Remixing the Espresso Martini

Martin Hudak, head bartender at the Savoy’s American Bar, takes Port through three new cocktails that reinterpret the Soho classic

The heart of Soho is the birthplace of the Espresso Martini, originally the Vodka Espresso, created by bartender Dick Bradsell. As I heard it, one very famous model walked into the bar and asked for “something that will wake me up and fuck me up”. He looked at her and just grabbed a vodka, sugar, coffee liquor, shook it, and bam. That’s the beauty of this drink. It’s simple. But, that was 30 years ago. We respect the Espresso Martini, we respect the history of it, but we want to create something new.

Beetroot Flat White

This looks to the Polish roots of Belvedere Vodka. We wanted to use Polish ingredients and they eat a lot of beetroot and raspberry. It was a big challenge to make a coffee cocktail with vegetable, but we created a sweetener made from blended raspberry for its fruitiness and fresh beetroot juice for the flavour and colour. We then mixed with Colombian coffee and Belvedere vodka for its purity. We call it the Beetroot Flat White.

50ml vodka
25ml shot of espresso
20ml beetroot & raspberry syrup*
Shake
Martini glass
Dried raspberries on top

*
200ml beetroot juice
100g fresh raspberries
200g caster sugar
Blend it all cold way and strain it

Coffee Collins

The more refreshing Coffee Collins is inspired by Southern Europe’s espresso and tonic. Instead of espresso, we make cold brew coffee, which is just coffee beans left in cold water overnight. We add grape juice and use ginger syrup to give it a sweet, spicy edge.

20ml pressed ginger juice with caster sugar 1:1, slightly reduced
20ml Verjuice
30ml vodka
12.5ml Splash Tonic
20ml brewed coffee
Garnish with candied ginger on wooden stick

Belvedere Vodka launches Cafe Belvedere, a week long coffee cocktail pop up in Soho’s Bateman Street open to consumers throughout London Fashion Week

Cold Brew Gimlet

For the Cold Brew Gimlet we tried to replicate the drink’s elegance and crispy flavour while keeping it almost transparent. We took the same cold brew, a little bit of sugar, and fresh lime peels to make a sweet and sour coffee cordial. You won’t believe how flavoured it is, the layers and texture.

60ml vodka
20ml Coffee & Lime cordial
(1:1 sugar, citric acid and cook with lime)
Garnish with a morello cherry depending on the cordial and lime oil on surface.

 

 

A Cocktail for the King

Groundbreaking molecular mixologist Tony Conigliaro describes working with the inventor of the espresso Martini and shares a recipe from his book, Drinks

The Rose cocktail. Photo – Benjamin Swanson
The Rose cocktail. Photo – Benjamin Swanson

I’d just started bartending when I first met Dick Bradsell (aka the Cocktail King and inventor of the espresso Martini). He pulled up a stool and ordered a margarita. I had no absolutely no idea how to make one, so I pretended we had run out of triple sec and ran to the other bar to ask my friend Fabrice Limon for the spec. “This is good,” Dick said, once I’d finally served him. 

We chatted about how I wanted to move to London and he offered me a job interview. It seemed I had got away with it, but just as he was leaving, Dick turned around and said: “By the way, the triple sec is right behind you.” It was a taste of his wicked sense of humour to come…

A lot of people think that my own work is about science and drinks, but it’s really not. It’s about providing an all-encompassing, satisfying experience for those that pass through the bar. Dick taught me how to do that, and I’ve carried it with me, always. 

Dick was also extremely creative. He had an instinct for flavour and an eye for detail. These qualities made for some incredible creations. My favourite of Dick’s drinks is the lesser-known coral fizz – Peychaud’s bitters on a sugar cube, covered with rose liqueur and topped with champagne. These simple but delicious ingredients make for a beautiful drink, with the fizzing sugar cube looking like a piece of coral in the glass. It was so artistic: conceptual bartending, before they became buzzwords.

Many years later it inspired my cocktail, the rose – one of my first forays into the world of perfume and cocktails. The concept was simple: I wanted to recreate the experience of sipping a glass of champagne while walking through an English summer garden. The champagne’s bubbles, the teardrop flute and the precise amount of rose essence all enhance the scent and make for an incredible sensory loop. Aroma follows taste follows aroma, and so on, becoming fuller and richer with each sip.

The Rose

1 white La Perruche sugar cube
10 microns rose essence
100ml Perrier-Jouet

Directions.

– Prepare a sugar cube by soaking it in 10 microns of rose essence, added to it with a pipette.

– Place the soaked sugar cube in a Riedel grappa glass and top with champagne.

Recipe taken from Drinks, published by Ebury.

London-based bartender, author and drinks pioneer Tony Conigliaro runs the award-winning 69 Colebrooke Row in Islington, Bar Termini in Soho and Drink Factory in Hackney.

This article is taken from PORT issue 19, out now.