We have already established that cocktail bitters go beyond the cocktail. They bring depth to lemonade, flavour to royal icing, and sophistication to potato salad. It should come as no surprise then that they’re also very good in iced coffee.
Coffee already has a lot going on flavour-wise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add to it. The super potent alcoholic extracts are often referred to as the “bartender’s spice rack” because of their ability to add that little extra bit of something special that makes the drink feel complete, but there’s no need to limit them to boozy beverages.
Not every flavour of bitters works with every kind of coffee, so think about the bean before you start dashing stuff in. If you are a fan of a light, citrusy roast, pick a citrusy bitter. If you like a darker brew, try pecan or chocolate. If you don’t have any of those “fancy” flavours, that’s fine — classic, herbal Angostura works well with pretty much any kind of coffee.
To zhoosh up your cold, already delicious coffee (or your weak, underwhelming coffee), simply shake the bitters right into a glass that contains ice and coffee, then give it a little stir. I like to use at least four shakes, as coffee has quite a strong flavour, and I have found that my mouth simply cannot detect the bitters if I use three shakes or fewer. If you want to take the theme even further, you can add an herbal liqueur like Fernet-Branca (or anything in the Fernet family). Unlike bitters, it will significantly up the ABV, but that’s not such a bad thing, particularly in “these times.”