This post is long overdue. By about ten days…

It’s not usually until I’m half an hour into a coffee event that I notice how I’m one of ten women standing in a sea of men. Half an hour.

After attending a number of male-dominated throwdowns and coffee-related events, I’ve come to the anecdotal conclusion that there are a number of women in coffee, but not as present as the men. I think coffee ladies in general need to up their competition confidence level. And sometimes, it’s much, much easier to test out waters when you’re surrounded by only women.

A number of us live in the north side of Chicago and have been talking about doing a cocktail night together. It has come up in conversation numerous times on how most bartenders don’t know how to use coffee in a cocktail. Many use a cold brew concentrate (and a poor/old one at that). So, we decided (via Twitter- go social media!) to organize our own coffee cocktail night and make it ladies only.

I love coffee ladies, because, like Shannon says below, we “hang with dudes all the time.” For the most part, we’re all pretty chill and can give attitude when we need to. The evening was relaxed, filled with all kinds of juicy gossip (so unexpected), and so successful, that we’ve decided to make it a monthly occurrence.




And in full disclosure, I don’t drink alcohol. I’ve never made a cocktail before. Boy, did I have a lot to learn.

We organized the coffee ladies cocktail night by (really simple for anyone who wants to duplicate the idea) and asked people to bring recipes, ingredients, coffee, and any needed brew devices. I provided some light appetizers (namely, hummus).

I hosted five lovely women from many areas of the coffee world:

  • Talya: a seasoned barista competitor and current Bow Truss cafe manager
  • Shannon: tastemaster at Passion House
  • Katerina: coffee lover who’s training to independently compete in the next barista competition (trainer is the above-mentioned Talya)
  • Delaney: coffee master at Heritage Bicycles
  • Megan: wholesale rep of Uncommon Grounds, blogger at Fox & Arrow

Each brought their fair share of items and our cocktail expertise ranged from virgin (me) to home-experimenter (Talya). Contributions included:

  • Coffee: Stumptown Hairbender, Kuma Sumatra, cold brew of Kickapoo Kenya Thiriku, Counter Culture cascara concentrate. I just realized there was no Chicago roaster representation here! Total lie. There was a Bow Truss infusion as well as a Passion House kahlua mix.
  • Ingredients: ginger syrup, kiwi syrup, orange bitters, Perrier
  • Other: spiced whipped cream, wine, cider
  • Brew methods used: V60, Bonmac (we kept it simple, even though others were available)

My contribution was a kiwi syrup, recipe:

1:1:1 ratios of chopped kiwi, white sugar, and water
Turn on at medium heat, boil gently for ten minutes, simmer for 20 (or until it has a syrupy consistency). Strain or, like I did, French press.

And my favorite non-alcoholic recipe:

Cascara concentrate + ginger syrup + Perrier
Stir up with ice cubes and enjoy a refreshing drink

**Shannon’s “Wild Coffee Hot Toddy” is here (along with a previously made “Coffee Manhattan” recipe  here) & Megan’s “Coffee Wine Froth” recipe is here.

Twitter hashtag: #coffeeladiescocktails