Category Archives: Recipe

ACP 067: Small Pantry, Big Menu

Inspired by the “Cooking With Syrups” article in May 2018 issue of Fresh Cup Magazine, this episode is really about leveraging ingredients to pair items together and sell a tasty treat along with that delicious beverage.

Macaroons & peanut oil mocha shots 💆🏻‍♂️🤤

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Cafe mentioned:

Magazine where full article is:

More info about Sequim Washington and Lavender Festival:

2018 Sequim Lavender Festival

ACP 066: Lee Carter is in the Hot Seat

Last weekend Lee Carter and his dog Zero drove over to my place in Madison, Wisconsin to chat for a bit. We saw some dive bars. We had some bar food. Then when we spent an hour relaxing and talking about beverages. Lee Carter is the co-founder of Five Watt and Big Watt Beverage Company in Minneapolis, MN. Enjoy the chat between 3 friends.


Recipe – The Year of the Chai: 2 oz Oregon Chai Extra Spicy Super Concentrate, 2 oz carrot juice, 6 oz Oatly Barista Edition, steam together, top with ground all spice.

ACP 065: King of the Hill, a Barista TNT

Join myself and Andrew Gomez as we chat about a home barista party. Recorded suuuper late at night after many enjoyable alcoholic beverages.

At the intro I mention this cold brew cocktail: “The Cold Brew Rock-Slider” 0.5 oz DaVinci Gourmet Cold Brew Concentrate, 0.5 chocolate liqueur, 1 oz Baileys Almond Liqueur, 3 oz Oatly, ice.

‘King of the Hill’ barista event: tickets are $1, all the tickets go into a hat, 2 names are drawn, the winning pour is on ‘the hill’ as the current ‘King of the Hill,’ 2 new challengers come up and pour, if the King of the Hill gets 1 of the 3 votes from the judges then its still king, if a new pour wins then it becomes the king, this goes on till a set time (that is unknown to judges/competitors) has ended.

Great way to run through a large amount of people. The nature of the random names being drawn makes it fun, but also you will need to have better lead time in announcing the next 1-3 sets of people, so they can make their way to the front and be ready.

Special thanks to Juniper the corgi, for running around in the background and barking


ACP 064: Making Cold Brew Coffee Cocktails

Real time recording as my friends come over and create some fun coffee cocktails. This miiiiiiiight get silly…..

Cocktails we will create in this episode:
1) Bourbon and Cold Brew:
Just splash some DaVinci Gourmet Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate and water over your whiskey any way you take it
2) Lunchbox or ‘Cafe Disaronno’:
Inspired by “The Lunchbox” cocktail, using cold brew. The orange juice brings out the wonderful complimenting bakers chocolate specific to this cold brew concentrate. 0.5 oz DaVinci Gourmet Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate 1 oz Disaronno 4 oz orange juice Serve on ice with orange wedge garnish
3) Cafe Boulevardier:
0.25 oz DaVinci Gourmet Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate 1 oz bourbon 1 oz sweet vermouth 1 oz Campari Chill and stir with ice, serve ‘up’ with orange zest, cherry garnish optional
4) Cafe Cola:
Cynar Americano Cafe: 0.25 oz DaVinci Gourmet Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate 05 oz Cynar 4 oz cola
5) Cafe Sazerac:
0.125 (1/8th) oz DaVinci Gourmet Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate 2 oz Sazerac Rye 2 dashes Peychauds bitters Give glass an absinthe rinse, build cocktail in separate glass with ice, chill then strain into fresh glass. Garnish with lemon zest and peel.
6) Salty White Russian:
0.25 DaVinci Gourmet Hawaiian Salted Caramel 3 oz DaVinci Gourmet Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate (diluted) 1 oz Titos vodka 1 oz Baileys Served on ice, salted caramel treat on rim as garnish

Cold brew coffee cocktails! Obviously coffee goes great with bourbon, but what else? Listen in as Levi creates 6 cocktails with some of his closest friends.

TIME 2:20 – Who is the Kurt guy?
TIME 2:55 “Who drank all the Fernet? Who drank all the Baileys? ….Adam he makes my drinking look like childsplay”

TIME 4:35 This is where you drink the first cocktail, the first cocktail.

TIME 5:05 “We *slurrrrrr*…” “Did you eat all the ice cubes out?”

TIME 5:10 As you can tell by my inability to talk without slurring and recall what was actually in the cocktail, I was indeed smashed. That combo is something I will play with in the future – but for now – let’s meet my friend Danny the pilot….

