For those whose tastes encompass both cocktails and coffee, there's a new spirit in town that combines the two. Deviation Distilling deviated from its signature gin to produce a line of coffee-soaked whiskeys.
Deviation, at 900 West First Avenue in the Yard on Santa Fe, partnered with next-door neighbor Copper Door Coffee for a roasty spirit made with beans from the coffee company.
The result is three different whiskeys inspired by three classic coffee beverages: Americano, which pairs bourbon with Guatemalan coffee beans; Aztec, made with Ethiopian coffee, Saigon cinnamon and Madagascar vanilla beans; and Mocha, steeped with the essence of Brazilian coffee and cacao shells from Cultura Chocolate.
Barista Spirits debuted — and sold out — at an event just before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but COVID-19 abruptly halted daily operations at Deviation's tasting room just two weeks later. With in-person tasting on hold, Deviation started producing hand sanitizer for first responders and essential workers before eventually switching track to takeout cocktails. And they've since bottled more Barista.
“We have been wanting to release a brown spirit for quite some time,” says co-owner and founder Bob Wiley. “Once we reopen our cocktail lounge, we’re looking forward to using the trio in our line of Irish coffee and White Russians, signature cocktails and straight-up pours.”
With the exception of to-go orders, Deviation's tasting room has been closed to the public since March.
But Wiley is finally ready to welcome guests back today (Friday, July 17) for a soft reopening. Friday, July 24, marks the grand reopening for guest who want to enjoy spirits in the tasting room, which will be open from 1 to 9 p.m. That's when Wiley will also debut Deviation's newly expanded patio and a summer drink menu. Of course, masks and social distancing will be enforced to ensure a safe drinking experience.
The Barista Spirits cocktail menu includes the Guat-A-Quat, made with Americano, muddled kumquats and cardamom bitters, and the Barista-vardier gets shaken up with Aztec, a housemade Campari clone and housemade vermouth. If you aren't comfortable drinking there in person, here's a recipe for a Deviation Irish whiskey you can serve up at home:
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1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 oz. freshly brewed coffee
2 oz. Barista Americano Whiskey
Make a simple syrup by combining the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan and bringing it to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture until the brown sugar dissolves, then remove it from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Make a brown-sugar whipped cream by whisking one cup of whipping cream with 1/4 cup of the cooled brown-sugar syrup in a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) until it forms stiff peaks.
For the Irish Coffee, pour the coffee and whiskey into an Irish coffee glass (or a small coffee mug) along with half an ounce of the brown-sugar syrup (use more or less to taste). Top with plenty of whipped cream and serve.