Monday, 6 April 2015

Distilled Espresso Martini from Cotswolds Distillery

Ladies and gents, it’s only a bloody bank holiday! And we all know what that means; it's acceptable to be prolonging that weekend drinking (and probably scoffing Easter eggs too). So, let me present to you Martini Monday, but not as you know it...

We’ve featured Cotswolds Distillery a couple of times over the last year – you can familiarise yourselves with the posts of their launch and the release of Cotswolds Dry Gin if you’re behind on the times – and once again they’ve come up trumps with a cracking product; a Distilled Espresso Martini.

Yep, that’s right, a DISTILLED Espresso Martini.

Bottled cocktails and ‘ready-to-drink’s are becoming increasingly popular in the UK at the moment; we listed a few in our Christmas gift guide, Chase brought out their Marmalade Mule at Rock The Farm, and (FYI) The Handmade Cocktail Company’s Manhattan was voted The World’s Best Premix at The World Drinks Awards 2015 recently. Cotswolds Distillery is the next one to concoct something for this market, but Head Distiller, Alex Davies, has taken the trend to a new level with, not only pre-mixed bottled cocktails, but pre-distilled bottled cocktails. Instead of combining various ingredients to create a cocktail, Davies has taken the raw form of the cocktail’s constituent ingredients and distilled them to create clear cocktail distillates.

No rich coffee coloured cocktails here (like Laura’s Good Friday King’s Delight); this Espresso Martini is completely colourless! Mind... Blown.

I’ve always struggled with the idea of bottled cocktails - I’m a drama queen, I need the theatre – but the fact that this is crystal clear, when it really shouldn’t be, restores that element of fun. I’m guessing you’d usually have to go to some cool concept bar to try something this unique (and pay a pretty penny too), but Cotswolds Distillery have brought out the Distilled Espresso Martini to be enjoyed at home. *fist pump*

What’s the secret then? It all starts with Davies-cum-Heston cold brewing specially selected coffee beans from a local Cotswolds coffee roaster, Monsoon Estates. After a tasting of over 10 different coffee bean varieties, a bespoke blend of two beans were chosen: the over roasted Malabar bean (rich smoky black chocolate flavours – nicknamed by Davies as the ‘Islay’ of the coffee world) and a lighter roasted Enorga bean (delicate milk chocolate, caramel and digestive biscuit notes with fruity undertones).

The beans were cold brewed for 24 hours before being filtered and distilled in the same wheat spirit that the distillery use to create their glorious gin. Boozy brainiac Davies then individually distilled a secret citrus and spice mix (including orange peel and coriander seed) into more wheat spirit to build the cocktail. The cold brew and spiced distillates were blended together in various proportions until the desired flavour was achieved, and the resultant cocktail distillate was diluted to 29% using refined Cotswolds water and a touch of sugar. BOOM.

The Distilled Espresso Martini is best kept in the freezer – ready and waiting for you when you need it (now would be perfect, thanks) – then all you need to do is pour it directly into a chilled cocktail glass, or into a tumbler over ice, for a perfect serve, EVERY time.

So what does it taste like? Well, for a start, I think that the colour plays tricks on you; my other half is a self confessed coffee hater, and he didn't recoil in horror and spit it straight back out in disgust when he took a sip. In fact, he actually likes it! The bean blend is spot on, and having been cold brewed, it's chocolatey notes are brought to the forefront, and there's no bitterness in sight. The citrus spice mix balances it out so that it isn't sickly, and overall, it's delicate, decadent, with a wonderful creamy mouthfeel, and a rosy-cheek-inducing alcoholic punch. 

The Distilled Espresso Martini is currently available in 20cl and 70cl bottles, exclusively from the distillery’s onsite shop, though it will be online soon. Other exclusives include a Chamomile & Honey Liqueur, Spirited Sherry, and Honey & Walnut Liqueur; all sound equally delicious, so book yourselves onto a tour and get some before they're gone! 

You’ll be glad to hear that this is just the first in a series of distilled and re-engineered classic cocktails, so if Espresso Martini’s aren’t your thing, just you wait. Next in line is the Old Fashioned!

It's exciting times whilst we wait for the release of their Organic Odyssey Single-Malt Whisky in 2017. I think you’ll agree that Cotswolds Distillery, or rather Alex Davies, is pushing the boundaries of the bottled cocktail market with such alcoholic alchemy. Willy Wonka eat your heart out...

Follow Cotswolds Distillery on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and check out their Cotswolds Cocktails on Vimeo!

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