Hello, Friends of Cocktails. You may remember that our director Robi and I share a birthday on the 19th of November. That’s why every year we make a birthday episode where Robi steps in front of the camera as well, and we come up with something fun for this special occasion - like the time where we made Homemade Vermouth! Today though, I’ll be tasting and reviewing three cocktails created by Jamie Oliver without knowing what they are, and then I’ll have to recreate and improve them with his own single-serve recipes.
To help me with this, Robi will first make batched versions of the Coffee Negroni, Filthy Vodka Martini, and Maple Old Fashioned which are great for preparing meals and drinks for family and friends ahead of time. So if you want to see how Robi does with this part of the challenge, check out the episode on YouTube at the end of today’s blog. Also to make it clear, this episode is not sponsored by Jamie Oliver or any publishers, but if they’d like to collaborate we’re more than ready!
If these recipes sound like your type of drinks, I’ll show you the book Robi used at the end, but for now let’s start with the Coffee Negroni. For Jamie’s twist on this Italian classic we’ll of course need gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, but Jamie’s recipe also includes a little bit of Limoncello and fresh coarsely ground coffee. It’s Birthday Cocktail Time!
Jamie Oliver’s Coffee Negroni
● 150mL · 5oz Gin
● 150mL · 5oz Sweet Vermouth
● 150mL · 5oz Campari
● 15mL · 0.5oz Limoncello
● 50g Freshly Ground Coffee
● Orange Peel
Begin by combining the gin, sweet vermouth, Campari and limoncello. I could use Super Limoncello, made from Super Juice leftovers, but I think Jamie had the classic in mind. These amounts are supposed to make 6 cocktails according to the book, and once mixed I’ll put a rinsed coffee filter into a Chemex and add the coarsely ground coffee. Then, to quote the book, pour the booze mixture over the coffee and through the filter.
It says this could take up to 1 hour, but I guess it will depend on your coffee and the filter - mine was done in under 10 minutes. Once you have the coffee-strained Negroni bottled, keep it in the freezer until needed, and to serve you just need to pour over ice in a tumbler, give it a quick stir for dilution, and Jamie says that you can garnish the cocktail with an orange slice or a strip of peel - I’d personally go for the peel.
So we move on to cocktail number 2, the Filthy Vodka Martini! You’ll need vodka, dry vermouth, and olive brine, and this recipe will make 6 servings as well.
Jamie Oliver’s Vodka Martini
● 360mL · 12oz Vodka
● 120mL · 4oz Dry Vermouth
● 120mL · 4oz Green Olive Brine
● Green Olives
This one is super simple to make. Just combine your ingredients, then bottle and keep in the freezer until needed. I’d say with so much brine it would be advisable to skip the saline solution, but to see my reaction in full remember to check out the full episode down below. To serve, simply pour into a chilled coupe or coupette glass with no ice. Interestingly, Jaime doesn’t mention a Martini glass here… Anyway, place a green olive at the bottom of the glass.
Onto cocktail number three, Jamie’s Maple Old Fashioned. This is recommended to serve with his Steak Night recipes and makes 6 servings. I don’t have steak, but I’ll be using Maker’s Mark bourbon, maple syrup, angostura bitters and, for an Oliver twist, a rooibos tea bag.
Jamie Oliver’s Maple Old Fashioned
● 30mL · 1oz Maple Syrup
● 300mL · 10oz Dry Vermouth
● 1 barspoon Angostura Bitters
● Orange or Clementine Peel
Following the recipe I’m adding our ingredients into a cocktail shaker. The directions then say to give it a good shake and bottle, although it doesn't mention any ice. Since Jamie says to then just pour it over ice in a tumbler, or even into a coupe or a martini glass I’m guessing this needs to be pre-diluted, so I’ll stil add a few ice cubes before giving it a quick shake. I’ll then strain it into a jar, and again following the recipe, add 1 rooibos tea bag to infuse.
