You may think of coffee only as a buzzy morning brew, but it can do so much more than just perk you up. Here are a few unique ideas for using everything from whole beans to spent grounds.
Mix Up Caffeinated Cocktails
While coffee is usually enjoyed on its own as a hot or iced brew, it’s becoming more common to use it as a mixer in a bevy of charged-up cocktails. Irish Creams and White Russians have been around for decades, but a newer round of popular pub pours is incorporating coffee in creative ways.
With its blend of vodka, coffee liqueur, and strong steamed beans, an espresso martini with Absolut is a top pick when it comes to modern mixed drinks. Espresso also plays a key role if you fancy a rosy-hued Raspberry Mochatini or a dark and delicious Lazarus, so named because its combination of vodka, cognac, coffee liqueur, and cold brew might wake the dead.
When it comes to whole beans, they can be used as a garnish or ground to include in drinks that call for freshly-brewed java, like a Calypso Coffee or a Café Royal. With so many coffee-based cocktail options, this beverage clearly isn’t just for breakfast anymore.
Cook Up a Robust Repast
Because of its surprising versatility, coffee is a key ingredient in a raft of rich recipes that cover every dinner course. At your next party, set out a plate of coffee-rubbed lamb sliders and see how quickly they vanish. For a hearty main course, serve up coffee-crusted pork tenderloin or a slow cooker pot roast that’s been braised in a blend of beef bouillon and brewed beans. Finish off your meal with a pecan and chocolate espresso pie or homemade coffee and donuts ice cream, and your guests will surely be buzzing about this memorable meal.
As a bonus, when it’s time for cleanup, try rubbing wet grounds on your hands and then rinsing. Because they’re both abrasive and absorbent, coffee grounds can help remove any food odors that took hold while you were prepping the meal.
Perk Up Your Garden
Whether they’re left over from your morning cuppa or your dinner and cocktail concoctions, you probably have quite a pile of coffee grounds on your hands. Don’t throw them out; toss them in your garden, instead.
Sprinkling them around your vegetable beds will deter slugs from munching on your produce plantings, while many flowers bloom more vividly in soil that’s been enriched with pH-reducing grounds. Coffee grounds also make a potent addition to your compost bin, as they can improve soil quality and encourage vital microbial growth.
Freshen Up Your Appearance
It’s not just your garden that can get a boost from coffee. While a cup of joe may perk you up mentally, if your eyes are sporting some extra baggage in the morning just dip a cotton pad in cooled coffee to make a compress that can reduce puffiness. Because caffeine contracts the skin, it may even make your cellulite temporarily less noticeable.
Coffee can also help to smooth and soften your skin; try incorporating grounds into an exfoliating facial mask or foot scrub, or mixing them with coconut oil to create a lip treatment that can make your smoocher more supple. Any one of these DIY coffee cures can be a beneficial addition to your beauty regimen. If you’re a coffee fan, it may be eye-opening to learn that your favorite brew can be put to so many unique uses. Whether you concoct an espresso cocktail or use grounds as a balm for baggy eyes, there are lots of ways to enjoy coffee beyond your morning cup.