Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Smirnoff Espresso flies off shelves in five days

If you haven’t been gallivanting around the world in the last few months, then you may not have noticed the very limited edition, very exclusive bottles of Smirnoff Espresso vodka gracing the shelves of duty free stores in select international airport terminals, including Sydney International Airport.

Smirnoff Espresso (second from left)
with thanks to Splendid Communications
No, I didn't notice either. Not until I was sent a 1 litre bottle, along with a full cocktail kit with ingredients for a number of boozy concoctions featuring the coffee-flavoured vodka.

On its own, the vodka is surprisingly smooth and sippable. The aroma is like a gorgeous fresh brew, and the taste hints strongly at smooth vanilla, with sweetness to match too. Smirnoff Espresso on ice could be a cheat's way out.

Just part of my cocktail kit,
with thanks to Splendid Communications
But in cocktail land, while espresso martinis definitely seem to be making a comeback (perhaps something to do with more easily attainable liquor licenses and increasingly gourmet coffee shops), here’s a selection of cocktails based on Smirnoff Espresso that are easy to make in the home bar or kitchen table.

Smirnoff Espresso and cola
So not so much a cocktail as a mixed drink, we start easy with essentially a vodka and Coke. The coffee flavours of the Smirnoff Espresso are pretty much lost amid the sweet cola, though the vodka kick is most certainly there.

The twist of orange peel, twisted over the drink so the orange oils are expressed over the drink itself, adds the freshness of citrus. For something so simple to make, it's a winner. See video instructions here.

Mise en place for raspberry chocolate martini
With more ingredients and the need for more cocktail equipment, the raspberry chocolate martini already sounds a winner for the sweeter and (sorry) girlier tastes. Or indeed a dessert cocktail - in place of dessert even (there's got to be fewer calories in this than a chocolate fondant).

All one needs are raspberries (fresh here, but I'm sure frozen would suffice), chocolate sauce, ice and of course, Smirnoff Espresso.

Raspberries, chocolate sauce, Smirnoff Espresso and ice in the shaker glass
I haven't got the most elegant cocktail shake, but I know that the individual raspberries pretty much need to resemble mush - which is even more work for the frozen variety.

Ice is important - the more the better as more means a lower overall temperature and that it will melt more slowly than something with less ice (and thus at a warmer temperature - ah, logic prevails).

Raspberry chocolate martini
It doesn't look great in the shaker glass, but after a good minute's or so shaking (when your skin starts to stick to the metal cannister of the Boston shaker, it's probably had enough), the dark red concoction smells exactly as it should - like raspberries and chocolate.

Best served in a little espresso cup rather than a large teacup (saucer is a must), it needs to be strained with a Hawthorne strainer, if not also double strained with a fine sieve to remove the raspberry seeds from the cocktail. See video instructions here.

I must have been a little heavy-handed with the chocolate sauce, as mine was more a chocolate cocktail than anything else. Nonetheless, a fabulous alternative to dessert; a nice end to the night in; and a fun start to a night out.

Food, booze and shoes received a sample of Smirnoff Espresso and cocktail ingredients and equipment with many thanks from Splendid Communications.

Other cocktail recipes utilising Smirnoff Espresso can be found here (White Russian and Smirnoff Espresso Martini).

5 comments:

The Food Mentalist said...

I didn't know about this but am glad I have seen this post! Yummmmm. I need to get some of this to try, its uses are endless!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Is it wrong that all I want to do with this is make a syrup like the vanilla extract?

Tina said...

Hi The Food Mentalist - Only in select duty free stores for a few more days!

Hi Lorraine - Vodka syrup? Sounds good to me...!

Simon Leong said...

could be a replacement for a caffeine hit in the morning perhaps :-)

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

The fact that it's clear is screwing with my mind! I want it to be a dark colour, like coffee liqueur =p

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