Educational Resources | abr. 4, 2022

Tequila Through the Coffee Lens: Patrón Coffee Cocktails



The time for quality coffee and bar programs to merge is now. Leading the efforts in brewed and mixed excellence are Egor Polonskiy and Taylor Giroux, creators of Coffee Through The Tequila Lens, an advocacy program that debuted at this year’s Arizona Cocktail Week. Built from their experiences as a bartender and a barista, this program drives awareness of quality coffee brewing technique and creative usage, meant to elevate coffee cocktails behind the bar.

Follow along as we talk to Egor and Taylor about what the Tequila Through the Coffee Lens program offers, what flavor pairings they’re excited about, and how the two worlds blend quite seamlessly. We’ll also highlight some of the inventive recipes from the program and the drink-making techniques making their way into the mixological landscape. Time to grab your coffee and dive in.

Explore the Coffee Cocktails PDF + Recipe Guide

Egor Polonskiy | Manager of Trade Education & Mixology, West Region


What do you think makes coffee and Patrón tequilas such a great pairing?

Pairing tequila and coffee is expertly described in our new Patrón Coffee textbook (a key piece of the program) where we outline the three main hooks” of the two ingredients.

First, there’s an authenticity to both beverages. Just like a good coffee, tequila is a beverage of place meaning its taste and process are attributed to specific places in the world and dictated by traditions of that region.

Second, tequila and coffee share a similar range of flavor profiles. They can both pull from broad categories on flavor wheels, some overlapping. To further drive home the connection between coffee and tequila, take a look at their respective flavor wheels: they are very much alike.

Coffee and Tequila Flavor Wheels



Third, there’s a broad diversity in both beverages. Great traditional and quality tequilas like Patrón Silver range from light, crisp, and citrusy to more robust, leathery, stewed tropical fruits found in Patrón Extra Añejo. In the coffee world, light to medium roast coffee from different regions of the world can offer different drinking experiences. For example, floral and blackberry-leaning African coffee takes on a different flavor profile than a rich and chocolate-forward coffee from Oaxaca.


What do you enjoy most about sharing this programming with bartenders and others in the industry?

Many people underestimate the potential of coffee as an ingredient, similar to amaro or bitters several years ago, which are now a staple in every good bar. I find coffee to be on a similar path. It’s not just the Espresso Martini or Irish Coffee — it’s way more than that. This programming can serve as an eye opener for those hoping to understand the history behind and traditional ways of using coffee in cocktails, and new creative opportunities it provides for their bars.


What’s your favorite coffee cocktail?

Café Paloma — it’s a classic Patrón Paloma with a little bit of cold brew. Who would have thought coffee and grapefruit are a match? The hint of bitterness and floral element from coffee add another layer of complexity to an already popular drink.


What coffee techniques do you marry into your cocktail making?

Coffee syrup is awesome and a staple for me. Coffee infusions are pretty fun as well, but I don’t recommend infusing it into your base spirit, rather adding coffee flavor to modifiers like vermouth, amaro or just making coffee bitters.


What can bartenders teach baristas?

I come from the bar side, so I’m still learning from baristas, but I would guess speed and creativity. I am yet to see an octopus-looking barista who is knocking out seven lattes at a time while talking to the guests and cleaning dishes like we do at the bar though…


Do you see coffee and bartending merging more in the future?

Absolutely, we are on a path to start paying attention to creative cocktails that focus on the quality of the coffee used . I predict there will be a new wave of coffee cocktails coming down the pipeline. I imagine there will be new contemporary classics made with coffee to add to the ever popular Irish Coffee, Espresso Martini and Café Brulot.



Taylor Giroux | Head of Beverage Quality and Innovation at Elemental Beverage Company

What is your involvement or focus in this program?

My focus in this program is to both educate on the basics of coffee history, brewing and general knowledge as well as express in a creative way how coffee can be more versatile of an ingredient in cocktails than most perceive. Coffee’s perception in bartending is primarily the vaguest of the coffee’s flavor, usually just the roast level is all you taste in a traditional coffee cocktail. However, coffee is complex in many ways and its many processing and preparation methods can be utilized to make the quality of the drink more unique and complex.

Do you approach cocktails the same way you do coffee drinks or do you blend styles?

I think good coffee has a place in all cocktail styles, what is a coffee beverage if not a cocktail itself? Ingredients built to create balance and a skilled individual behind the bar. When I make a drink I unintentionally create it in a way to celebrate the coffee. Whether we like it or not, coffee tends to blend fluidly into a beverage and its natural nuance gets hidden. My palate is geared toward coffee so I take those coffee flavor notes and use similar ingredients when building the beverage, intending to bring you back to the coffee and why I may have used that particular origin or processing when creating.


