Savour Cacique | Ever The Optimist

I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake.
— Lewis Black

As Noel Coward famously said, "It's never too early for a cocktail." Especially when it's made with locally-roasted coffee beans. Get ready for the perfect pick me up... Because In this episode of Savour Cacique, we're teaming up with Steven Kemp from Island Nation Roasting and Kyle Jones, our regular mover and shaker from Young's Fine Wine to create "Ever The Optimist" - a re-imagined Espresso Martini. Why "Ever The Optimist"? Try one and then try not to think about good 'tings'! Simply impossible. 


Oh, Look! It's Coffee O'Clock!


Cacique. What is the origin of the Espresso Martini?

Kyle. This is a more recent cocktail (early 80's) that has become a modern classic. The Espresso Martini was created by London bartender Dick Bradsell. According to Dick, a beautiful model walked into his bar and asked for a cocktail that would "wake her up". And thus the espresso martini was born!

C. So, how are we re-imagining the original?

K. Well, this is a classic and and I only wanted to make a subtle change from the original recipe. So, for "Ever The Optimist," I simply add a twist by switching the commonly-used coffee liqueur for a softer rhubarb-based amaro. The Espresso Martini is not a hugely popular cocktail in The Bahamas as yet, but we would like to change that!


C. And of course, we have Island Nation Roasting coffee in the mix. Steven, where do the beans come from and what makes them special?

Steven. Our coffee beans are imported from Ethiopia, Guatemala and Brazil. We have chosen these three countries for various reasons. Ethiopia is the birthplace of the coffee tree. We bring ours from Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia and import only the Heirloom variety. Guatemala is very mountainous and has some super remote regions. The volcanic soil and high altitude make it perfect to grow coffee. The region in Guatemala that we import from is called Huehuetenango. Lastly, we have our beans from Mogiana, Brazil. Brazilian coffee beans are best suited for espresso as you get a thick rich crema when brewed properly.  


C. How are the beans roasted?

S. I personally roast all of the beans myself on my 1kg Mill City Coffee roaster. It's a large machine that uses fire to heat up a rotating drum to temperatures of around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The entire process takes roughly 10 minutes. Roasting the beans unlocks all of the flavors and allows the different molecules within to become water soluble. Different types of roasting allows for different types of brewing methods.


Ever The Optimist 



2 oz. Sip smith Vodka

1 oz. Island Nation Roasting Co. brewed espresso

1/2 oz. Cappelletti Amaro Sfumato Rabarbaro

1/2 oz. Simple syrup

How To:

This one is a pretty straightforward recipe and procedure: 

1) Simply add all ingredients to a cocktail tin filled with ice.

2) Shake until cold and double strain into a coupe glass.

3) Garnish with a couple espresso beans and enjoy!


Wanna hear a Joke? Decaf. 


C. So is this considered an ordinary Friday night on the town cocktail or is it reserved for specific occasions?

K. It can be a Tuesday afternoon drink if you want it to be! I always tell people if you feel like drinking something, go for it. If you love big red wines and are having fish for dinner, go for it.  It might not be an ideal pairing but all that matters is that you enjoy it.  So I never see a reason to hold back on something you love just because it doesn't seem like the right occasion.

C. That's good to know! Is it strong on the tastebuds?

K. It really all comes down to if you like coffee or not.  If the answer is yes, you will love this.  If you like really sweet, fruit forward drinks you might want to pass.


Hair of The Dog

C. Would you say it's the ultimate hair of the dog?

K. Well having caffeine in a drink is always a nice pick me up when you are need of one. So I would say, it can certainly help if you are going hair of the dog!  Now that I am a dad of two little ones, I might use it to keep me awake past 9 pm if we are going out with friends! Haha.  

S. I am a huge fan of the espresso martini cocktail. After dinner, it is the perfect pick me up drink to keep you going. In Australia, a country that my wife and I lived for several years, there wasn't a bar that you would go to that didn't have the espresso martini on the cocktail menu. I hope this trend catches on here in The Bahamas.


Savour Cacique |Culinary Experiences


Here at Cacique, we love to push boundaries - be it art, music, tableware or the culinary experience. That is why we are always on the look out for fresh new talent, with whom we can re-imagine classic cocktails and dishes. For enquiries about Cacique Culinary Experiences - tailor-made to wow the most discerning of palettes - please feel free to contact us.

Looking forward to our next gastronomic adventure! SS ;)

Re-imagining the Espresso Martini with Steven Kemp (centre) of Island Nation Roasting and Kyle Jones (far right) of Young's Fine Wines. . 

Re-imagining the Espresso Martini with Steven Kemp (centre) of Island Nation Roasting and Kyle Jones (far right) of Young's Fine Wines. .