Australians are known internationally for their love of coffee. Antipodean cafes serving flat whites and long blacks are taking over the streets of Shoreditch, Williamsburg and West Hollywood. In Australia, bartenders are striving for inventive uses for coffee moving beyond the standard-issue espresso martini.
“More and more bartenders are using cold-drip coffee, cold brew, Aeropress, filter coffee, even the cherry-like husk around the coffee bean, cascara, in their drinks,” says World Class global winner Tim Philips from Sydney’s Bulletin Place. Bartenders are also now mixing coffee with a wide variety of spirits. Philips notes that vodka is no longer the spirit of choice for this: “Bartenders are using everything from bourbon to tequila when making espresso martinis.”
At Bulletin Place, Philips likes his espresso martinis pretty straightforward. His preference is for vodka because: “it is the perfect foil for the hugely rich flavours of coffee.” The only major difference with his version is that he doesn’t use espresso, but rather a single-origin cold-drip coffee from Kenya. This, Philips finds, is the perfect match for an oilier pot-still vodka, such as Ketel One.
Bulletin Place Espresso Martini
Approximately 1.6 standard drinks
50ml Ketel One vodka
30ml cold-drip coffee (try pre-bottled First Press)
15ml sugar syrup (Philips uses a syrup with a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water)
Orange bitters (to taste)
Measure out all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake vigorously for 3–4 seconds too long. Strain into a chilled glass (or small latte cup) and garnish with 2 or 3 drops of orange bitters.
One of the best new drinks that Philips has seen is the Turks Head Martinez. This drink was created by one of the young guns at Bulletin Place, Matt Linklater, for his 2015 Diageo World Class entry.
Turks Head Martinez
Approximately two standard drinks
For the cocktail
30ml Tanqueray gin cold batch brewed coffee (see recipe below)
17ml Tanqueray No.TEN gin
15ml Punt E Mes (an Italian vermouth available at most good liquor stores)
7ml organic honey
For the tonic
5 dried cascara berries
Boker's bitters or similar
Use Tanqueray no.TEN, rather than water, to brew the coffee. Then put the coffee into the fridge. When the Tanqueray coffee is fully chilled, measure out into a cocktail shaker with the other ingredients, then add ice and stir. Strain over fresh ice and serve with a tonic made using bitters, such as Fernet Branca and Cascara.
While the tonic is not vital, it works to refresh the palate between sips of the cocktail. To make the tonic, infuse the dried cascara berries in hot water for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid, then add the bitters, Fernet Branca, citric acid and sugar to taste. Use 5mls of this syrup to every 20 mls of soda water.