What qualities make coffee and tequila a good pairing?

With Patrón specifically, I like that there is so much variation. I also believe that with an agave spirit, the coffee and spirit blend in a really interesting way. With other spirits you get more of a fluid blend where the drink tastes like a singular ingredient. With tequila, you get very obvious notes of both the coffee processing and the tequila processing.

I think common tequila drinks have sugar and citrus mixed, an when you add coffee to that it gives the drink that umami flavor that perplexes you but makes you keep sipping. I think the typical idea is that tequila has nothing to do with coffee, but when you look deeper at the tequila making process and really get into the delicate notes of the spirit, they actually pair quite well.

What can baristas teach bartenders?

I think being immersed in education certainly helps. When I got my first job at a place that actually taught me something about coffee, I couldn’t stop moving forward with my own education afterward. My colleagues are the same way, we all want to be knowledgeable and help each other, and those of us who are fortunate enough to get really education-forward jobs and jobs higher up in our field are willing to help others who don’t know the route as well.


I would love to see more coffee people, hobbyists and of course more bartenders at these seminars. I think at one point, maybe a year or two into coffee, I felt I knew what I needed, then the industry drastically changed and I felt myself having to push more again. Educating yourself on the sustainability of your industry is also key. How can I help the people making my products and or ingredients happy so we can keep progressing? That is a question I ask myself daily.

Do you see coffee and bartending merging more in the future?

Definitely! I was ecstatic to see the many variations on coffee cocktails at our first cocktail fests we performed the seminar for. Its great to see people applying their imaginative art to keep people’s interest and continue to grow both of our industries!

What’s your favorite coffee cocktail?

I’m a big fan of anything bitter-forward. Caffé Coretto is an old classic that I think is great even with a twist, there’s a reason it’s one of the original coffee cocktails! Truly, I love anything that celebrates coffee, and puts its flavor at the forefront that still makes a fantastic beverage.


Tequila + Coffee Cocktail Recipes

CAFE PALOMA

This is essentially a coffee variation of the classic tropical Mai Tai. Instead of the typical almond syrup, we use coconut and canela (Mexican cinnamon) to pair with the rich and barrel-forward flavors of extra-aged tequila.

RECIPE

• 1.5 oz Patrón Reposado

• .5 Agave Syrup

• .5 oz Lime Juice

• .75 oz Cold Brew Coffee

• 3 oz Fever Tree Grapefruit Soda

METHOD

Shake with ice, top with grapefruit soda into a highball glass and garnish with hibiscus salt and lime wheel

PREFERRED COFFEEPREPARATION

Light body with mild acidity and citrus notes; cold brew method

CALABAZA LATTE


Pumpkin spice latte, but make it boozy.

RECIPE

• 1.5 oz Patrón Añejo or Sherry Cask Añejo

• 1 oz Espresso

• .5 oz Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup

• .5 oz PX Sherry

• Steamed Whole Milk or Milk Alternative

METHOD

Build all ingredients (besides milk) in the glass and stir. Steam the milk and layer on top of the cocktail. Serve in a coffee mug and garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.

PREFERRED COFFEEPREPARATION

Medium body with mild acidity and citrus notes; espresso or aeropress

PATRÓN MEXPRESSO MARTINI

This is a simple yet delicious variation on the classic Espresso Martini created by Dick Bradsell in London in the 1980s. Originally made with vodka, this cocktail is experiencing a true renaissance during the modern cocktail movement. We have substituted the base spirit for Patrón Silver — crisp, citrusy, and full of roasted agave notes — and complemented it with dark sugar and chilled, made-to-order espresso for a creamy, frothy texture.

RECIPE

• 1.5 oz Patrón Silver

• 1.5 oz Chilled Espresso

• .5 oz Demerara Syrup*

• 1 small pinch of Sea Salt

*Demerara Syrup

For every 8 oz of water, use 16 oz of demerara sugar. Heat over medium heat until just below a simmer; do not boil. Stir until sugar is fully dissolved, then let cool. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

METHOD

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe with no garnish.

PREFERRED COFFEEPREPARATION

Light to medium body with bright acidity and citrus notes; espresso machine, quality pod espresso maker or aeropress, made to order


To follow along or to find out when this course is coming to a city near you, make sure to follow us on Instagram @academia_patron.

For the latest in coffee and tequila education, visit us here on academia patron.com as we continue to update with recipes, resources, courses, and more Q&As with experts from the tequila and coffee worlds, and beyond!

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