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Coffee Cocktail Mixology & Recipes

At Jericho Coffee Traders, we're obviously obsessed with coffee but we do have a soft spot for cocktails too! Put the two together, and you have a match made in heaven.

Mixing coffee with cocktails is not new. In fact, Dick Bradsell, a British bartender known as the "cocktail king" is credited with creating the Espresso Martini back in the 80's.

According to Bradsell, the Espresso Martini was born when a now world-famous model walked into Fred's Club, a members' bar in London, and asked him for something to "wake me up" (expletives removed!). He never disclosed who that model was, but The Espresso Martini has since become one of the world's most ordered cocktails.

Our friends at The Cocktail Society see a coffee-based cocktail trend on the horizon. We spoke to their head mixologist, David Indrak, and he told us that they often take their cues from what's happening in the USA in terms of cocktail culture. Over the 'pond', they're seeing a resurgence of coffee-based cocktails beyond the Espresso Martini and its many variants.

Top bars are reinventing the classics - such as Negronis or Old Fashioned cocktails - with cold-brew coffee (coffee that's made by steeping ground coffee in water at room temperature for 6-12 hours). Many independent coffee shops are now starting to sell 'hard' coffee – classic coffee drinks such as a latte but with a spike of alcohol.

This trend can be seen with just about any alcoholic beverage available. In fact, the Ready-To-Drink (RTD) market has grown exponentially in the last 12-months, which has led to a significant influx of coffee-based, alcoholic RTDs into the US market. As is often the case with drinks trends, they start in the US and slowly filter into European markets.

The team at The Cocktail Society reckon we'll see more widespread use of coffee in cocktails too - from imparting coffee flavour into spirits to more cocktails with coffee as the key ingredient.

But what makes a great coffee cocktail? The Cocktail Society gave us these great tips, plus their favourite coffee cocktail recipes.

Use quality coffee

As with anything you consume, better-quality ingredients means a better outcome - which is no different for cocktails. High-quality coffee is essential. Coffee quality does vary significantly and, unfortunately, cheaper coffee brands of any style will do your cocktails no favours (or flavours!)

Use a robust, non-acidic espresso in any cocktails that need a shake. A quality cold brew does the trick nicely for cocktails where no shaking is required.

Consider Your Coffee flavours

Different coffee varieties have characteristics and flavour profiles that can be used to your advantage. For example, coffees such as The Source (Ethiopia - blackberry with floral notes), Maya (Guatemala - Cocao nibs, black tea with a lime finish) or Pearl Mountain (India - syrupy, green and purple fruit pastels) each have prominent and different flavour characteristics.

So, experiment with different coffee flavour profiles that complement your other ingredients - it'll take your cocktail to another level!

Use ingredients that will complement each other

Coffee has a strong character, so it needs to sing through the cocktail. Be sure to pick complementary ingredients for the coffee. Consider spirits that lend flavour or give body. We love Chase Vodka for a classic Espresso Martini. It's a creamy potato vodka that offers the perfect body for the drink. Another spirit we have been playing around with recently is Belgrove hazelnut Rum which makes an incredible Espresso Martini twist.

Other ingredients that work well are flavoured syrups, bitters (such as Chocolate) or liqueurs (such as Mozart White Chocolate or Hotel Chocolate Salted Caramel Liqueur).

Think Outside Of The Box

Coffee cocktails can be hot, cold, with alcohol or non-alcoholic. There is a general trend towards drinking more mindfully and abstaining from alcohol too. According to a recent report, 1 in 4 millennials claims to be teetotal, so this is the perfect opportunity to experiment with non-alcoholic coffee cocktails! 

Our Favourite Coffee Cocktail Recipes

Espresso Martini

Ingredients

  • 25ml Chase vodka
  • 25ml Mr Blacks Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 10ml sugar syrup

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktails shaker and add a scoop of cubed ice.
  2. Shake hard for 10 seconds.
  3. Fine strain into a martini glass and garnish with 3 coffee beans.

Belgrove Espresso Martini

Ingredients

  • 50ml Belgrove Hazelnut Rum
  • 15ml Tia Maria
  • 20ml salted caramel
  • 1-shot of espresso

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktails shaker and add a scoop of cubed ice.
  2. Shake hard for 10 seconds.
  3. Fine strain into a martini glass and garnish with a cocoa dusting.

Coconut & Mint Spiked Latte

  • 25ml Koko Kanu Coconut Liqueur
  • 25ml Hotel Chocolat Mint Cream Liqueur
  • 1-shot espresso
  • 60ml Half & Half (50/50 milk and single cream)

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktails shaker and add a scoop of cubed ice.
  2. Shake hard for 10 seconds.
  3. Strain into a hi-ball glass and garnish pineapple leaf.
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