Italy is synonymous with La Dolce Vita – the sweet life… An attitude, a lifestyle ascribed to the Italians, it’s not just the pleasure of the senses, but a mindset of taking each moment of the day and savouring it.
And underpinning it all is the humble espresso… Coffee plays a big part of Italian life and culture and it all really got underway when something incredible happened in the Italian city of Turin, in 1884, when local inventor Angelo Moriondo showed off his latest invention at the Turin General Exposition.
He’d managed to invent a bulk coffee brewer capable of producing fifty cups at a time and was the first to separate steam and water into two distinct functions…making is possible to release the full potential of the humble coffee bean.
17 years later Milanese inventor Luigi Bezzera, came up with a number of improvements to Moriondo’s espresso machine and the rest as they say is history.
In case you hadn’t realised the word, espresso has its origins in the Italian language… it literally means pressed out.
Espresso is basically made by forcing pressurised, hot water through very finely ground coffee beans to deliver a very concentrated form of coffee, known as a shot, which has several complex layers…
There’s the crema, the golden-brown top layer of the coffee shot, made up of proteins, oils, and melanoidins. Then there’s the liquid itself, the main part of the espresso shot, which brings together the acidity and sweetness of the drink.
Essentially the crema and espresso’s quick extraction process give this form of coffee a fuller flavour, a longer aftertaste and lower caffeine content than other forms of coffee. The full flavour of espresso makes it the ideal base for mixing coffee drinks… which is why it forms the base of some of our most popular beverages; including cappuccino, caffé latte and caffé americano…
But espresso has a number of other rather nifty uses including forming the base to some tasty cocktails; including The Clash of Stags – a more robust alternative to the classic Espresso Martini… The vodka is substituted for the bigger hitting flavours of Scotch whisky, coffee liqueur is replaced with Jägermeister, a hint of Caribbean rum and then finished off with a triple shot of espresso served with a splash of Coke over ice… one thing is for sure this full flavoured cocktail is guaranteed to knock your socks off!
35ml Lakes Distillery’s award winning, Steel Bonnets Whiskey
7.5ml Caribbean Rum
Triple shot of Espresso
1 peel of orange zest
Garnish with cocoa dust
Add the Coke to a chilled rocks glass. Add the remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker, fill with cubed ice and shake. Strain into the glass over the Coke and garnish with the cocoa dust. Enjoy!