Cold-pressed coffee

Have you ever wondered why the iced coffee you get in a pro shop tastes so good? I always thought iced coffee was just that… take some hot coffee and pour it over ice. How wrong I was! Now that I’ve made cold-pressed coffee a few times, I’m ready to share this super easy method with you. If you are caffeine dependent like me, and cannot, or should not, be out in public, let alone drive a car without it — even on days that are way too hot and humid for a steaming cup o’ joe — listen up.

Coffee Splash

I’ve been thinking about high-speed photography with foods and drinks for a while now. Last weekend, I finally set up a little outside space to shoot some messy liquid. I’m so in love with my new discovery of iced, cold-pressed coffee, that it became my first subject. Not what I had originally imagined my first subject to be. After all, it’s no easy feat keeping ice clean when brownish liquids are flying. I wanted to make the completed images look like I captured it on the first shot, before the coffee turned the ice into a muddy shade of brown. That’s where post-production work comes in. I set my camera up on a tripod, and took a shot with the glass in place and beautiful, clean ice around it before I went crazy flinging ice cubes to create the splashes you see. Then I went to work in Photoshop combining the muddied image with the clean ice image. The result was much more labor intensive than I had anticipated, but I learned a whole lot in the process.

Making cold-pressed coffee is far less complicated than the process involved in photographing it.

The first thing you need is a bit of time. Plan accordingly. You will need to make this 9-12 hours before you plan to drink it. You also need a French press. You can probably use a strainer or coffee filter, but a French press is really easy, and certain things in life need to be easy.

Cold-Pressed Iced Coffee
1 cup coarsely ground good coffee beans
2 cups cold water
In a French press, add coffee, water. Stir well.
Plunge part way to seal in the coffee. Refrigerate for 9-12 hours.
After the brewing is complete, plunge and pour the rich liquid goodness into a glass container that you can seal and drink from for a few days.
This will provide you with a concentrate. Fill a glass with ice and a few ounces of the coffee. Add milk or half and half… you can also enjoy it straight, maybe with a little sweetener… but it’s so smooth and acidic free, you won’t need any. Notice how all the bitterness of coffee is gone? Pure, smooth goodness!
Store remaining concentrate in a covered glass container in the fridge.

You’re welcome! I have to go clean the coffee splatters off my house now…

CoffeeSplash

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Peaches and bling

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It’s sexy cocktail time! This little gem is from New York’s Empire Hotel, where one of the Sex and the City 2 scenes was shot… you know, the poorly rated movie version of the long-running hit show. The hotel created cocktails inspired by the show’s characters. Apparently, this drink was inspired by Carrie.

For this cocktail, you will need: Your favorite vodka (I like flavorless ones like Skyy), sanding sugars, silver sugar beads, granulated sugar, fresh peaches, ginger root, lemons, ice and a cocktail shaker.

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Peel and remove the pit from the fresh peaches and puree them in a blender. Set aside. Mix up the water, sugar, and grated ginger root for the simple syrup in the small saucepan and heat to boiling. Continue boiling until the mixture reduces and thickens. Cool this until it’s at least room temperature.

Rim pre-chilled glasses with the silver and red sanding sugars.

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Assemble. Fill a cocktail shaker about 1/3 full of ice, add peach puree, ginger syrup, lemon juice and vodka and shake it good. Pour into a sugar-rimmed glass.

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Toss in a few silver sugar beads for bling.

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Salut!
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Peaches and Bling Martini
(adapted from NYC Empire Hotel)
Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients:
2 oz. vodka
2 oz. fresh peach puree
3/4 oz. ginger-infused simple syrup
1 oz. lemon juice
Silver and red sanding sugar (for rim)
Silver sugar beads (for bling)

Directions:
To make the peach puree, peel a peach and put it in a blender for about 10-15 seconds. To make the ginger syrup, bring half a cup of water and half a cup of sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Throw in some fresh chopped ginger. Reduce, and stir until the mixture thickens. Strain out the ginger and let the syrup cool. In a cocktail shaker, combine the peach puree, the ginger syrup, the lemon juice and the vodka; shake. Strain into a chilled martini glass rimmed with the sanding sugar. Drop the silver sugar beads in the bottom of the glass for more “bling.”

High heels are optional.