Specialty cold brew lends itself very well to making your own mocktail ingredients—especially simple syrups and nut milks! These ingredients are perfect for many cold brew mocktails and specialty drinks, and are not at all difficult to make in most coffee shops. They can be made in large batches during off hours, and can help create unique elements in your coffee shop.
Simple Syrup in its most basic form is created when sugar is dissolved into hot water making a liquid sweetener that can be added easily to a variety of drinks. The craft element and creativity happens when shops begin experimenting with different flavors and flavor combinations within the simple syrup. Basic syrups like chocolate vanilla are quite common, but mint, lavender, cinnamon, and honey are quite easy as well. There are also shops that incorporate a more exotic variety of fruits, spices and other natural flavors that can provide seriously unique and creative drinks with a minimal amount of effort. These drinks can be tied to regional crops for flavors, and are also perfectly suited for seasonal work, holiday, or limited run offerings. Because of the uniqueness of the drink and the craft element of the custom simple syrups, these drinks can easily command a higher price point and provide the customer an elevated experience in your shop.
Nut Milk is not that much harder. Nuts are soaked in water for 1 to 2 days, blended into an incredibly fine paste and strained so that the pulp is removed from the milk. There may be other ways to strain, but we are partial to the Alto Home Filters. The same basic process works for the most common nut varieties like almond and cashew, but can also be adapted for other nuts and possibly oats. Finally, these basic milks can be further customized with additional flavorings such as dates, vanilla, chocolate, and more to create an even more unique flavor offering.
The principle here is the same as that with simple syrups. Customers will appreciate shops that take the extra time to craft the ingredients for their drinks just as much as they appreciate the craft of making the drinks themselves. One concern in making so many ingredients from scratch is the fear that it will take up too much time that would otherwise be dedicated for other functions, and ultimately be too much work for the baristas to perform. We believe that some of these fears can be addressed with proper planning and utilization of the barista‘s time in the non-peak periods of the day, as well as pre-opening and post-closing activities.