How to Drink Cascara - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

How to Drink Cascara

Once you know where to buy cascara—one of our flavors to watch from 2016 and the subject of one of our feature stories in the November/December 2018 issue—it’s time to learn what to do with these dried skins of coffee cherries.

One of the most common uses of cascara is brewing a hot “tea.” Verve Coffee recommends using about 18 grams of tea per 250 grams of hot water (not boiling), and allowing the husks to steep for about 4 minutes before straining. If you prefer a cold-brew, try 35 grams of cascara to the same amount of water and let steep overnight in the fridge.

The fruity flavors and dry, tannic finish of cascara play well with a variety of ingredients. Add seltzer to a cold-brew concentrate to make a fizzy soda, or try Onyx Coffee Lab’s refreshing Cascara Dark & Stormy mocktail, where the dark date-like sweetness of the cascara mimics the molasses found in blackstrap rum.

Whiskey, brandy, rum and vodka all complement the flavors of cascara. At Blacksmith Mona Vale in Australia, a cascara-ginger syrup adds spicy depth to coconut water and vodka, while 44 North Coffee mixes a cascara tea with a dollop of orange marmalade and 1½ oz. of spiced rum for a breakfast toddy. Meanwhile, Josh Conley from Memphis combines cascara with gin and vermouth in his Cascara No. 1 cocktail, which he says combines “gin for brilliance, sweet vermouth for depth, a grapefruit cordial for some sweetness, bitters for spice, and a cold-brewed cascara for a vegetal punchiness.”

Cascara and Juniper Mocktail 10 juniper berries
3 oz. cascara tea
¼ tsp. (or about 5 drops) fresh ginger juice
⅛ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup

Muddle the juniper berries in a cocktail shaker. Combine the remaining ingredients, then stir before adding ice. Fill the shaker with large ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled glass.

44 North Coffee, Deer Isle, Maine

Cascara No. 1 1 oz. gin
1 oz. cold-brew cascara tea
½ oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. grapefruit cordial
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Tools: mixing glass
Glass: rocks
Garnish: grapefruit twist

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, then stir to chill. Serve over fresh ice in a rocks glass, then garnish.

Grapefruit Cordial
1 cup fresh grapefruit juice
¼ cup honey
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 whole cloves
2 oz. vodka

Add first 4 ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the liquid to cool, leaving the rosemary and cloves in to steep. Once cooled, remove the rosemary and cloves, stir in the vodka, then bottle.

Josh Conley, Memphis

Enjoy This Article?

Sign up for our newsletter and get biweekly recipes and articles delivered to your inbox.

Send this to a friend