In Scotland, Atholl Brose is a traditional drink of Scotch whisky mixed with the liquid from soaking steel-cut oats, stirred with honey, and topped with lightly whipped cream. I tried a bunch of different combinations of these ingredients in various iterations and was starting to think I wouldn’t find a really good drink. One of the cooks from The Coachman (a British pub in San Francisco, now closed) tasting an early test version, said I needed to heighten the flavor of the oats. I took the toasted and soaked oats home and, for breakfast the next day, made oatmeal. That’s when it hit me: My coffee was heightening the toasty flavor of the oats without overwhelming them. I bought some cold-brewed coffee concentrate on my way to work and made another cocktail. As soon as I tasted it, I knew we had a winner.
You can serve this drink warm instead of chilled—just heat the honey syrup and oat-infused milk before mixing and skip the ice, stirring the ingredients to mix. And don’t toss the toasted oats you’ve infused the milk with. Make breakfast oatmeal by adding 2 to 3 cups of water and cooking over low heat for about 45 minutes.
What to buy: Choose a good coffee concentrate, such as Jittery John’s Cold Brew Coffee (available in the San Francisco Bay Area), or Trader Joe’s Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, available on Amazon. Of course, you could always make your own Cold Brewed Coffee too.
This recipe was updated on December 13, 2017 to note The Coachman’s closure.
For more Scottish cocktail recipes, check out our Rob Roy.
For the oat-infused milk:
To make the cocktail: