The Washington Post

Cold-Brewed Chocolate Floats

Cold-Brewed Chocolate Floats 4.000

Renee Comet for The Washington Post; styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

Plate Lab Jul 9, 2015

These not-too-sweet summertime refreshers are based on a brilliant concoction: a subtly chocolate-flavored elixir that results when you soak cacao nibs in water.

You'll need a glass or heatproof plastic pitcher that can hold at least 2 quarts.

Make Ahead: The nibs need to steep for 12 to 14 hours. The cold-brewed chocolate needs to be refrigerated until well chilled, or up to 1 week.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes 32 ounces cold-brewed chocolate

  • 3 1/2 ounces cacao nibs, plus more for garnish
  • 2 quarts water, at room temperature
  • 12 ounces club soda
  • 1 1/3 cups highest-quality vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup (see NOTE)


Use a paper clamp to tightly fasten a medium (#4) paper cone coffee filter onto the inside mouth of the pitcher, then add the cacao nibs to the filter.

Pour just enough of the room-temperature water over the nibs until they become completely saturated, letting the liquid drip into the pitcher. Carefully unfasten the filter; gently fold it over at the top, then tie the filter closed with string or a rubber band. Drop it directly into the pitcher. Pour in the remaining water.

Cover, and let the nibs steep at room temperature for 12 to 14 hours. Discard the nib packet; cover and refrigerate the cold-brewed chocolate until thoroughly chilled, or up to 1 week.

For each serving, pour 8 ounces of the cold-brewed chocolate into a 12-ounce glass. Top with 3 ounces club soda and 1 tablespoon simple syrup, then gently mix. Top with a scoop (a heaping 1/3 cup) of the ice cream, garnish with a few cacao nibs, add a straw and serve right away.

NOTE: To make simple syrup, combine equal parts water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely before using. Cover tightly and refrigerate for several weeks or more.

Recipe Source

Adapted from Meredith Tomason of RareSweets in CityCenterDC.

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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