Archive for the ‘cocktails’ Category

The Place

November 21, 2022

Someone with a sense of irony.


A very rough area, I passed The Place on my way to Wisecup coffee roastery. Very much out of place.


Outside wooden bicycles. From a furniture shop, I used to see around Athens but have not seen lately They also have a wooden hotel (turn right out of Acropoli Metro and continue down the street).


I wandered in. A coffee shop and bar.

More parked wooden bicycles.


Further in, a garden.


I would have liked to linger, but no time to linger, I was on my way to Wisecup.


I had intended to return but got lost on leaving Wisecup. Seeing a Metro station I decided to take the Metro rather than risk being lost in the dark in a rough area. 

Brettos coffee liqueur

November 16, 2022

Passing nearby I dropped in for a coffee liqueur.

Brettos unfortunately attracts drunken scum, and this was one of those nights.

Brettos coffee liqueur

November 9, 2022

I have often passed Brettos late night, once looked in, but never stopped.

When restaurants closed in Plaka, Brettos is always busy, though too many drunks hang about outside.

A wine bar, though the barman says a bar.

Walls lined with bottles.  One wall oak barrels of ouzo and brandy.

I asked of coffee liqueur. Yes, from their own distillery. He gave me half a shot to try.

I ordered a drink. So much for my early night.

Excellent coffee liqueur. But unusual flavour.

I left around one thirty in the early hours of the morning. So much for my early night.

… to be continued. 

Just Made 33 espresso martini

November 9, 2022

Late night, espresso martini at Just Made 33.

I would have preferred a coffee liqueur but did not fancy what was available.

I miss the local coffee liqueur in Cyprus.

Negroni sbagliato

November 5, 2022

Classic negroni, ratio 1:1:1.

Negroni sbagliato replace gin with proseco.

Negroni sbagliato, literally Negroni mistake. Bartender whilst making a Negroni picked up by mistake Prosecco not gin. He apologised to his customer, was about to throw it away, when the customer asked could he try. It was better.

I agree. It has the wow factor.

Negroni was created from Americano. Gin substituted for soda

Thanks to Vladimir for humouring me and mixing negroni sbagliato under my instruction.

American spoon used. I prefer Japanese spoon.

Would it go with chocolate? No way.

Amaretto sour

October 25, 2022

Amaretto sour cocktail.

– amaretto liqueur

– small egg

– lemon juice

– bourbon

– simple syrup

Thanks to George for demonstrating how to make.

Espresso martini at Tattams

September 30, 2022

Krema was closed. Why are they closing at four, it is not winter?

I decided on a coffee at Tattams. Not very good.

Stayed chatting to an attractive blonde. When her friend turned up and the two of them left, I stayed and had an espresso martini.

I was curious. They were using quality ingredients.

Everywhere does cocktails. No expertise. Cheap ingredients, high margins.

Classic espresso martini using Mr Black.

That was the only reason I stayed, espresso using Mr Black, not a cheap coffee liquor.

I can’t recall the vodka.

What I did not like, the fancy glass. Simple is elegance. Contrast with the coupe glass used at Notes.

Expensive, £10-50.

Downside, Mr Black has been acquired by a conglomerate. Not good news.

Juliet and Romeo sloe gin and green smoothie improvisation

February 20, 2022

Juliet and Romeo: a gin cocktail for the gin haters out there. — Anders Erickson

Juliet and Romeo, a gin cocktail created in 2007 by Toby Maloney for the grand opening of The Violet Hour in Chicago.

  • three slices of cucumber
  • a pinch of salt
  • sprig of mint
  • 60 ml London dry gin
  • 20 ml fresh lime juice
  • 20 ml simple sugar syrup

In the small shaker tin, three slices of cucumber, sprig of mint. Muddle, then add ice.

in large tin gin, lime juice, sugar syrup. Shake.

Pour into Champagne coupe.

I lacked dry gin, lime juice, therefore improvise.

