We are extremely lucky at Londolozi to be surrounded by friends and family who make the routines of our job such a fun process. It is 18h30 and I have just arrived at camp to prepare for an evening of wine tasting with our guests who would have just returned from a thrilling evening game drive. For those of you who have experienced wine tasting with me, you’ll know that I have ensured that all the wine is displayed beautifully, that the wine is at the correct temperature and that we have sufficient glassware for the evening… some of the routines that I love about the wine experience at Londolozi.
It’s around this time that Will Ford, our Operations Manager, pops in doing his rounds for the evening, and says…
“Right, who would like an Espresso Martini?”
The Espresso Martini forms part of Londolozi’s cocktail menu, and it has turned into a wonderful tradition to have one of Will’s Espresso Martinis before our guests come through for dinner. It’s the perfect pick me up before the evening’s festivities and is also refreshing on balmy summer evenings.
The Espresso Martini is relatively new when it comes to the history of cocktails and was created by London bartender Dick Bradsel. He was working at Soho Brasserie in 1983, when a famous model walked in and asked him to prepare her a drink that would “wake her up”. As there was a coffee machine next to where he was serving drinks, he decided to combine coffee with vodka, and created what he initially dubbed the “Vodka Espresso”. The cocktail was later renamed an Espresso Martini, based on the V-shaped glass it is traditionally served in.
By now, if you are someone partial to a good cocktail, I hope that your mouth is watering. And because you may not be able to visit one of the Londolozi decks of an evening, I would love to share this recipe with you so that you might make it for yourself and be transported to us for a sip or two. It is an easy cocktail to mix and all one needs is a cocktail shaker and the below ingredients for Will’s version:
- 50ml Vodka
- 25ml Frangelico (provides a lovely nutty note)
- 25ml Kahlua or any other coffee liqueur
- 50ml Freshly brewed espresso
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
- Add all the ingredients to the shaker
- Pop the lid on and shake hard until the shaker has frosted over. It is important to shake it properly so that you get a good crema on top of the cocktail.
- Strain the cocktail into a V-shaped glass
- Garnish with a few coffee beans
I have created my own version by replacing the Frangelico component with Amarula, a South African cream liqueur made from the fruit of the Marula tree. I have dubbed this the ‘Iced Coffee Martini‘ as it has a creamier, milkshake feel and is equally as delicious.
Do be sure to ask for an Espresso Martini during your next stay with us, or my version, the Iced Coffee Martini. I would love to know which one you prefer. You may even have the honour of witnessing Will preparing a few rounds yourself….