🍸 Uncorking Drinks 🍸
Dick Bradsell is widely-regarded as one of the greatest cocktail makers of his generation, and his story and that of the Espresso Martini are inextricably linked.
Setting the scene far better than I ever could, let’s cast our mind back to 80s and 90s Britain - “The story of the creation, popularisation and ubiquity of the Espresso Martini is the story of Britain’s transformation from a rainswept rock, where food was beige and pints were warm, into a sexy, dangerous cultural powerhouse.”
Rumour has it that a young, up and coming and now world famous model walked into the bar Dick was working in and asked for something to “wake me up”, or words to that effect.
A potent combination of vodka, coffee, sugar syrup and coffee liqueur was promptly mixed to devastatingly brilliant effect, marking the beginning of a cultural revolution in the London night scene. Benefiting from the dual importation of American cocktail and European coffee culture, Espresso Martinis were set on a one way trajectory to cocktail superstardom.
Known originally as a Vodka Espresso, it soon became an Espresso Martini, owing to the naming convention of the time, whereby anything served in a V-shaped glass was referred to as a martini. Bradsell’s stint at Damien Hirst’s Notting Hill restaurant, Pharmacy, saw it briefly rebranded as a Pharmaceutical Stimulant, but for most, it had already secured its place in their quickly-beating hearts as an Espresso Martini. There it has stayed ever since, just remember not to drink too many…
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🍯 Curious Combinations That Shouldn't Work But Just Do... 🍯
In one of the very earliest editions of Table Talk (#2), I mentioned the fact that my dad was known as “The Dustbin” in our house growing up. In that same edition, I also made reference to the fact that he introduced us to peanut butter and ham sandwiches, and that for most of my life, I found that combination entirely normal, until it was pointed out to me in later life that this was absolutely bonkers.
Well, my friend, he’s at it again. On returning home the other day, I found him eating a tortilla wrap covered in honey for breakfast. My instant reaction was one of disbelief, an emotion that soon gave way to affection and admiration for his relentless pursuit of curious combinations that shouldn’t work but just, well, do…
A condiment with more uses than you might thinkReflecting on this, I asked myself why I found this combination so strange? Why shouldn’t honey go on a tortilla? We happily spread it on toast and encourage it to seep through crumpets after all.
It reminded me of a time growing up when no barbecue with a great friend’s family was complete without everyone drizzling honey all over their sausages. Using a honey spoon, no less. Newcomers were always taken aback by this, myself included, but they had a 100% hit rate when it came to converting the previously uninitiated, further underscoring honey’s versatility and universal appeal.
So, I have a question for you - what are your latest culinary discoveries? Which killer combos did you once mock only to now sing from the rooftops about?
🍷 What News From Wednesday's Domaine? 🍷We’re still getting used to our post-launch persona - enjoying a volley of fascinating conversations with customers and stockists alike, making sure your wines get to you in one piece and thinking hard about how to best bring the brand and everything that Table Talk embodies to life.
On that note, if you have a fantastic wine shop or deli near you that you think needs Wednesday’s Domaine on its shelves, get in touch and let us know.Thank you,