I like a post-dinner cup of coffee, a little something to stave off the cold and perk me up for the journey home – but sometimes I’ll feel like something a bit naughtier too. Something that bridges the gap between pudding and coffee.
Now – at this point most would probably suggest an affogatto, that brilliant Italian pudding made simply by pouring a shot of scorching espresso over vanilla ice cream. That’s all well and good but I’m after something a bit more streamlined.
Although ice cream is good at any time of day (I’d eat it for breakfast if you offered), particularly with a not-too-sweet chocolate sauce my grandmother used to make for us, the real deal, where the fun really starts is with an espresso martini.
I had these recently in a cocktail bar and they’d tried to gild the lily – coffee liqueur, whipped cream – really pushed the boat out and completely missed the point. An espresso martini should be short, sweet and simple.
A hot espresso, a splash of sugar syrup, a hearty glug of vodka, shaken with ice and poured into a martini glass. And normally, if I’m around, knocked back in barely a few mouthfuls.
If you’re feeling cheeky, serve it as a surprise in espresso cups.