Another level to the coffee tonic combination
May 12, 2022
We previously introduced the espresso tonic, a drink which felt perfect for summer with its cool and refreshing taste. Not as intense as a black coffee, while also not as substantial and luxurious as a white, it is appreciated for being able to tread this fine line between the other coffee drinks – so much so that when it comes to coffee-and-tonic, we would not think of any other drink apart from a delicious shot of espresso served over a cup of iced tonic water. And yet, there is one drink that we have come to enjoy even more than the highly popular espresso tonic, one that combines that desire for a cool and refreshing drink with our love for filter coffee.
We fondly call it the AeroPresso Tonic.
As its name suggests, this drink involves using the AeroPress to produce a concentrated brew as a substitute for the espresso required in conventional espresso tonic recipes. While that may sound complex, it is actually an easy recipe only involving a conventional filter brewed coffee, which a home brewer can easily enjoy with the simple equipment that is available in their home.
Here’s how we do it:
Crafting the AeroPresso Tonic
- 20g coffee beans
- 90°C water
- Aeropress + stirrer
- 80-100ml of tonic water
- 80-100ml of ice, or till the top of the cup
- lemon / lime wedges (optional)
- simple syrup (optional)
Brewing the AeroPress espresso-substitute:
- Grind the coffee beans to a medium-fine grind (approximately the middle point between normal filter brews and espresso coffee)
- Pre-wet the filter paper and place AeroPress in the ‘inverted’ position
- Dose coffee into the AeroPress and pour 60g of water at 90°C. Start the timer
- Stir vigorously for 20 seconds
- At the 1:30 mark, cap the lid on the AeroPress and flip it. Press through the entire drink.
Putting the AeroPresso Tonic together:
- Scoop ice into the cup and fill it with tonic water
- Slowly pour the AeroPress espresso-substitute onto the ice cubes at the top of the drink to create a contrasting effect between the coffee and the tonic underneath, while also ensuring that the drink does not overflow from the foam produced.
- Add lemon or lime wedges to taste, should you find the drink lacking a little in acidity and flavour; or simple syrup, should you find the drink lacking in sweetness
As with the recipe recommended for the Espresso Tonic, the addition of lemon/lime wedges and simple syrup in this recipe is highly dependent on the coffee that is being brewed, as well as an individual’s taste and preferences.
Some simple syrup will go a long way in reducing bitterness and providing a rounder mouthfeel, while lemon/lime garnishes serve to provide acidity and augment the sweetness of a coffee. However, what we do find is that when properly brewed with the AeroPress, these are often unnecessary, as it is usually well balanced across these aspects.
Finding the love for the AeroPresso Tonic
Although coffee beans vary across bags, one would be able to brew coffee of any type of roast with the AeroPress, and produce a delicious coffee that is able to complement the addition of tonic water.
On the flip side, given that this is more similar to brewing a filter coffee with the Aeropress, this recipe can be a little more challenging to brew. It requires some familiarity with one’s brewing equipment, and finding the right brewing parameters.
To find the perfect recipe that checks all our boxes, we often make changes to our steeping time, ranging anywhere from 1:00 to 2:00 minutes, as well as vary the brewing ratio to anywhere between 1:2 to 1:3 times the amount of water added per gram of coffee.
With some experimentation, the final Aeropress brew should have a rounded mouthfeel and rich, robust body that can sustain through the base of the tonic water, to produce a drink that at the very least rivals the experience of a conventional espresso tonic. For home brewers without an espresso machine setup, have the AeroPresso Tonic on a hot sunny afternoon to enjoy the magic of a freshly home brewed coffee-and-tonic drink for yourself!