2.8 Coffee Concoctions
The easiest Espresso Martini, the Russian dolls and another Negroni
Cocktail bars are run on coffee. Whether it’s Espresso Martinis on Saturday nights, or strong black coffees for the morning meetings, coffee is an essential. Along came the cold brew craze, and I was excited to see how I could get my coffee fix without burning my lips. I was sorely disappointed – until Project X came along. This stuff has all the rich, fruity flavour of a fresh quality coffee, expertly combined with a kick of smooth alcohol and a touch of sweetness. Extract Coffee Roasters of Bristol provide the wonderfully creamy and intense coffee for Wardington’s first liqueur experiment.
Here are three ways to enjoy this amazing coffee liqueur at home
An Espresso Martini, I would argue, is one of the hardest cocktails to make. You need to use properly ground espresso coffee. You need a quality spirit and you need a shake that chills the hot coffee without over-diluting. It’s tricky. Even great bartenders stumble at this hurdle. So, here’s the easiest way to make an amazingly rich and creamy Espresso Martini at home. Add 4 parts Wardington’s Project X to a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Decant the mixture into a martini or coupe glass and garnish with three coffee beans. Simple.
Use a sieve to decant your Espresso Martini into a glass. This will help a nice frothy foam to form, as well as removing any small shards of ice, giving you a smooth drinking experience.
From the toughest cocktail, to perhaps one of the easiest (made even easier by Project X!). The Black Russian is a cold coffee ‘pick-me-up’, best served at the end of a meal, or late the next morning. Simply stir 2 parts Project X with ice in a tumbler glass and garnish with an orange twist. If you like things a little creamier, try a White Russian. Add 2 parts double cream and 1 part sugar syrup to your shaker and double shake. Decant the creamy froth over your Black Russian and garnish with a dusting of cocoa powder or three coffee beans.
Always garnish with one or three things. Never two. I’m not normally one for superstition, but apparently, this one’s a real thing. Use only two garnishes, and run the risk of your next drink being sent back.
This gorgeous coffee liqueur can also be mixed with Ludlow Dry Gin. I find it goes best with No.3 Spiced Gin, in what I like to call a Black Negroni. Following a classic Negroni’s motto, start by adding by adding 1 part of a Ludlow Dry Gin to a tumbler glass. Next up, something sweet. And you’ve got a choice. Either add 1 part Disaronno for a nutty, amaretto-infused taste. Or, my personal favourite, add 1 part Mozart Dark Chocolate Liqueur for the silky, guilty flavour of rich Austrian chocolate. Lastly, the delicate bitter notes of black coffee running through Project X make it perfect to recreate the characteristic bittersweet flavour of a Negroni. Add 1 part Project X and stir with ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
If you’re after something really luxurious, try adding both Disaronno and Mozart Dark Chocolate Liqueur in equal half measures to a make a truly decadent drink.