You can now bottle your cocktail and place it in the freezer until needed. Since this one is pre-diluted, you can just remove and discard the teabag, then pour over ice in a tumbler. Now garnish with a strip of orange or clementine pee, gently twisting to express the oils before adding it to the glass. One final batched cocktail that’s also in Jamie’s book is the Elegant Piña Colada, but since it’s one of Sašo’s favorite cocktails I was glad to let him make this one.
The bonus episode of how he made it, and what Robi and I think of it, is live on our Patreon now, so consider joining for that and many other exclusive recipes! For now, I’ll show you what I thought of each cocktail alongside my improved version, but if you want to see how good I was at first guessing what they were you’ll have to check out the full episode. So let’s begin with the Coffee Negroni, which turned out to be quite strong since it lacked quite a bit of dilution.
● 30mL · 1oz Gin
● 30mL · 1oz Sweet Vermouth
● 30mL · 1oz Campari
● 2 barspoons Coffee Beans
● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution
● Orange Peel
Into a chilled mixing glass add your ingredients alongside plenty of ice. I actually really like the idea of pouring a Negroni through a bed of coffee, but the simplest way to get hints of coffee into a cocktail is to add 2 barspoons of coffee beans into a mixing glass as you’re making the cocktail, for a coffee version of a regal stir. You could also infuse gin or Campari with coffee beans for a few hours, but here I’m making just a single serve - so a handful of coffee beans will work more than fine.
Now give it a stir to chill and dilute and strain into a chilled lowball glass over a clear ice cube. Garnish with an orange peel and you’ll have a quick and simple Coffee Negroni. If you want to still make it batched though, I’d maybe skip the small amount of Limoncello and instead make a light cold brew coffee, adding it in equal parts as the other 3 ingredients for dilution and flavor - and of course, don’t forget the saline solution!
Next up, I’d kindly suggest a dirty Vodka Martini, because all I can say is I think I’d prefer it less filthy as the salinity overpowers the other ingredients, but that’s just me.
Vodka Dirty Martini
● 45mL · 1.5oz Vodka
● 15mL · 0.5oz Dry Vermouth
● 1 barspoon Olive Brine
● Green Olives
Start with a chilled mixing glass and add your ingredients, mix with ice then strain into it a chilled Nick&Nora glass, and add a skewered olive before enjoying. This couldn’t be easier to serve and it’s even easier to batch, just remember to stir it with ice beforehand or add the dilution before placing it in the freezer, but now it’s time for the Old Fashioned! This one had plenty of richness and an interesting sweetness, but the rooibos was very strong though.
To be honest, I’d rather add this with a rapid infusion technique or with tea ice cubes for dilution, but let’s say I didn’t have time to prepare for that, so I’m just adding a barspoon of rooibos tea into the mixing glass and hoping for the best.
Maple Old Fashioned
● 60mL · 2oz Bourbon
● 1 barspoon Rooibos Tea
● 1 barspoon Maple Syrup
● 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
● 1 dashes Winter Spice Bitters
● Orange or Clementine Peel
Similar to the previous cocktails, stir with ice, but then double strain over a clear ice cube, to catch all the bits of rooibos tea. Express an orange peel over the top and that’s it, a festive Maple Old Fashioned. This was a fun exercise of reverse engineering, so cheers for a great episode! With that we’ve also made it to the Bottom of the glass, and today instead of a fun fact, it’s time to reveal the book used for today’s cocktail recipes: Jamie Oliver’s “Together”.
Not only that, but Robi and Sašo gave me the book as a gift as they know my goal is to spend more time with family and friends - something very much in line with the focus of the book. I just hope they don’t expect the gift to turn into Lunch Time with Kevin Kos, but before we leave there’s another thing to celebrate! Jan Verdier is our new top-tier Patron, becoming the latest member of the Cocktail Time Wall of Fame.
Thank you for the support and welcome to our set Jan, and thank you all for being the best Friends of Cocktails anyone could ever wish for. Until next time, cheers!