RISE Ice Cream Soda and Barbecue Sauce Recipes

By Greg Thomas

Having recently made the transition to RISE Nitro Cold Brew Coffees, the foodie in me was excited to see how I could use the coffee to inspire an exciting new recipe. My first inspiration came in the form of a “brown cow.”

Let me explain what a brown cow is in case you've never heard of it.

A Sweet Recipe - RISE Brown Cow

When I was growing up in Bloomfield, Connecticut, my grandmother had a sweet tooth, which quickly became my sweet tooth. Gram wanted me to sit with her while she made meals for my dad and grandfather. She said she wanted my company, which I suppose was true. Older now, I realize it was also a good way to keep an eye on me and keep me from wandering aimlessly about the house. Gram's “cows” always glued me to my chair.

A cow (aka ice cream soda) is a variety of soda (root beer, grape, ginger ale, orange, etc.) poured over vanilla ice cream. Cherry soda, she told me, added to vanilla ice cream would be called a Red Cow because the color of the soda would become the color of the drink. Now that I think of it, I might have been learning my colors about that time. Way to go, Gram! Grape soda and vanilla ice cream was a Purple Cow. Whatever the color of the soda, when added to the vanilla ice cream (i.e. cow, I guess) equaled something-cow. Ginger Ale for some reason was a Silver Cow. Anyway, the whole cow-thing made me giddy when I was five years old.

I'm guessing my grandmother brought the vernacular up from her roots down south. The origins fall somewhere between root beer floats and depression-era imagination for better living. That’s my guess.

So, when I got my first delivery of RISE Nitro Cold Brew Coffees with their Blood Orange, Lemonade, and Original Black varieties, my imagination exploded. I put together some almond milk based vanilla ice “cream” and added some RISE Original Black. OMG! I also shaved some white chocolate on top... Amazing!

RISE Ice Cream Soda, Brown Cow - organic nitro cold brew coffee | RISE Brewing Co.

RISE Brown Cow (aka RISE Ice “Cream Soda”)

  • 2 scoops of almond milk-based ice “cream”
  • ½ cup RISE Original Black Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
  • Shaved white chocolate, as desired

A Savory Recipe - RISE New York Barbecue Sauce

I left my sweet tooth in Connecticut for the most part. I guess Manhattan and the boroughs brought out the savory in me – the salty dog. These days, I love all things brackish, smoky, and spicy. Barbecue brings it all together for me.

Unfortunately, living in apartments and brownstones of Brooklyn and Manhattan meant that I never had the chance to grill on my own. In retrospect, I can see that my current love for grilling has a lot to do with wanting the food that I could never have for my own. In addition, I’m persnickety about food. When I’ve had something great once, I don’t forget it and every bite to follow has to be as good or better forever after. Homemade pasta, for example, ruined me for anything but great homemade pasta. Same thing with steak. Once I got a taste of good porterhouse steak, no other steak made me a smile.

The same happened for grilled barbecue. I'm all about slow-cooked, smoky short ribs all the way; I tried my favorite sauce in Kansas City about 20 years ago (yes, my memory is strong for good vittles). Strange enough – and to my good fortune – barbecue sauces and ribs can be good in all kinds of ways. Part of the reason is that Texas, St. Louis, Kansas City, and the Carolinas all have different recipes and all of them are good. It’s just a matter of taste and what I’m wanting at the moment.

The recipe below is laboratory genius, if I may say so. For me, it’s “New York” barbecue sauce: a little flavor of all, combined with influences of Korea and Chinatowns. It’s rich, earthy, and (and…) you want to put in on everything. I suggest that you first enjoy it on slow-cooked short ribs. Then give a dollop to your neighbor to let them know that grilling season has arrived!

With food, always spread the love. Enjoy!

Short ribs with RISE New York Barbecue Sauce, made with RISE nitro cold brew coffee | RISE Brewing Co.

RISE New York Barbecue Sauce

  • 7 fluid oz. of RISE Lemonade Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon of Szechuan peppercorns
  • ¾ cup of your favorite ketchup
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of diced red onion
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1½ tablespoon of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of sesame oil

RISE Lemonade Nitro Cold Brew Coffee | RISE Brewing Co.


Empty the RISE Lemonade Nitro Cold Brew into a small pot and reduce the liquid to half, about 20 minutes. In the meantime, place the star anise and Szechuan peppercorns in a pan and heat on medium until the peppercorns begin to pop. Do not burn. Allow to cool for 5 mins. Place the star anise and Szechuan peppercorn in a clean coffee mill and grind into a powder.

Combine ground spices and all the other ingredients into the reduced RISE lemonade liquid. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat. Do not cover (your nose is your best guide on this). The flavors should create the perfect marriage of sweet and spicy. Stir the sauce occasionally to let the nose catch the aroma. The eye should keep attention on the onion becoming translucent.

Once your mouth is watering, it’s time to turn the heat off.

Now I’m going to say, “let it cool to room temperature,” but that’s wishful thinking. Try to save some for the next day, if you can. It’s going to be even better.

The sauce should keep for a couple of weeks if covered tightly and placed in the fridge.

Makes about 2½ cups.