I do love a good cocktail it’s fair to say. Over the years, I’ve moved away from creamy Pina Coladas to less calorific and more “grown up” cocktails. My favourite at the moment has to be the espresso martini. There are multiple recipes for this cold coffee-flavoured cocktail but the basic format combines vodka with espresso coffee, coffee liqueur (usually Kahlúa – other coffee liqueurs also available) and syrup. As with most things, there are many claims as to who invented the recipe, but it is widely believed that it was created by a lad called Dick Bradsell in London in the late 80s. Now, if liquid quantity is your purchasing criteria for cocktails (it used to be mine), this isn’t for you. You’d better sip this baby slowly, or it’ll be gone in a flash.
If you’re having a soiree at home, there are multiple recipes online to help you create this sophisticated cocktail for your guests, but here’s a variation I came across using Black Twist liqueur which is made in Waterford using Arabica coffee and West Cork whiskey:
40ml Cold Brew (or cooled filter coffee)
40ml Black Twist
30ml Irish Whiskey
15ml 1:1 Sugar Syrup
Stir all the liquid ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glasses. Top with lightly whipped vanilla cream, top with a dust of cinnamon, and prepare to impress!
GOING OUT? 2 for the price of 1 (i.e. €12) Sunday – Friday Pygmalion, Coppinger Row, Dublin 2
Photo credit: Liquor.com
It’s that time of year when you’re feeling a bit exhausted from Christmas, but optimistic for the year ahead. But sadly the koffers are a bit empty from all the Yuletide excesses, so there’ll be no skiing on the pistes of Val-d’Isère for you this year. Fret you not, for you can still indulge in the Alpine experience from the comfort of your own home. Invite a few besties over, line up 50 Shades 1 & 2 on Netflix, and have an evening of Apres-Ski in the middle of Drumcondra. If you don’t have an IKEA Fondue Kit (seriously, you don’t?), just feck a couple of camembert rounds in the oven to bake, cut up a fresh baguette in large cubes, put them on skewers and you’re good to go! What about the drinks you say? Well, you could go the Jägermeister route, but we want to keep it classy, so time to whip up some Mulled Wine, or Glühwein if you want to get all authentic on it. ‘Tis easy peasy and it’ll keep you warm if you want to save on heating bills.
So On y va! as they say on the black pistes of Chamonix. Firstly, you’ll need some nice fruity wine – Shiraz or Merlot will do the trick. You’re going to be diluting and boiling the arse out of it, so you can put away that spendy Châteauneuf-du-Pape you picked up at Donnybrook Fair, Susan.
1 litre Red Wine
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 Orange, first zested and then cut in thin slices
4 Star Anise
1 tsp. ground Cardamon
100g Demerera Sugar
Bring the wine with the water, spices, orange zest and slices, and sugar to the boil and leave to gently simmer for about 30 minutes. Pour through a sieve and serve in mugs (not in thin glasses for ‘elf n’ safety reasons.) Job done. Prost!