Two Bridgnorth businesses have joined forces to create the ultimate cocktail to ensure the party season goes with a bang.
Recently-launched Very Strong Coffee – which contains twice the caffeine of ordinary coffees – has teamed up with High Street restaurant and cocktail bar, Peepo, to conjure the perfect espresso martini - a signature favourite amongst Bridgnorthians.
“We sell hundreds of cocktails every weekend,” explains Peepo owner Phil Jeffrey. “But the real star of the show is the espresso martini.”
The ‘Very Strong Espresso Martini’ uses Absolut vodka, Tia Maria coffee liqueur, sugar syrup and ice, along with a shot of Very Strong Coffee giving the drinker that extra kick in every sip.
Owned by Bridgnorth businessmen, Simon Lucas and James Hilton, Very Strong Coffee is brewed from 100 per cent robusta coffee beans which have a naturally-high caffeine content. The beans are roasted for longer than normal, giving a much darker, stronger coffee.
“We roast our coffee for a little bit longer than most,” says Simon of his signature brew. “It's more finely ground so it has a larger surface area when the hot water hits it.”
Simon said he was thrilled to be working with such a notable business in Bridgnorth High Street.
“I am quite partial to one of Phil’s espresso martinis myself and it just made perfect sense for us to collaborate. It’s great to see our coffee being used in such a classic recipe - I can’t wait for everyone to try one.”
The espresso martini itself also marks an important moment in Phil’s career, as he worked in London for the infamous drink’s creator, Dick Bradsell, at the time of inception 35 years ago.
“We had a young model come into the bar and ask for something that would ‘wake her up and pep her up’ - Dick worked his mixologist magic and the espresso martini was born. That young model turned out to be Naomi Campbell. When Simon approached me about a coffee cocktail, it was the obvious choice.”
Phil has some top tips to offer mixologists-in-the-making if they want to create their own caffeinated cocktail.
Chill the glass
“The colder the glass, the better the drink,” explains Phil. “The chilled glassware will add taste to your cocktail, as well as keeping your drink cool.”
Only use the best ingredients
“Of course we only use the best ingredients in our cocktails at Peepo - from our fruit to our spirits. We love Very Strong Coffee as it’s so versatile and can be served hot with breakfast or in a chilled espresso martini after dinner.”
Shaken not stirred
“There are bartenders out there who will tell you to ditch the shaker, but they couldn’t be more wrong,” says Phil.
“If you want the beautiful ‘crema’ on the top of the drink, I suggest to get shaking!”
Don’t forget to garnish
“We prefer the classic coffee bean garnish on our espresso martini, however some might opt for chocolate shavings or an orange peel for a different take.”