Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur Partners With App, Drinki, To Reinvent the Espresso Martini

Dark Side of the Moon - 46 & Mercy

The Espresso Martini. London’s favourite drink. Sometimes though, even a classic needs a little twist every now and again.  Mr Black, a cold press coffee liqueur from Australia, is looking to reinvent the Espresso Martini with the help of a revolutionary app called Drinki.

Throughout London Coffee Festival (7-10th April), Mr Black, a cold press coffee liqueur that’s hand made using a dark blend of pure Australian grain spirit and three single origin Arabica coffee beans, has tasked four bars located near the Truman Brewery to reinvent the Espresso Martini.

During the course of the festival, 400 free drinks will be redeemable through the Drinki app which is free to download from the App Store and Play Store. Although Drinki offers its users one drink a night, every night, all year round, the special “London Coffee Week Mr Black Drinki offer” is available for a limited time and is on a first come, first served basis, so once they are gone, they are gone.

The Cocktail Trading Company, Loves Company, Upstairs at the Ten Bells and 46 & Mercy Shoreditch are the four bars offering their take on the Espresso Martini.

Here’s what they’ll be serving up:-

Handy Nightcap - The Cocktail Trading Company
Handy Nightcap

The Cocktail Trading Company presents:
HANDY NIGHTCAP
15ml Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur
30ml Bourbon
20ml Sweet Vermouth
1 Dash Chartreuse
2 Dash Terry’s Chocolate Orange Bitters

Loves Company presents:
BLACK FLIP
35 ml Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur
15 ml Vanilla Vodka
15 ml Sugar Syrup
30 ml of Fresh Espresso
30ml Milk
1 Cold Drip Coffee Ice Cube

Mr Nero - Upstairs at the Ten Bells
Mr Nero

Upstairs at the Ten Bells presents:

MR NERO
25ml Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur
35ml Calle Blanco(Tequila)
25ml Averna
1 Cold Brew Coffee Ice Cube

46 & Mercy present:

DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
30ml Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur
30ml Dark Rum
30ml Espresso
10ml Sugar Syrup

In addition to offering drinks via the Drinki app, Mr Black will also be hosting a stand at the London Coffee Festival where they will be offering samples of Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur and showing just why the drink is described as cocktail ketchup for dark spirits and stirred cocktails.

Tom Baker, Co-founder of Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur said: “The era of sticky, sweet coffee liqueurs jam packed with vanilla flavouring is over. The difference between Mr Black and other coffee liqueurs?  It’s pretty simple, we like coffee and we want that flavour to come through in our drink.  It seemed like the perfect time, what with the coffee festival, to introduce people to Mr Black and to reinvent the Espresso Martini, if only in four days.  By downloading Drinki, people will be able to see and taste these amazing drinks at no cost, so get to it!”

Mr Black – the bitter, dark drink with an unadulterated coffee kick – is made entirely using a cold extraction process. Speciality Arabica coffee beans from Ethiopia, Brazil and Papua New Guinea are chosen for their distinctive flavours.  The blend is then cold extracted over 12 hours to produce a full-flavoured coffee without the acidity and eye-squinting bitterness of an espresso.

The next stage in the making of Mr Black uses a 250kg basket press stolen from a winery, which is used to extract the rich liquid from inside the coffee infusion.  Time consuming yes, but worth every minute.  The cold press coffee is then blended with pure Australian grain spirit, which allows the rich flavour of the coffee blend to shine through.

Drinki is a London based start-up with an extensive bar network, working with a variety of venues from speakeasy cocktail bars to party places. Drinki App is free to download from App Store and Play Store, and gives the user their first drink on the house every night by letting them pay with their Facebook Check In.

Where to find the bars:

The Cocktail Trading Company – 68 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6GQ

Loves Company – 104 City Rd, London EC1V 2NR

Upstairs at the Ten Bells – 84 Commercial St, Spitalfields, London E1 6LY

46&Mercy – 46 Commercial St, London E1 6LT

Mr Black

Mr Black

Coffee liqueurs are a staple of many a bar and restaurant, with the likes of Tia Maria and Kahlua some of the mainstays. But as with a lot of spirits these past few years, there’s been a call for some re-imagination.

Mr Black, the cold press coffee liqueur, is such that.

