Denver has seen drastic growth in its coffee community over the last few years, which is great because as a fast-growing city, we need something to keep us going. On board with the coffee boom is Corvus Coffee Roasters, well known for bottled cold brew found in stores all over Denver. And this summer Corvus is pouring something even more exciting (is that possible?): coffee cocktails. No, they don’t include booze (unless you add it yourself), but these shaken concoctions give you a refreshing taste of summer you can’t find anywhere else. The mastermind behind these unique drinks is Ryan Stoltzfus, manager at Corvus on South Broadway, who came up with the recipes by going to Whole Foods and buying everything that reminds him of summer. After experimenting with several versions of each drink, Stoltzfus came up with some refreshing final products that will perk you up and cool you down.
Grapefruit Cold Brew Julep $4.50
The most popular among customers, this julep really packs a punch. Made with draft cold brew, grapefruit juice and fresh mint, it’s the most refreshing way to get a good dose of caffeine. The cold brew gives the drink a smooth and chocolaty flavor while the grapefruit adds a refreshing zest. If you think grapefruit and coffee don’t go together, think again. Many varieties of coffee been feature strong citrus characteristics, so the addition of fresh grapefruit enhances that. We also heard this one goes really well with spiced rum (but we wouldn’t know).
Cascara Summer Sling $2.20
This cocktail does not use coffee beans, but is instead a tea made from the husk of the coffee cherry. Cascara is Spanish for husk, hence the name. By making a tea from the husk, you’re still extracting caffeine — about a third as much as regular coffee. The resulting brew is reminiscent of black tea and when mixed with cucumber and lemon tastes like an Arnold Palmer, but better. Stoltzfus says this drink is his favorite of the bunch.
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Affogato Espresso $4
This is the only drink in the series that’s not an original creation. Affogato is Italian for "drowned" and is espresso pulled over ice cream, a traditional treat in Italy. The affogato at Corvus had a very successful debut last summer, so Stoltzfus brought back the sweet caffeinated treat this year. Made with High Point Creamery ice cream, it’s simple and sweet — an indulgent afternoon pick-me-up when your decision-making is swayed by your sweet tooth.
Seasonal Soda Infusion $2
This is Corvus Coffee's take on Italian sodas; Stoltzfus makes his own seasonal syrups and mixes them with citrus and seltzer. The oh-so-refreshing result is balanced and not too sweet; this season's house-made syrup is a nectarine rosemary infusion that’s fruity and aromatic. Get in for a glass soon if this flavor profile appeals to you — because Stoltzfus says he’s playing around with a new flavor that will make its debut soon.