by Carolyn McBride

“Assume Nothing!” A mantra for The Crown as we worked towards opening our doors in March of 2019, the phrase became a Menu section, encouraging our visitors to drop their preconceptions and be open to new and delicious experiences. And now it’s the title of a recipe series, for you to recreate at home. Here’s to a year of assuming nothing!

Strawberry Shortcake Party  

The sunshine has been out in Oakland, and here at The Crown we are craving something refreshing, fun, and summer-y to drink for you!  

When coming up with this recipe, we wanted a beverage that is refreshing on those sunny Oakland summer days—and what is more reminiscent of summer than strawberries with shortcake?! I made it a mission to get this delicious summer dessert into beverage form for you all, and with a small throwback/nod at the Pancake Party, a drink we had in May 2020. The Strawberry Shortcake Party is a delicious, creamy, fruity, nitro-infused cold brew concoction that we came up with. We use oat milk with vanilla to give a bit of oat crumble cake flavor (think of oatmeal cookies or cobbler), strawberries, and cold brew. By infusing this mixture with nitro gas, we get a frothy texture that is perfect for pouring over ice. We dust off the finished product with some freeze-dried strawberry powder to give a little berry kick and a pop of color. I hope you enjoy this frothy, creamy, berry coffee treat as much as I had creating it!   

strawberry shortcake party


  • 1 lb frozen strawberries 
  • 2 cups of hot water 
  • ¾  cup of sugar  
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla bean powder (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract) 


  1. Put strawberries into a small/medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. 
  2. Once boiling, add ½ teaspoon of vanilla bean powder and simmer for 20 minutes. (If using vanilla extract, wait to add until step 5.) 
  3. Marvel at the amazing smell of vanilla and strawberries.  
  4. Strain into a heat-safe container using a colander lined with cheesecloth (or just the colander if you don’t mind some strawberry bits). Do NOT press on the cooked strawberries to get the liquid out– otherwise, the syrup will be cloudy. Gravity only!  
  5. Pour syrup back into the pot (with vanilla extract, if using), stir in sugar, and bring back to boil—simmer for 5 minutes to incorporate sugar completely.  

All done! Let cool and put into a container. Refrigerate—good for 3 weeks.  

Makes slightly over 1 liter of syrup!  

Want to make more fun drinks at home?

Check out the Assume Nothing series, and if you are in the Bay Area, stop by The Crown to taste the seasonal signature beverage.