In Greek mythology, Ambrosia is the nectar of the gods. Doves would deliver this magical elixir to Mount Olympus for Zeus and his siblings to enjoy. Somehow, Midcentury Americans reinterpreted this concept as a monstrosity made with canned fruit, coconut, marshmallows, and sour cream. Thankfully, the pendulum has swung back in a more flavorful direction in Pasadena, where Ambrose Cafe is serving a delicious coffee drink by that name.
Ambrose Cafe is a coffee bar in back of Coffee By The Books’s cavernous former home. Baristas utilize a two-group Nuova Simonelli espresso machine, Curtis drip brewers, cold brew, and locally roasted Copa Vida beans.
Their take on Ambrosia ($5) combines earthy Copa Vida cold brew with honey, floral rose water, flinty activated charcoal, and whole milk. The drink is available either iced or hot and arrives in a pint glass sprinkled with dried rose petals. My barista said, “Be sure to mix.” I heeded their advice and evenly distributed the different elements.
Ambrose Cafe’s Ambrosia may not result in immortality, but would probably satisfy Hera, and maybe even some doves.