Did you know that cold brew with orange soda is a really great base for a cocktail? Well, neither did I until I decided to try it yesterday. Honestly, I’m kind of shocked I even had the idea since I don’t drink any soda other than club soda (La Croix counts as club soda, right?) and I haven’t had an orange soda (or “pop,” as I called it before I moved to the East Coast) in at least 20 years. But it’s good. Really good. With a decent dose of rye whiskey, a little vanilla extract, and two kinds of bitters, it’s kind of like a lighter, slightly effervescent take on an Old Fashioned — with pleasant coffee notes, of course.
Now, before you get all grossed out, I’m not saying you should go add some shit like Fanta or Orange Crush to this drink. No, you need an old-fashioned soda for this odd little twist on the Old Fashioned cocktail. And since I like things that come in pretty packages, the product description straight up says, “less sweet than a typical orange soda,” and I’ve tried and liked other flavors from this brand, I went with the Boylan Cane Sugar orange soda. It adds just enough sweetness to balance the bitters and whiskey, with a bright splash of orange flavor. (Of course, if you want to try some big, super-sweet brand, maybe just play around with adding a little less? And perhaps some extra bitters? Then let me know how it tastes.)
For the coffee, I used Chameleon cold brew (which so many people recommended to me after I put out a call over IG stories for something widely available — thanks!). The rest, I already had on hand.
Kyle (a.k.a. Mr. Boozy Bungalow) called this “a serious drink” and suggested we serve it at our next fancy dinner party. I think you’d be just as happy drinking it in your pajamas on a Sunday afternoon. Either way, I think you should try it, even if you don’t really like orange soda or coffee.
The Cold Fashioned
2 ounces rye whiskey
2 ounces cold brew coffee
½ teaspoon good vanilla extract
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 ounces not-too-sweet orange soda
Add the rye, cold brew, vanilla, and both bitters to an Old Fashioned glass. Stir well, add a large ice cube or a handful of ice, then top it off with the orange soda. Give it another quick stir, garnish with an orange peel, and enjoy!
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