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One of the most popular cocktails at Smokestack is the espresso martini. This caffeinated favourite has many variations and we always make sure to have our twist on the menu.

Espresso Martini

There are many ‘classic’ cocktails, however, to be named a modern classic is a difficult thing when cocktail culture has been established for over 100 years.  Instantly recognisable, the iconic serve of thick foam and triangle patterned coffee bean garnish has become commonplace amongst cocktail bars across the world.

The original incarnation was simply named, ‘vodka espresso’. Its creator, Dick Bradsell was instrumental in the cocktail resurgence following a dark era during the 80s where cocktails were more focused on being sweet and vibrant.

espresso martini
Dick Bradsell

Dick was working at Soho Brasserie, London 1983 when a customer (supposedly a famous model) asked for a drink that would “wake her up and f*ck her up”. Vodka was the go-to spirit of the decade so that was the starting point, and Brasserie Soho had a reputation for great coffee which made the addition of fresh espresso a natural choice. The bitterness of the coffee was balanced by a duo of coffee liqueurs and a splash of sugar syrup.   

There was another incarnation of the drink during Dick’s time at Pharmacy in Notting Hill. Renamed the ‘Pharmaceutical Stimulant’, it was now served short and over ice.  

Smokestack, Bar.

The Smokestack variation builds on the flavours of chocolate & caramel present in the original. Instead of vodka, we use an aged rum from Barbados. Aged spirits carry vanilla and toffee notes from time spent maturing in barrels – perfect flavours to accompany coffee. To give a bigger mouthfeel to the cocktail we create a syrup by reducing porter down with heat and sugar. It remains one of our biggest sellers!

Cane ‘n’ Coffee

Doorly’s 5 year rum
Tosolini coffee liqueur
Mozart chocolate liqueur
porter syrup*

Shake with ice and fine strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a few drops of chocolate liqueur
*Mix porter with sugar and a pinch of salt on low heat

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