To coffee then, specifically coffee as an ingredient in cocktails. If you’re looking for advice on the perfect AeroPress, I’d look elsewhere. Likewise if you’re a precious barista.

Bars, such as mine, without a coffee machine face a very substantial problem, and that problem is the Espresso Martini. (An aside, this isn’t a diatribe against the Espresso Martini. A well-timed, well-made specimen is a superb drink. Like the Mojito, it suffers from a certain over familiarity, so heavily ordered that a certain ennui has set in amongst bartenders, which, although you probably shouldn’t keep ordering them 6 at a time, all night, is undeserved. The same does not apply for the Pornstar Martini, by the way, get to royal fuck with that.)

We can’t not make Espresso Martinis or your Aunt Pam is going to get right up in our face, so we need an espresso substitute. Ideally it’ll be made in large volume, and preferably fridge stable for a few days. Instant coffee is not an option. Instant coffee is a two footed lunge on all that is good and proper. If you disagree you can consider yourself duly red carded. Please leave the field of play. Nor can we really harass the local coffee shop in to pulling 40 shots of espresso in to a bottle, and it’s certainly not an affordable option, so we come to brewed coffee, specifically cold brew. You remember cold brew don’t you? In July, when you got well in to cold brew? Cold brew and tonic, wasn’t it? Bet you thought you’d fucking invented it until you checked Instagram. Unfortunately, cold brew in its ‘normal’ form lacks the concentration of flavour we need, it’s gravy when we need a stock cube, so we have to make our own Frankenstein version, happily there’s only two ingredients.

Cold Brew

250g of coffee beans, coarsely ground. You’ll need to buy whole beans and have them ground/grind them at home. Pre-ground is too fine for this to work and also, without fail, makes coffee that tastes like ashtrays.

Ground coffee, in case you’re unsure

1250ml mineral water- I’m told Evian is good for brewing coffee, and I’ve no reason to disbelieve it. I’ve also no evidence to support it.

Stir together in a non-reactive container and leave for 8 hours. It’s vital at this point to take a picture of the process from above. I’ve looked at a lot of coffee Instagram accounts, and the empirical evidence is indisputable, it’s impossible to make good coffee without photographing your process from above. Please don’t skip this step.

Haha, look! There’s a face in it! That’s you that is.

After 8 hours, strain through a fine strainer to remove the worst of the grounds, then pass through a coffee filter. Bottled and stored in the fridge it’s good for 5 days or so.

Espresso Martini

Invented in the 1980s by Dick Bradsell, and originally known as the Vodka Espresso, then as the Pharmaceutical Stimulant, which sounds like a euphemism your Dad uses for drugs. The original recipe is online, but here’s ours:

25ml vodka

25ml coffee liqueur

50ml cold brew

7.5ml sugar syrup

Full disclosure, I absolutely smashed this once I’d taken the photo. Went a bit hyper.

Incidentally, can we all please stop putting straws in cocktail glasses please? Do you drink wine with a straw too?


DOUBLE RECIPE ACTION! Wow. Like I said, no beef with the Espresso Martini, but it seems like a bit of a waste. There’s a lot more fun to be had with cold brew than vodka can provide. Here’s one from our opening menu, it is *checks hand*…bae.

Stranger than Fiction

40ml Cynar (I’ve subbed in Amaro Montenegro and Averna too, and both work well)

10ml bourbon

20ml cold brew

20ml lemon

15ml sugar syrup

Shake and strain, garnish with an orange twist