AS A general rule, simple solutions trump complex ones. The more variables you bring to bear on a problem, the higher chance you’ll make a mess of things.
Take the martini, a perfect solution to near enough any problem. It’s simply gin or vodka and dry vermouth stirred over ice with the addition of an olive or twist of lemon peel. Attempts to improve the martini, although not fruitless (but preferably without fruit), will always fall short of the classic.
Rules, however, are made to be broken. And sometimes it is possible – whether through luck or judgement – to build a house of cards without it collapsing in a heap. This is exactly what Gerry Calabrese’s The Coffee Maker does. Heaven only knows how he came up with the recipe, but it works like a treat.
Gerry Calabrese knows a thing or two about drinks. He worked his way through the industry – from backbar to owner – opening The Hoxton Pony and creating Hoxton Gin. Gerry is following in the footsteps of his father, Salvatore Calabrese, one of the world’s most famous bartenders: clearly the gins of his father have been visited upon him.
I’ve got a bias against sweet cocktails, but near enough any cocktail served warm (preferably with rum) is welcome now that the weather has turned. Also, who can resist the flavour combinations of coffee, orange, chocolate and cherries?
You can try it at The House of Peroni, which is open from today until 30 November at 41 Portland Place, although bragging rights should be bestowed upon anyone who makes it at home from scratch.
THE COFFEE MAKER
■ 4 bar spoons Illy coffee
■ 1 bar spoon muscovado sugar
■ Diced orange peel
■ 3 spoons cacao
■ 1 bar spoon Belgian chocolate
■ 50 ml Crème de Cerise
■ 6 maraschino cherries
■ 20ml 23 year Zacapa rum
■ Peroni beer
Method The following is for a six cup coffee pot (using espresso-sized cups)
■ Boil Peroni lightly in a pan on a stove so that the beer becomes flat and fill the base of the coffee pot with the flat beer
■ Mix the following ingredients, and then place them into the coffee pot filter:
• 4 heaped bar spoons of Illy ground coffee
• 1 heaped bar spoon of muscovado sugar
• Peel one piece of orange and finely dice as not to block the filter
• 3 bar spoons of cacao
• 1 bar spoon of Belgium chocolate sauce
■ Place into the top body of the coffee pot (where your flat Peroni will boil):
• 6 maraschino cherries
• 20ml of 23 year Zacapa rum
■ Boil on a low heat till the Peroni passes through to the top of the pot. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes
■ Serve in an espresso cups