TIME 5:45 “Check check, can you make more money if you turn the GAIN up?” Danny Blaha.

TIME 5:52 Danny and I drink together a lot, so naturally when he visited last weekend I had to make him this strange cocktail… also he brought a knife? No, that was just a butter knife.

TIME 6:00
Levi: What do you think of this cocktail? Danny, put down that knife.
Danny: The pain makes me know that life is real. Um, that’s a good way to start?
Levi: yeah, it lets people know you have nothing to say at all. What do you think of this cocktail?
Danny: When you decided that you wanted to make it, I was a little concerned when you took Disaronno, cold brew coffee and orange juice out of your refrigerator. Um, it scared me a little bit.
Levi: I didn’t have Disaronno in my refrigerator, but yes I understand your fear.
Danny: Yeah. *Indistinguishable grunt* Like I said three flavors you just don’t think would go together. But I do think it tastes like one of those orange chocolate balls that you have to hit on a table and it splits into pieces. Maybe that was only cool in the 1990’s but there you go. It tastes good and it goes together, orange and chocolate it good.
Levi: orange and chocolate are amazing together. Orange and coffee are okay together but certainly most places don’t put those together. This is cold brew of course. I think Disaronno goes really well with coffee. I’ve made a similar cocktail with Disaronno, Almond syrup, espresso, shaken with milk and ice.
Danny: you make a lot of cocktails that are really bitter, that’s kind of your go to. I like this one because its NOT bitter. You put a lot of bitters into cocktails, its very common for you, but this doesn’t have that. I like your cocktails that are higher in citrus.
Levi: Joey my coworker teases me because for like 6 months I put lime into everything I made.
Danny: Do you cook it for 6 months? Because when you cook…. you definitely take your time.
Levi: you make it sound like I cook completely stoned, but really I just like to take a few days.
Danny: is it done cooking? Oh is it charcoal black now? Mmmm tasty.
Levi: get out of my house….

Time to try the Cafe Boulevardier. Which was actually the very first cocktail we built that day. When I am tasting I start with the more bitter and move to the sweeter. It’s hard for me to go from sweet to bitter, do you ever do tastings like this?

TIME 8:40
Cafe Boulevardier…
Levi: our first try, Kurt, wanna say what we got?
Kurt: We have ourselves the Negroni, Boulevardier, BREW-vardier? I don’t think that’s too bitter.
Levi: I’m not sure the coffee-note is the right note for this. Sweet enough. What is tough is all I taste is garlic from my lunch.
Kurt: I like the ending note, its all coffee.
Levi: We did 1 oz of sweet vermouth, 1 oz of Campari, 1 oz of bourbon, and then just a 1/4 oz of a cold brew super concentrate. Yeah right now this aftertaste is really great, should we do an orange zest or any herbal element like mint?
Kurt: I don’t think so, I think its done.
Levi: recipe #1 is done, its in the banks!
Kurt & Levi *CLAP*

TIME 13:30
Cafe Cola Cynar “big mistake”
Kurt: so its Cynar, cold brew,a nd Coke
Levi: the big mistake we had made?
Kurt: was adding white rum, then dark rum, all bad.
Levi: the big lesson here is to start simple, then layer in more flavors on top.
Kurt: yeah. So the recipe is 0.5 oz Cynar, 4 oz Coca-Cola, 0.25 oz cold brew.
Levi: on the nose its a lot of coffee, the Cynar and the Coke are balanced together. The cold brew again is the lingering aftertaste. BAM.

TIME 14:30
As I taste a drink I pay attention to the BIG categories in flavor: sweet/sour/bitter/umami/salt, then also very important is the “Exact-flavor.” There is ‘good’ verses ‘meeting the standard of identity.’ This Cafe Cola is such a simple recipe and I already knew about the idea of a “Cynar Cola,” its actually on the bottle of Cynar, so I used that recipe idea as a baseline. I also already knew I like Cold Brew and “Cola” SO we knew instantly this idea would work. Where we went wrong was trying to make it even more unique and adding rum…..
Also, I pay attention to temperature and texture of course.
Look, we saved you a painful step of experimentation! But if you do have a build on this, let me know what you found tasty.

