Welcome to the Bar.
There are many parallels that can be drawn in a comparison of bar and coffee house. Bartenders and baristas have the same attention for detail and drive to produce a good product in a rapidly changing industry.
So FNND searched out two professionals from London at the top of their game… One barista and one bartender to give their own interpretation of the classic coffee cocktail recipe.
Here is what they said…
I’ve been bartending for fourteen years and in that time, I’ve had a small amount of experience with pulling coffee shots. I found that I want a balanced coffee to not do anything too crazy in the drink. I hope you like my version.
The Bartender’s version
Start with a good quality vodka or even a good rum with all those vanilla and caramel notes. I like using Toussaint liqueur because it’s slightly more complex than most coffee liqueurs with slight spice notes verging on orange bitters. For the espresso, a single origin, washed central american coffee, medium roasted. This should be mild enough to not interfere with the spirits flavours too much and give a balanced sweetness. Pour the espresso slightly shorter than normal to avoid any bitterness.
I started off my career as a bartender with coffee aspirations, both jobs have a similar role in hospitality and attention to flavours. In my recipe, I chill the drink by stirring because I don’t want too much dilution. Even though the drink is called a vodka espresso, I like to brew the coffee with an Aeropress instead, check it out…
The Barista’s version
Take a super sweet and delicate Geisha coffee from Panama or costa rica that has been sun dried. It should be a light roast to show its bright juicy acidity. Brew it in an Aeropress directly onto ice as this helps to retain its flavours. Use a clean vodka and a dash of sugar syrup to balance the acids, stir and strain.