Very much just another blog

How to make, drink and survive a vodka espresso

with 4 comments

The vodka espresso is a landmark drink in the dark and charged landscape of boozy nights in London town. From preparation to recovery, beginners need guidance and this, dear friends, is why I am writing this post for you.

I should begin by preempting any mis-association one might have with the vodka martini. The two are quite different drinks, only faintly related by the espresso component. In tone, character and in impact they are worlds apart.

I’m not a fan of the vodka martini; it’s too sickly sweet for me. And it is for a totally different night than the one I am about to send you on. The martini will certainly be served in a posh drinking establishment such as Soho or Shoreditch House and it will cost you about nine million pounds. There is the added danger that you might swallow or choke on the coffee beans floating seemingly inoffensively on the top. Be offended, friends; you are better than this drink. You are a vodka espresso drinker, or will be, soon.

The vodka espresso is much more flexible in terms of the contexts within which it can exist. It *is* shadier, dirtier, even by nature. But it is a joining drink, one which you will want to share and pass on. It’s a socially VIRAL drink. Yes. It is. So pay attention.

Imagine this: a dark night with good friends,  an excellent meal in your belly and your head already heavy with wine. You need a pick me up and the waitress is making her way over to you. This is what you order:

A single espresso. This *has* to be excellent quality coffee or you might as well not bother. I’ve flirted with poor coffee before and felt like a disappointed floozy at the end of it. Spare yourselves, good people; shit coffee is a big insult in a little cup, do not travel down that road.

A single vodka on lots and lots of ice

Brown sugar

Continue your conversation, the ingredients are soon to arrive and you will be mixing at the table.

Pop one large brown sugar rock, or spoonful of sugar into the espresso and stir until it has completely melted. It really has to be COMPLETELY melted so take your time and enjoy the process: the aroma of the excellent coffee, the consistency as it begins to turn to luxurious syrup. If you don’t let the sugar melt completely your drink will be bitter so I will really can’t emphasise enough how crucial the early preparatory stages are.

Right. With sugar melted it’s time to pour the coffee into the glass of icy vodka. Give it a stir. Pause…. DON’T RUSH. Maniacs.


Have a sip.

Have another.

It’s good isn’t it?

Drink it down.

Order a double.

Soon you will discover that this is an extraordinary drink: it peps you up and keeps you floating. It neatly places itself in amongst your complex and beautiful chromosomes and sends messages demanding that you DRINK MORE. This you will do. I’ve found that four is an optimum number. To begin with you will push it, but you will learn. Do not, however, dwell on that now, you are two VEs to the wind and sailing happily. The night is your’s; grab it with both hands and cartwheel down Oxford St. Later will come later and it will be sure to introduce itself then.


Hello Later.

You will greet Later with a wide-eyed full body rock. Fear not. The rocking will pass. Do what I do and assume The Position. For those too quick to paint this comment with the smut it does not deserve, the position is far from sexual; it’s face down, nearly fetal, with yellow and black tape around you so that you cannot under any circumstance be touched.

Remember, as the world tilts in ways you didn’t know were possible, the sun will come up in the morning, someone will bring you some tea and all will be well in the world. Probably.


Written by elikafm

February 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Ahh – I remember vodka expressos well – haven’t had one in ages. Maybe tonight – am I allowed to have them outsie of London town?


    February 4, 2010 at 5:10 pm

  2. You may. In fact it is your job to tell all of Cambridge and all of Ely about them.

    Hopefully see you next week. xx


    February 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    • I went home last night fully in the anticipation of vodka expressos, cooked dinner, thought Mmmm vodka expresso would do nicely now. Then realised I had run out of vodka – doh! Shop was shut and so my plan failed – I will try again this weekend! The stonemason doesn’t understand what is so great about them – he will learn….


      February 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm

      • Soon he will learn and then you can both dance on the ceiling with bleeding eyes and crazy gins. Something for the weekend… x


        February 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm

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