Back in 2012, two Australian’s from Sydney going by the name of Tom Baker (designer) and Philip Moore (one of Australia’s highest awarded distillers) united over their love of coffee. Over 9 months of trials followed to create Mr Black, the first all coffee liqueur, resulting in a gold medal at the London International Wine and Spirits competition.

But to get to such triumphs, what makes the cold press such an important aspect to Mr Black?

Different coffee beans are used, resulting in a variety of roasting profiles and different flavours. Specifically, Brazilian Arabica (a combination of the more traditional French roast and a lighter roast), Ethiopean Djimmah (a light-medium roast that offers fruit, toffee and chocolate flavours) and PNG (offers a zesty, citrus orange marmalade flavour). To gain such flavours from the beans though, Mr Black uses cold-extraction. A process that is done at significantly lower temperatures to espresso (23 degrees), resulting in a less acidic brew yet an abundance of the coffee bean flavours. Creating a coffee that can stand up to blending with spirits though is a different matter, and Mr Black use a significantly higher coffee-to-water ratio as well as a longer steep time than traditional cold brew.

So how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Mr Black – 25%

Freshly brewed espresso notes on the nose, with an underlining citrus zest coming through. Slightly bitter upon the palate, yet balanced out with roasted chocolate, caramel and hints of toffee. A lingering finish.

Does exactly what it says on the bottle, and make a cracking cocktail, a recipe taken from www.onyamagazine.com:

Mr Black Rye Ball

Something very different indeed, and from the Australians, the country that really knows how to offer artisan coffee houses and liquids. Worthy of a place within your drinks cabinet for sure.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Halloween Cocktails From Toussaint Coffee Rum Liqueur

Halloween is here, and Paulina Michalak of Quintessential Brands has created two frighteningly good cocktails using Toussaint coffee rum liqueur!

Zombie Tai
Zombie Tai

Zombie Tao

Glass – 

Tiki Mug

Ingredients – 

40 ml Toussaint Coffee Rum Liqueur
40 ml Skipper Rum
20 ml Fresh lime juice
10 ml Maraschino liqueur
15 ml Orgeat syrup
5 ml Grenadine

Method – 

Shake with ice, strain over cubed ice and garnish with half of pressed lime, Angostura bitters soaked brown sugar cube and Wray & Nephew Overproof rum drizzle.

Ayizo
Ayizo

Ayizo

Glass – 

Rocks

Ingredients – 

20 ml Toussaint float
40 ml White rum
20 ml Cointreau
20 ml Fresh lime
15 ml Orgeat syrup
3 dashs Angostura aromatic bitters

Method – 

Shake and strain over cubed ice. Float 20 ml Toussaint on top. Garnish with a mint sprig, lime wedge and a cocktail cherry.

Toussaint Tasting Notes

Toussaint

I’ve featured a couple of coffee liqueurs in the past, some big names and some crafted newcomers, but one recent relaunch seems to be taking bartenders to a new level in coffee drinks, even straying away from the classic Espresso Martini.

Toussaint hails its origins from Haiti when under the ruling of France and is named after the architect of Haiti’s independence, General Toussaint L’Ouverture, effectively known as ‘The Black Napoleon’. His image adorns each bottle created since its launch in the 1990’s. To celebrate his legacy, a liqueur was created using a blend of Arabica coffee, cocoa, vanilla and liquorice, all of which were steeped in spirit.

Fast forward to 2013 and Toussaint received a revival of sorts, moving their production to G&J Distillers in the UK and tweaking the recipe so that the Arabica coffee beans are infused within three-year old Caribbean rum. The label also had a face-lift, becoming bolder and more striking than the more traditional image, with General Toussaint L’Ouverture still featured on each bottle. 

So how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Toussaint – 30%

Roast coffee and dark chocolate blend well on the nose, with slight sweet notes coming through. Sweeter flavours of dark chocolate appear on the palate, with a dry spice developing a fresh experience. Toffee is evident, as is ground coffee which lingers for a while at the finish.

A different flavour to what your normal coffee liqueur can bring, but it’s intriguing, which can only mean it backs up every bartender who has belief that this should be pride of place on their bar. Of course, one for yourself should never go amiss. It’s small enough to keep chilled in your fridge door too.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Kahlúa Coffee House Tasting

Kahlua

Kahlúa have taken over Manchester. Well, more Market Restaurant on High Street in the Northern Quarter but taken over non the less. Transformed into the Kahlúa colours of red, yellow and black, with bottles lining shelves and menus covering everything from Mexican char grilled chicken to Espresso Martini’s and White Russians, Kahlúa has taken the ever intrigued Manchester scene and created something just that little bit different.

