I first realized I’d been using a French press all wrong at a press event hosted by TWIST by Pinch, the craft cocktail division of Pinch Food Design, a catering company in New York City. Inside a swanky, dimly lit warehouse room, spotlights shone on attractive people behind wooden carts. A man in an apron behind the first cart I stopped at was holding a French press in one hand and was pouring a mix of fresh herbs and blanco tequila into the French press with the other. He depressed the plunger, infusing the flavors of beet, carrot, and ginger into the tequila. Then, he topped it off with a cocktail mix and garnished the drink with a thin slice of carrot.
It was like taking the first sip of water after walking 40 miles through the desert. But so much better. Best of all, you can do this for yourself. (Pro tip: Buy a new pour-over kit and French press so you don’t get any coffee flavors where you don’t want them.)
How to make Pinch’s French press cocktail
Put the pulp of fresh produce like beets and carrots into the French press.
Add a mix of blanco tequila and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
Basically anything can be turned into a tool for craft cocktails. Before you start getting crazy and innovative, though, try one of these first. You won’t be sorry.