Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Anyone for coffee?

Over Saturday night, we had friends over for dinner (just months ago, we'd have gone out, but that's another story...) and I decided to experiment with some cocktails. I love having cocktails when I go out - lychee martinis are a particular favourite - but I rarely make them at home. Somehow it just seems too fussy. However, we had the previously untouched cocktail glasses from our wedding list (yes, it was last November and no, I don't know what we were saving them for) and I was feeling particularly like a domestic goddess, so I decided to give it a go.

My first choice was dirty martinis because I remembered spying some olives in brine in the fridge. What I hadn't spotted was the decidedly cloudy colour the brine had turned - perhaps indicating that the olives were past their best? A quick check of the best before date confirmed my suspicions. So an alternative was needed. A friend had recently been waxing lyrical about the fabulous espresso martinis at One Aldwych - 'how hard can it be?' I thought. Well, harder than anticipated. As well as espresso (very strong coffee had to make do in my house), the recipe also called for toffee vodka. Toffee vodka? Who on earth ever has that? Not Tescos or Sainsburys near me, that's for sure. Refusing to be beaten, however, I did come across some toffee fudge ice cream topping that I decided would probably serve just as well.

Despite only having one of the actual ingredients required - vodka - as I'd also had to substitute Kuluha for a bottle of Tia Maria I found at the back (way at the back) of the drinks cupboard - I began cocktail shaking like a demon. And, despite not having the right ingredients, or the space in the freezer to chill the glasses appropriately, they actually turned out remarkably well. Very well, in fact. Luckily, there's more than enough of the ice cream topping to last for several more rounds.

If you're interested, this is how I made them:

Ingredients - vodka, tia maria, toffee fudge sauce, very strong coffee

1. Put a handful of ice cubes in each martini glass
2. Put a handful of ice cubes in the cocktail shaker
3. Add a single shot (or double if you can handle your drink) of coffee, tia maria and vodka per person. Then add a teaspoon of the fudge sauce per person - this can be more or less depending on your taste - and shake vigorously
4. Pour over the ice in each glass and drink immediately

The next time I make this, I'm going to try adding Baileys instead of the fudge sauce - I think that might taste good too.

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