  • 60 ml sloe gin
  • 20 ml green smoothie (apple, pear, kiwi, spinach, lime)
  • 10 ml organic agave syrup

Shake and serve in champagne coupe. Garnish with a leaf of mint.

My thinking sloe gin has added sugar, cut down on the agave syrup.

This may have worked with colourless gin, or if sloe gin a cocktail that retains the colour.

Colour and visual appearance not good. Looked like mud. Flavour well balanced. How it compares with the original Juliet and Romeo I do not know.

Espresso martini at The Curiosity Shop

February 17, 2022

I have passed by The Curiosity Shop at the top end of Lincoln High Street, but never passed through the door. Closing in two days time on Saturday. It was Thursday, two days before it closed, and it was raining,  I thought I would take a look inside.

A cocktail bar, the interior belies the frontage.

An espresso martini. How made, espresso?

OK I will have one, and the barman kindly talked me through.

Slightly baffled, no sign of an espresso machine.

A bottle is produced. Contents? Espresso.

Freshly made this morning. It is late afternoon. I am horrified.

A bottle of vodka. Absolut Vanilla. Vanilla flavoured cheap vodka. Yuk.

Coffee liquor. Mr Black? No, far too expensive.

Champagne coupe. Not chilled. No ice.

A good job of shaking.

Injury. £7-50. Ouch.

The taste? Overpowering flavour of vanilla. It was not good.

A sign outside said coffee, though no sign of an espresso machine. The coffee, I do not know, did not ask, but if poor quality coffee, would explain the vanilla flavoured vodka to mask the taste of poor quality coffee, cf syrups in greasy spoon cafes and corporate coffee chains, or chocolate dumped on a cappuccino for the same reason, to hide the bad state of bad coffee.

Grind warn of the experience of poor quality espresso martini. That was my experience of The Curiosity Shop.

We’d had Espresso Martinis before they’re a classic but back then we didn’t realize how many corners were being cut in making them, even in the best places. You see, keeping a proper coffee machine clean and running is a lot of work, and even with the best intentions, standards can slip. After Espresso Martinis were invented in the ’90s, bars first tried using bottled espresso – a pretty miserable fate for coffee. Before long, all sorts of grisly concoctions of E-number flavourings and preservatives were being used. So by the time 2011 came around, even the places we had trusted for a good drink were serving something a far throw from what we imagine genius bartender Dick Bradsell had invented all those years ago. But we didn’t know any of that yet.

The barman was helpful, explained what he was doing, and then wrote out his recipe.

  • 25 ml vodka Absolut Vanilla
  • 25 ml coffee liquor Kahlúa
  • 50 ml espresso

He may have added a little sugar syrup, though Kahlúa coffee liquor is sweet and sugar syrup not necessary (unless again trying to mask bad coffee).

When he created an espresso martini, Dick Bradsell used Kahlúa but that was what was available, the world has moved on, would use Mr Black or a liquor of similar quality.

Note difference in price on Amazon 70 cl

  • Kahlúa – £12-00
  • Mr Black – £29-52

Contrast with The Grind espresso martini as served in their coffee shops and featured in the Grind book.

  • 40 ml vodka
  • 20 ml simple sugar syrup
  • 25 ml espresso Grind house blend

I have changed sugar syrup to agave syrup.

  • 40 ml vodka
  • 13 ml organic agave syrup
  • 25 ml espresso Grind house blend

A couple of days layer, Saturday afternoon, last day, they have to be out by Thursday.

I was going to inquire of the Steampunk paraphernalia in the window, but sadly the windows already stripped. As I walked in I noticed an espresso machine tucked around the corner. Very busy, noisy, but not packed. More staff, who were wearing facemasks. I asked of the coffee. Stokes, a local roastery. It could have been worse, Lincoln Tea and Coffee, vile undrinkable coffee, black oily over-roasted broken beans or catering supply coffee. Did I wish for a coffee? No thanks. I then left and walked down to Madame Waffle for a coffee, as I did two days before.


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