Coffee and whiskey lovers can now delight in an amalgam of their favourite flavours with the advent of Jameson Cold Brew.
The new beverage officially launched in BC on October 1 and has since gradually been making its way across Canada after garnering acclaim south of the border, in the UK, and in Australia.
Jameson, which has proudly been distilling Irish whiskey for over 200 years, was inspired to find a fresh take on a classic combination. While coffee and Irish whiskey are far from strangers, the brand couldn’t help but wonder if there was more to the story.
This sense of curiosity gave rise to the idea of combining triple-distilled Jameson with rich cold brew. The outcome? A balanced hybrid of smooth Irish whiskey and natural cold brew with hints of toasted oak, dark chocolate, and lush coffee.
As the cool weather sets in — and with the holidays on the horizon — there’s hardly a better time to sip and savour the seasonable new drink or to absorb yourself in the story behind it.
To get the lowdown on how the new beverage came to be, what goes into making it, and how it’s best enjoyed, we chatted with spirit expert and Jameson brand ambassador, Colin MacDougall.
MacDougall comes from a hospitality background, working his way up the bar scene after a stint as a global backpacker. Today, he’s a self-proclaimed “boozy storyteller” (an epic title, if you ask us) with a knack for championing the stories behind some of the world’s most popular alcohol brands.
When it comes to Jameson’s Cold Brew, the story begins with the Jameson family motto “Sine Metu,” which means “Without Fear.”
The family credits this maxim for allowing them to withstand multiple wars and American prohibition, all while discovering new possibilities and ways of producing whiskey along the way.
It’s this same pioneering spirit that has given way to their latest creation. “That’s how the idea of trying something like this came about. Sine Metu actually starts from back in the day when they were fighting pirates — without fear — to defend their product and the world of consumer goods,” says MacDougall.
Upon pouring two fingers of the whiskey-coffee blend, you’re met with a rich coffee aroma and the vanilla nuttiness of Jameson. On the tongue, it’s distinctive and bold, with notes of toasted oak for a smooth mouthfeel.
Though taste is subjective, for MacDougall, “The first thing that rushes over my palate is just really high quality, dense, rich coffee.”
While the blend certainly has a distinguishable whiskey flavour (overall alcohol content being 30%), it’s very smooth and subdued by the chocolatey, nutty notes of the coffee — “especially when it’s chilled down,” adds MacDougall.
The rigorous process starts in Brazil and Colombia where the high-quality arabica beans are sourced. From there, the beans are ground and water is slowly trickled, droplet by droplet, through the coffee.
“It extracts the caffeine and all the stuff that you want out of it, only slower. So, you get this really cool tasting thing,” he says.
Next, the cold brew is reduced and mixed with whiskey for a ready-to-drink finished product — all you need is a glass of ice on hand.
In terms of caffeine content, six ounces is equivalent to a shot of espresso, making it ideal for a late afternoon boost that won’t get you too buzzed. “This is the perfect happy hour [drink]. It’s a pick-me-up, but not a pick-me-up,” MacDougall says.
While the brew is made for straight sipping — once chilled, of course — it also works great in a cocktail. MacDougall’s go-to includes combining it with tonic water and chocolate bitters.
Another winning winter cocktail is the Jameson Cold Brew Hot Chocolate, which is two parts Cold Brew and five parts hot chocolate.
There’s also no going wrong with a Jameson Brew-tini. A fun take on a classic, this cocktail is smooth, elegant, and easy to mix up at home while getting into the holiday spirit. All it takes is two parts Jameson Cold Brew, one part coffee, and a dash of simple syrup mixed together in an icy cocktail shaker.
All in all, you can expect the same Jameson you’ve likely already come to know (and possibly love), but with a cold brew infusion. It’s the holiday drink you didn’t know you (or the giftee on your list) needed — until now.