play well with the complexity of spirits.”
Joining the ranks in an already-saturated coffee market, Armbrust and his partners took their roasted product with a slightly different approach through small-batch cold brew, one of the fastest growing segments in the beverage sector, with researchers showing growth of roughly 460 percent in the last two years.
“We decided to launch Riff in Oregon first because we all live here and we love it, but also because it is an exciting new category with a lot of potential for innovation,”Armbrust explains. “And Oregon, and more specifically Bend, loves and supports craft, and we are all about craft.”
The Riff “raff” teamed up with fellow craft-lovers at Urban Farmer to create a handful of cold brewed cocktails, including the Riff Cold Fashioned, a roasty spin on a time-honored favorite. For further visual enticement, check out this cold brew cocktail in action here.
Riff Cold Fashioned
Makes 1 cocktail
2 ounces James Oliver rye whiskey
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
1/4 ounce Riff Cold Brewed Coffee syrup*
Garnish: orange peel
Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass and stir to combine. Pour over a large ice cube in a tumbler and garnish with an orange peal.
*To make coffee syrup, combine 2 parts sugar with 2 parts water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1 part Riff Cold Brewed decaf concentrate, stir and refrigerate to cool.