TIME 16:15
Levi: I don’t know about you but between the note sleeping and closing down bars the last 2 nights, I’m pretty tired….
Kurt: we did a play on the Sazerac because we wanted to add some cold brew in to incorporate all the flavors. We have varying opinions on how much coffee to add at the moment, I think we are going to have to revisit this when we have the proper Sazerac Rye instead of Woodford Reserve Rye. We took down the Peychauds bitters from 4 drops to 2?
Levi: Let’s talk about this, we have been thinking about all these drinks, but we start from Googling a recipe to have a starting point. On this one specifically I thought the cocktail would be bitter enough and if we added a coffee flavor it would take it to a more bitter realm. Piece of advice – when you are making cocktails with friends always listen twice to their advice because there is usually a lot both said and ‘unsaid.’ If there is cold brew in a cocktail then it needs to be fairly apparent.
Kurt: We are like 2 hours into this session.
Levi: we started with brainstorming crazy ideas and wrote them all down. Then we did a grocery list. Then we talked through the brainstorming and groceries. I ate a bunch of garlic, then we did the grocery run,

Salty White Russian:
That moment when you realize you’ve been day drinking and are trying to explain things… This one was much harder to type up and talk about because, as mentioned, I had been day drinking allllll day. Then during production you can likely tell that I have been drinking along.

Cold Brew coffee used was a brand new launch from DaVinci Gourmet. To learn more visit

Music by “The Dirty Moogs” title – “Im Alright Instrumental”

ACP 058: Tulsa Coffee Crawl

Topeca Coffee in Tulsa hangs photos of their coffee farm on their wall, then roasts it to be tasty

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1) Coffee crawling through Tulsa, OK
2) Meeting baristas is a great thing
3) Get out there and try stuff, bring people with you
4) Thank you to Samuel Smith (video below), for coming along with me on the trip

1) Ask baristas ‘where should I go next’ and use Yelp to save the answers
2) Cold Brew nitro with vanilla and cream was outrageously great
3) Maple Soda uses shelf stable ingredients that don’t expire or require to be ‘dialed in’

Reason to interact:
1) Map of the places I went
2) Maple Soda and Sparkling Green Tea recipe
3) Photos of the drinks (below!)

“How do I use Yelp to find cool places?”
1) Look for 3-5 star ratings
2) Number of reviews and photos should be higher relative to other local cafes/places
3) Keep track on your favorites list when someone suggests a place, then when in a new area open up your “Bookmarks” tab in the mobile app
4) Checkout podcast #54

I got to see Tulsa Oklahoma through three peoples eyes in the last two days. One girl has Family ties to the land, literally the very Native American clan who named this place Tulsa so very long ago. She also had dinosaur bones in her house that I got to see, while Indiana Jones played in the background on her XBox. Another girl who I would call a traveling bartender, staying in town for a few months or years experiencing the area, but always looking to the next place that may quench her thirst again, for now. And finally I worked out of the café this morning while I watched a barista who I had met when he was a teenager. He's now moving up in the world and shared his experience about going to New York and Vancouver Canada because of his skill and craft with coffee. I grabbed my phone and looked up his name, where I found a bunch of notes about him and his coworker and a wonderful experience I had here almost exactly 2 years ago . I have it to him on his break while we reconnected and laugh and over how I described him back then . Three different people, two industries, one city. Tulsa

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Time 2:18
    Visit the show notes for ISI Whipped cream recipes. I’ve seen some sped-up extraction recipes.
    How can you tell if its real ice? …It melts.
Time 3:45
    Different levels of carbonation for different brands
    Real Maple or Honey does change the mouth feel, LINK to brands and their level of carbonation. Sometimes a high level of carbonation is great because some recipes have a lot of other ingredients competing for the total volume of the drink itself.
Time 4:44
    Espresso Tonic recipe, Levi uses just a hint of espresso in his recipe to allow for coffee to be the background flavor, rather than having it dominate the flavor profile.
    Thought – why don’t we look at espresso as a background flavor?
Time 6:50
    Owl Puccino signature drink, the name plays into what the cafe used to be called. What about a signature drink called the Al-Puccino, and it can be made with almond milk?
Time 8:30
    Foolish Things Coffee Company, don’t be foolish, ask questions.
    Oak Aged Cold Brew Float – was cool, you can use a brand like Time & Oak to get those flavors. They used local ice cream but not enough, lost the woody-flavor but like the idea and it was fun.
    Cold Brew Soda with Blueberry Shrubs –
Time 13:00
    Do the next thing, hop on Yelp and find a cafe then ask the barista ‘where should I go next?’ and they may direct you to some wonderful place or party that only the locals know about. I also use Yelp to bookmark places I will visit in the future when you’re in that town.
Time 15:30
    Why don’t we list the barista that came up with that signature drink like they do at fancy bars?

Yelp, raining bird poop in Tulsa…

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Thank you to Podington Bear, for lending the track Gravy.