Americano
Americano

Take for example their free master classes. Ran upstairs in their Salon de Kahlúa, collaborative partners The Liquorists and Coffee Circle explore the heritage of Kahlúa, whilst enjoying a cocktail or two. But to really stand out, you spend some of the session blind-folded. Fantastic idea! After an introductory  drink of replacing rum with Kahlúa in a coffee based Mojito, your host, in our case Jamie Jones, asks you to become departed from your senses and spend the next few minutes in darkness, hands on the table. In the middle is placed a dish containing 4 spoons, one with a rum based sugar cane cube, one with vanilla, one with a jelly coffee cube and the last with vanilla coffee cream. Of course, you have to guess what you have just tried, and many expressing how simple the ingredients are to creating the finished product of Kahlúa.

After a history lesson in coffee by Coffee Circle, you are then treated to a shot glass of probably one of the world’s most famous coffee cocktails – The Espresso Martini. A mix of Kahlúa, vodka and espresso, shaken to create a creamy layer on top and decorated with a couple of coffee beans. Simple, perfect.

The last treat of the evening though highlighted the Salon de Kahlúa cocktail menu created by The Liquorists – an Americano. Not your usual coffee drink, but more a combination of Kahlúa and vermouth spritzed with a coffee infused Pernod absinthe spray. Served in a cup complete with saucer of course. This gave an insight into the drinks list as there are 8 drinks to choose from, ranging from The Flat White (Kahlúa, Chivas Regal and Pedro Ximenez Sherry), The Mocha (Kahlúa, Olmeca Altos Reposado, Cherry Cola and Chocolate Ice Cream) and The Affogato (Absolut Vanilla, Kahlúa and Espresso) which is a de-constructed White Russian that you drink with a spoon.

The session lasts for 45 minutes and as it’s free, spaces are snapped up quickly, especially with what is on offer for you. Masterclasses are held at 6:30pm on Thursdays, and at 6:30pm and 8:30pm every Friday and Saturday. Book yourself on, grab a bite to eat, watch a film in the speakeasy and enjoy many a Kahlúa beverage because April 27th – IT’S GONE.

Check out the rest of the photos via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tia Maria Tasting Notes

Tia Maria

After focusing on Kahlúa, we can bring out the coffee liqueur which usually comes to mind when talking about the subject, or indeed after finishing a hearty meal. But what makes Tia Maria stand out above the rest so-to-speak?

It’s origins are disputed, but going off Tia Maria’s official website –

‘The legend of Tia Maria dates back to the mid-17th century, when a beautiful young Spanish aristocrat fled the turmoil colonial war brought to the island of Jamaica. Her maid saved one family treasure, a small jewellery box with black pearl earrings and an ancient manuscript with the recipe for a mysterious liqueur. The recipe was named after the courageous woman: Tia Maria. It was then rediscovered in the 1950s by Dr. Kenneth Leigh Evans, who began to produce and market it. Still made to the original Caribbean recipe by ILLVA Saronno and distributed in over 60 countries . . .’

To dispute, Dr. Evans discovered the drink after World War II, and he began reproducing it. Since the company called Tia Maria International Limited was incorporated in 1929, this seems unlikely.

Either way, Tia Maria is in our stores, bars and restaurants, partly due to the fact that its first television ad campaign in the 1980’s, featuring Iman, the famous supermodel and wife of British rock star David Bowie, brought the attention of Tia Maria to global attention.

With an infusion of natural vanilla, fresh roasted Jamaican coffee beans, a secret blend of 27 herbs and spices sourced from across the globe, and a touch of Jamaican rum, Tia Maria is simple, and effective. But how does it fare just on its own, no after-dinner or cocktail in sight? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Tia Maria – 20%

Fresh coffee on the nose with a slight raw roast following. Very soft on the palate however, with a slight sweetness following a whisp of coffee and rum blending together.

