In Dining

Top Note Indian tonic is a great match for Ethiopian espresso in this slightly bubbly fresh summer drink. (PHOTO: Lori Fredrich)

Drink This: Espresso & Tonic at Kickapoo Coffee

Maybe you've mistaken tonic as a one-trick pony, a bedfellow of vodka or gin and not much else. But it's definitely time to rethink that notion, because the espresso and tonic might just be your new favorite summer coffee drink.

At its core, the drink is simple. Crisp, cold tonic is poured into a glass with ice and topped off with an espresso float. The drink is served with a wedge of lime, meant to be incorporated in the beverage before drinking.

The true secret to the drink is using an espresso that's more fruity than heavy. Single origin espressos from Kenya and Ethiopia are natural bets.

Kickapoo Coffee, 232 E. Erie St., makes theirs with a combination of Top Note Indian Tonic and Ethiopia Chelbessa, a natural process organic espresso that expresses lots of rich fruit flavor with an almost floral finish. It's a perfect match for the high citrus and bitter notes in the tonic, and it stands up beautifully against the fresh zing of lime.

The result is both delicious – citrusy, crisp and refreshing – and beautiful. In fact, if you're patient, you can sit and watch as the espresso slowly co-mingles with the tonic, first clouding a bit on contact and eventually creating graceful brown wisps and streaks through the clear sweet liquid.

It's a big fat cheers to summer!


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