Strawberry Basil Lassi

The Strawberry Basil Lassi

We’ve been showing this recipe at recent trade shows like Coffee Fest and the SCAA as more than a ‘try our syrups’ but as a ‘come and have a little snack to settle your tummy.’ Trade shows are so hard because most people are really hungry. So my thought was to serve a treat that would help people get through the day.

What makes this drink/treat so good is using fresh basil. Did you know you can blend it right into the syrup and let it infuse? I had the idea when I was cold brewing some coffee one day and I also had some basil, then I thought ‘why haven’t I cold brewed these together???’ Of course this is just called an infusion. For the basil I use a handful (the amount that comes in a small package from a grocery store) and let it infuse for 4-8 hours. Then I strain it (with this cocktail strainer if on the go) back off into the bottle, then write “Basil” on it.

You don’t want to blend the basil too fine, because then the herb wont be strained all the way and produce a little extra mouth feel. You only want the flavor of the basil, not the actual basil to be in the syrup. Here I blend just for a few seconds.

Creating the Strawberry Basil Lassi recipe, part 1

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Here is basically how I make the drink.

Strawberry Basil Lassi, part 2

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Pouring from different heights and also pouring faster or slower will produce different layers. You can always stir it up completely, but I like to have it layer like the very top photo.

A little before and after shot.

Adding herbs & blending together to infuse flavors 👌🏻 I've been using these in sodas & yogurt recipes lately

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Another flavor that works is mango and mint.

Reversed Irish Coffee

This is my favorite recipe right now, this one is the most exciting to me.


Debuting the recipe here at Coffee Fest Anaheim on the last day of the trade show.


Reversed Irish Coffee Recipe:

  • 4 oz cold brew (concentrate)
  • 1 oz Jameson
  • Pour those into a pint glass filled with ice or chill in a freezer
  • Separately heat up to 150-160F
  • 2 oz half and half (or cream)
  • 1 oz DaVinci Gourmet Naturals Vanilla
  • Put these warmed ingredients into a small (small is essential) french press and agitate by plunging swiftly till textured
  • Pour chilled coffee and Jameson into a frozen 8 oz mug, straining the ice
  • Tilt the mug so the coffee is always near the lip/rim, then pour the warm cream on stop in the same fashion
  • Top with coffee grounds, serve


About the recipe, it was developed with the help of co-worker Jason Raines in 2015. We began working on it together for a “Guest Barista Night” I (LevI) was doing at Ben’s shop Rockford Roasting Co. We ended up not showing this recipe but showed the Strawberry Basil Lassi as the featured recipe instead.

This recipe is intended for a bar to use, in theory the bar could easily create this recipe by adding three tools to their setup:

  1. Cold brewer (I used the Toddy system)
  2. Kettle or way to quickly heat cream (I use an antique yellow one, but here is a suggestion that is easy to clean after use)
  3. Small french press (small is essential because this recipe uses just 3 oz of hot liquid, link)

Drink in action, notice the cold brew being sipped up and pulled from the bottom on the glass 👏🏼

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Found an Expiring Cantaloupe, So I Liquefied it

So today I came into the Beverage Suite where I work and there was a cantaloupe barely holding onto life. I mean it was getting pretty soft (you can see a top-right-dimple in the photo) on the outside, but I didn’t want to just toss it. So I had to take action and turn it into something new and different.

My mind went right to a Pina Colada riff, “Instead of pineapple what about cantaloupe?” I asked myself. After a few tests I came up with the plan.

Above you can see me getting out some ingredients and doing a test run. The recipe is above but I will explain it again here.

Cantaloupe Cream

  • Take cantaloupe pieces and lightly blend in blender
  • However full that was, add half that amount of DaVinci Gourmet Naturals Coconut. The Naturals line is preservative free and made with natural flavors, so the flavor really comes through strong over the sugar/sweetness. Blend these two together.
  • Now you have your base, just add 1 part of this puree/syrup to 4 parts ginger beer.
  • If you want to make it even easier, you can add the lime juice and cream (or coconut cream) to this base as well. I was using ‘a splash’ of both on top of each drink so start with about 20% cream to batch ratio, and 5% lime juice then taste and adjust.
  • Doesn’t hurt to have some wild straws, this is the best deal I’ve found for a re-usable tiki style


Personally, I love limes so I threw some into the mix. I wanted it to be a bit spicy so I used ginger beer for that kick. Then it was all cooled down with some cream (but I wish I had coconut cream instead).

The end result was pretty fun little midday mocktail. I served it to 7 people for a private lunch and they loved it. If you try it and add booze I’d love to know what you added =]