You can’t take five steps in most cities without stumbling across the smell of freshly brewed coffee or latterly roasted beans, their intoxicating bouquet tempting you to get jazzed up on eddying caffeine at every turn.
Piccolos, cortados and flat whites jostle for the title of smallest and dullest drink on hipster menus across the capital; Chemex, Keep Cup and Aeropress accoutrements mock coffee noobs at every point of sale; and the newest frappamochawhipacino threatens to lull you into a sugary coma with even the merest glance.
With the recent surge in popularity of cold brew coffee (very coarse grounds steeped in cold water for 24 hours then strained), we now have more ways than ever to neck our daily cup of joe.
But never ones to let a chance for heady intoxication slip them by, the folks at Bulleit bourbon have added to our java addiction with The Gentlemen’s Agreement, a coffee-infused, sumptuous libation flavoured with gutsy whisky and sweet orange. HELLO.
Taking its cue from the most special of specialty coffees, The Gentlemen’s Agreement plays on the rich spice notes from the bourbon barrels, highlighting them with nutty, roasted coconut and warming nutmeg. The slight citrus lift at the back of the palate is accentuated by the floral orange water.
“The Gatsby Coffee – created in partnership between Bulleit and speciality coffee producers The Gentlemen Baristas – goes through a unique roasting process whereby the beans are rested in Bulleit bourbon barrels before being roasted,” says Bulleit brand ambassador Andrea Montague. “The result is a coffee which doesn’t have an alcoholic content, but has the flavour notes of an American whiskey.”
Of course, coffee cocktails are nothing new: the Irish whisky, though naff by association, is a veteran sup, as is the more elegant espresso martini, both favoured largely for their sweet, creamy palate. But what makes The Gentleman’s Agreement so exciting is the focus on the beans themselves – no frou frou cream needed here.
“It’s the perfect aperitif,” agrees Montague. “It’s lighter than the espresso martini, but still has enough punch to kickstart your appetite.”
The Gentlemen’s Agreement (Serves 2)
70ml Bulleit bourbon
160ml brewed The Gatsby Coffee (using espresso grounds, and left to cool. Cold brew the coffee if preferred)
40ml roasted coconut and nutmeg syrup
2 drops orange blossom water
Roasted Coconut And Nutmeg Syrup
1 handful toasted coconut chips
Nutmeg to taste
Chilled rocks glass
“Bulleit bourbon is crucial to this cocktail: it picks up the caramel, whisky notes in the coffee which has been aged in bourbon barrels. As for the orange blossom water, there are only a few brands out there, and they’re all good. Go to a high-end off-licence and they’ll have a selection.”
- Start by making the coconut and nutmeg syrup. Combine the coconut chips with the sugar and water in a sealable container and stir well until completely dissolved. Generously grate the nutmeg into the syrup and stir well. Leave to develop for two hours. Strain well and set aside until needed.
- Add the bourbon, brewed coffee, coconut and nutmeg syrup and orange blossom water to a cocktail shaker along with two ice cubes, and shake well until fully combined.
- Add ice to the glass, and pour over the cocktail. Serve.
From Delicious To Stratospheric
“Use good ice. Ensure your glass is well-chilled. This cocktail really sings when it’s as cold as possible. Garnish either with an orange peel twist, a few coffee beans or some toasted coconut flakes.”