Not too bad, but one thing that this liqueur is also good for is its adaptability within cocktails –

Tia Espresso Martini
Tia Espresso Martini

Tia Espresso Martini

Glass – 

Martini

Ingredients –

25 ml Tia Maria
25 ml Espresso
25 ml Vodka
12.5 ml Sugar syrup

Method – 

Combine all ingredients together with crushed ice in a boston shaker and shake. Fine strain into a martini glass and garnish with coffee beans.

or

Maria L’Orange

Glass – 

Maria L'Orange
Maria L’Orange

Coupet

Ingredients

20 ml Tia Maria
20 ml Triple Sec
40 ml Orange juice

Method – 

Combine all ingredients together with crushed ice in a boston glass. Shake and fine strain into a coupet glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Tia Maria is an all-rounder. Great on its own, even better within a cocktail. With its closest rival of Kahlúa, coffee liqueurs set the trend for your after-dinner drink and something a little bit more extravagant than your normal choice of coffee. And don’t forget, just because you don’t see them on a menu too often, a bar will more than likely stock it. Don’t be afraid to ask, after all, it’s your night.

Check out more photos via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Kahlúa Tasting Notes

kahlua

Coffee liqueurs seem to be a mainstay for any bar or indeed your own drinks cabinet. Easy enough to digest after a hearty meal, or just to have when the mood captures you, coffee liqueurs can do no wrong. Even when sided with cocktails such as the White Russian (or black if you prefer) or Espresso Martini, the versatility of this liqueur really showcases its qualities. Although I bet if you ever thought of a coffee liqueur, you would more than likely name Tia Maria. Nothing wrong with this, but if you ever scan a bar or restaurant, another brand may keep popping up and going by the name of Kahlúa.

The vibrant state of Veracruz, Mexico is home to Kahlúa, the region that is known for its rich culture and traditions, and the premium 100% Arabica coffee and sugarcane – two ingredients that blend very well when Kahlúa is brought into the coffee liqueur category. But it actually takes seven years to create Kahlúa with the process of growing, harvesting, drying and aging, distilling and finally roasting and blending.

Here’s a step-by-step guide so to speak of how Kahlúa comes about, taken directly from the Kahlúa website –

Growing – Kahlúa is crafted from the finest ingredients that grow side by side in rural Veracruz, Mexico—shade grown, hand-selected 100% Arabica coffee beans and sugarcane.

Harvesting – High in the mountains of Veracruz, the coffee is handpicked during the October to March harvest season. The red coffee cherries are then pulped and processed to extract what we know as the coffee bean.

Drying and Aging – Beans are air-dried and the papery external layer called the husk is removed. The dried coffee is aged for at least six months in 50-kilogram burlap bags to develop the ideal taste profile. The beans are now ready for roasting.

Distilling – Stalks are crushed, juice is collected and boiled into a molasses, then yeast and water are mixed and left to ferment. Once sugar is converted into alcohol, the spirit undergoes a distillation process until it reaches proof, then stored in barrels.

Roasting and Blending – After seven years the coffee and sugarcane meet again in our Kahlúa distillery. The coffee is roasted in micro-lots, ground to extract the perfect flavor. The extract is combined with our fine sugarcane spirit, vanilla and caramel, then rested for eight weeks before being filtered and bottled.

Seven years is a long time, so lets see how it fares . Below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Kahlúa – 20%

Strong coffee aroma on the nose, rather sweet with a freshness dominating. Thick texture on the palate, with a slight sweetness and a lingering coffee flavour to begin with, but becomes more dominant as it follows on the long finish.

As mentioned,  Kahlúa also goes well with a variety of cocktails –

Kahlua - Espresso Martini
Espresso Martini

Glass – 

Martini

Ingredients –

30 ml Kahlúa
25 ml Absolut vodka
25 ml fresh brewed espresso

Method – 

Fill a shaker with ice, add Kahlúa, Absolut and a fresh brewed espresso. Shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled martini glass.

or

Black Russian

Glass – 

Rocks

Ingredients – 

25 ml Kahlúa
25 ml Absolut vodka

Method – 

Fill a rocks glass with ice, add Kahlúa and Absolut and stir.

Simple, easy, enjoyable. Create at home or ask your bartender and savour two cocktails that are seen in most bars, especially after dinner. Kahlúa gives a different take on the coffee liqueur category, and its versatility in cocktails, mixers or just over ice means that although it’s not got the marketing power of Tia Maria, it’s a bartenders best friend.

You can purchase a bottle here and look out for future flavours including French Vanilla, Mocha and Midnight – a blend of rum and Kahlúa.

Check out the rest of the photos via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.