Dalgona Coffee Inspired Us to Try (and Fail at) Whipping Other Drinks

  • By cvbizz
  • April 9, 2020
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As many shelter in place during this coronavirus pandemic, bored people are increasingly turning to “quarantine trends” to occupy their time and minds. One such trend is “dalgona coffee,” a drink that became popular online in South Korea in March before making its way to internet culture in the U.S. via social media.

The drink, which is named after a Korean sweet called dalgona or ppopgi, is made with equal parts instant coffee, sugar, and hot water — for example, two tablespoons of each — whipped or frothed into an airy mass, which then tops a glass of cold milk. It’s iced coffee for the social distancing age, appealing for how few ingredients and little effort it takes to create a TikTok-ready concoction seemingly out of thin air.

What other drinks can we whip? Eater staffers wondered idly. I’m very sorry to report that this brings us to:

Bowl of cocoa powder and water whipped into a mess. Whipped cocoa. Photos: Lesley Suter

Cocoa powder

Well, cocoa powder does not work! Made a splattery mess. I did manage to make halfway decent chocolate syrup, though, so not a full loss. — Lesley Suter

A bowl of milk tea-ish liquid. Whipped rose fruity milk tea. Photo: Jenny G. Zhang

Rose fruity milk tea powder

This floral milk tea powder, which I excavated from the back of my cupboard, did not whip, despite five long, torturous minutes spent whisking vigorously. But the results still tasted good (albeit overwhelmingly sweet) drizzled over a splash of oat milk. Would drink again. — Jenny G. Zhang

A cup of matcha milk tea liquid. Whipped matcha milk tea. Photo: Jenny G. Zhang

Matcha milk tea powder

No, I don’t know why I have so many milk tea powders! This one also failed to whip up into a beautiful weightless cloud, although it did aerate the most out of any of my experiments. The earthy-colored liquid distributed unevenly throughout my oat milk, some plops settling to the bottom, others marbling the surface. The taste did not wow me. — JZ

A bowl next to a yellow Gatorade. Whipped Gatorade G-Series Perform 02 Thirst Quencher, Lemon-Lime Photo: Jenny G. Zhang

Gatorade G-Series Perform 02 Thirst Quencher, Lemon-Lime

Did I really think Gatorade would undergo some alchemical transformation into a foam of electrolytes and raw energy? No, of course not. Nevertheless, science beckoned. The result, as you can barely see, looks like a faint glimmer of urine in the sunlight. It tasted like watery, sugary Gatorade G-Series Perform 02 Thirst Quencher, Lemon-Lime. — JZ

Diptych of a cocktail being made with Campari and orange juice. An actually good cocktail with “fluffy” orange juice. Photo: Nicholas Mancall-Bitel

Dante’s Garibaldi cocktail, which is not actually a riff on dalgona coffee, but we thought you deserve an actually usable “whipped” recipe for making it all the way to the end of this post

My family stockpiles oranges like other people hoard toilet paper, so I used one to make the new-classic version of the Garibaldi from Dante in New York. The World’s 50 Best bar upgrades the simple mix of Campari and orange juice with fresh, “fluffy” OJ, which emerges ethereal from a monster Breville juicer. A Nespresso milk-frother helped replicate the effect at home, certainly making the juice lighter and, I would even (generously) say, fluffy, although it did also heat it a bit. I built the drink in a highball glass, starting with Campari, then ice and fluffy orange juice, and finally a (well-washed) orange wedge. I enjoyed mine at 10 a.m. to perk up a rainy Monday morning in honor of day-drinking goddess Ina Garten, but the delightful cocktail would also make a handy option for a Zoom happy hour or weekend brunch with the fam. — Nicholas Mancall-Bitel


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