The words ‘coffee cocktail’ are synonymous with ‘Espresso Martini’. If you invited friends over for a coffee cocktail, what would they expect? There is a high chance they will arrive ready to drink a delicious chilled mix of vodka, Kahlúa, espresso and simple syrup served in a traditional martini glass with 3 espresso beans on top.
If you feel a little bit daunted about what to pair with coffee for a chilled PM beverage, don’t worry! I spent some time exploring how the wonderful flavours of coffee can be highlighted through different spirits or liqueurs. I used fresh seasonal ingredients and one stunning coffee to create my cocktail; "Orange You Sensational."
My friends were my chief samplers, and I was delighted to share with them the coffee’s ability to pair with all sorts of interesting ingredients! They were certainly willing participants to my discoveries.
You will need:
- Boston shaker
- Jigger or measuring cup
- Aeropress or similar filter brewer
- Whiskey stones/freezer
- Cocktail strainers
- 2 slices of lime zest
- a bunch of fresh Saltbush
- 1 blood orange
- 30ml of a blood orange infused syrup (1:1 ratio of raw sugar to blood orange juice, zest of 1 blood orange, vanilla, pinch of salt all into a sous vide over 60° for 12 hours, then filtered)
- 30ml of a brown butter fat wash Captain Morgan Rum (browned 115g of butter over stove, then infused overnight with 1.5 cups of rum, then filtered)
- dash of Maidenii Dry Vermouth
- 40ml Mr Black Coffee Liqueur
Brew your coffee:
- 45g ground filter coffee (I used our Campo Hermoso Gesha)
- 93° filtered water
- Place your coffee into your Aeropress (no need to invert!) and add 180g of water
- Stir for even extraction
- Place plunger on top to create vacuum seal
- Start plunging at 2 minutes for a total brew time of 2 minutes and 15 seconds
- Place over frozen whiskey stones or in freezer to rapidly chill
Prepare your cocktail:
- Cut the blood orange in half and run it along the rim of your glasses
- Dip your glasses in good quality salt (I added dehydrated saltbush to mine)
- Muddle lime zest and saltbush in a Boston Shaker
- Juice the blood orange and add 30ml to the shaker
- Continue to add the rest of the ingredients leaving the chilled coffee to last
- Fill your shaker with ice then shake it like you mean it until your cocktail is around 4° (it should take 30-40 seconds)
- Double strain your cocktail into your glasses and garnish with a spritz of blood orange zest (you can flame it if you want to add some extra caramelised orange oils) and a salt bush leaf
Tip 1: Blood orange season is typically a really short season so outside of this, mandarin, orange and even tangelo are great substitutes.
Tip 2: While I have easy access to saltbush, it’s readily growing in my garden, you could also use coastal rosemary or rosemary or any fresh herb you love the fragrance of.
Tip 3: Always add ice last to your shaker to avoid excess dilution.
Tip 4: I used browned butter to fat wash my rum, because I loved the added sweetness it offered however you can try other fats to get your favourite.
The beautiful aromas, delicate floral notes and complex citrus of our Special Release Colombian Gesha by Edwin Norena and the Santuario Project were the key inspirations behind the elements of this drink, however the beauty of this cocktail is that it can be easily adapted.
Coffee is so unique, and yet still such a versatile ingredient to work with. If you start with my recipe as a base, I would encourage you to experiment with all the elements. Especially if you use a different coffee, you should try specially tailoring to those flavour notes to enhance your brewed coffee.
However, the best ingredient of my coffee cocktail, which I have yet to mention, is fun. So, I hope you will have fun with this recipe!