Espresso Medatini

The late, great, inspiring barkeep, Dick Bradsell invented the ‘vodka espresso’ in the early 1980s
at the Soho Brasserie. Legend has it, he was approached by a future supermodel requesting a
potion to in no uncertain terms, wake her up so she could continue her blissful nocturnal
partying. Bradsell, who also created the Bramble, a gin sour pepped with blackberry liqueur,
had a coffee machine on standby behind his bar and resourcefully shook up a shot of espresso
with vodka, sugar syrup and ice. From then on the coffee cocktail became the drink of the

When served on ice, the vodka espresso later morphed into the ‘Pharmaceutical Stimulant’ at
The Pharmacy, Notting Hill in the presence of the art of Damian Hirst. However, neither name
chimed with a public whose fondness for the ‘Espresso Martini’ endures to this day – even
though a triangular glass does not in itself a martini make…

But, like people and politics, drinks are not stuck in aspic. With half the sugar and calories of the
standard, full-pelt, coffee liqueur-swamped serve which you’re likely to encounter at everyday
bars, our calibrated Espresso Medatini gains richness from Madagascan vanilla, tonka bean
drops and the very essence of golden rum, blended, with small batch vodka, enticingly aromatic
cold brew coffee and of course, superlative CBD.

To make it, take two martini glasses from the freezer, pour the little black bottle of Espresso
Martini into an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake it like you mean it before pouring into the
glasses, ideally from a height to create a sense of theatre and best encourage the thick,
persisting, creamy, golden cap to form. Garnish with three coffee beans towards the side of the
glass which you drink from to heighten the aromatics. The result, we hope you agree, is utterly
sumptuous, pristine and exhilarating enough for the most aspirational of future supermodels…
Douglas Blyde.

Consultant to MEDA, Douglas Blyde
Douglas Blyde is the drinks columnist for the London Evening Standard magazine and the
author of an annual restaurant guide, Wine List Confidential for Drinks Business.

Memorable experiences on his journey of tastes have included dining in, then ultimately
legitimately escaping from the albeit dry restaurant at high-security prison, HMP Highdown,
shooting, being blooded by, then eating grouse for lunch on the Glorious Twelfth of August in
the Highlands, malt in hand, as well as odysseys to meet producers in South Africa, Lebanon,
Thailand and China.

Douglas hosted the 50 Best Bars awards for William Reed and is a drinks consultant to both
aristocrats and business leaders.

He has been realised as a cocktail, the ‘Jekyll & Blyde’ which originated at Fortnum & Mason’s 45
Jermyn Street restaurant and is now served at Fortnum’s 101 in Hong Kong.