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baking prep

sober tuesday: morning in manhattan

So today's post is a "guest recipe" if you will. This manhattan cocktail inspired cup o' coffee is an Aaron original.

While we were dating, there was a coffee shop in Indianapolis we frequented that served cocktail-esque coffee creations, one of which was a cold brew manhattan. We were dating long distance for our entire relationship, so with all the driving back and forth on weekends, we definitely consumed more than our fair share of coffee. And this particular drink was always high on the list.

So when Aaron moved up to join me in Chicago after our wedding, we quickly began to miss our favorite coffee mocktail. It wasn't long before he decided something needed to be done about it and went to town playing with variations to get the taste and strength correct.

And guys, I could drink this thing all summer. It's so refreshing! I don't typically like orange and chocolate together, but the coffee flavors really offset it and leave quite a clean taste. It's also wonderfully simple to whip up once you have the coffee ready. Just measure out the coffee, toss in a few dashes of bitters, stir it with ice, and you're ready to go. Since it's a chilled drink, the coffee can be made in advance and stored until the event - or (let's be honest) your afternoon coffee.

We were sipping these over the weekend and trying to brainstorm a name, since we'd only ever called them "coffee manhattans" and we wanted something with a bit more jazz to it. Aaron at one point suggested just calling them "orange mocha frappuccinos" and then rattled off what was almost the official name: "Derek Zoolander's Coffee for Kids Who Can't Taste Good." Which is probably way too niche for a food blog mocktail name, but it gave us a good many minutes of cracking up on the couch. So feel free to dub it such if you so choose. You have our full support (and laughter).

Otherwise, let's raise a Morning in Manhattan to the rest of the work week!


morning in manhattan

yield: 2 mocktails


9 oz strong coffee or espresso, chilled

4 dashes of orange bitters

3 dashes of chocolate bitters

orange peel for garnish


  1. Stir the coffee and bitters together with ice in a mixing glass.

  2. Divide equally between two rocks glasses with a large ice sphere.

  3. Rub the rim of each glass with the orange peel and place in the glass as a garnish.

  4. Serve!

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Pick varieties and flavors that bring you joy. Not everyone is a baker and not everyone likes to cook. 


Enjoy the process. One of my favorite things while baking is to knead the dough and feel how it changes in my hands. I love chopping vegetables that came fresh from the farmer's market, brushing the dirt off the leaves, and creating with something that came from the earth.


Listen to jazz. I know this is a personal preference, but there are few things that give me quite the feeling of contentment as cooking a good meal with a glass of wine and a Thelonius record on in the background.

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