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How to perfect the Melbourne Fashion Festival Nespresso cocktail at home

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATE SHANASY

WORDS BY MAGGIE ZHOU

Make Longrain’s limited edition Nespresso martini for yourself.

“This is for Melbourne,” Ryan Russell, bar manager of Longrain, proudly tells me. He’s talking about his latest cocktail creation, a special Melbourne Fashion Festival inspired tipple made in partnership with Nespresso. It’s Longrain’s Nespresso martini, a twist on the classic espresso martini Melburnians know and love. 

“Since moving [to Melbourne], I haven’t stopped making them. [Espresso martinis are] everywhere, everyone drinks it. It’s the start of the night, it’s the end of the night, it’s the middle of the night,” he says.


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We’re sitting in one of the sleek nooks in Longrain, the 15-year-old Thai diner that has an established home in Melbourne’s revered food scene. It’s just past 3pm and the doors should be shut but the place is still buzzing from patrons lost in the hangover of good conversation. 

Nestled down a laneway metres away from Princess Theatre, it makes sense that Longrain is an outpost of this year’s Melbourne Fashion Festival. Now under the wing of renowned restaurateur Scott Pickett, there’s an undeniable excitement in the air. He didn’t just bring a wealth of experience with him, he also brought in a Nespresso Vertuo Next coffee machine. 

“We’ve chosen to [use] Nespresso coffee in all of my restaurants because it’s consistent, great quality and I like to drink it myself,” Scott told Nespresso late last year. It’s why Nespresso, as an official coffee partner of  the 2021 Melbourne Fashion Festival, is the shining ingredient in this twist on the traditional espresso martini.

Ryan tells me about the unique flavour profile coffee brings to cocktails. “Finding darker, bitter notes in anything outside of coffee is difficult,” he says. “Bringing in coffee, which is rich, dark and bitter [means] you can play around with it how you want. Using coffee in various ways has always been a thing and can be as simple as a Nespresso martini.”

Everyone loves to drink their espresso martini so we’re just doing it slightly differently,” he explains. “[We’re] using this really good sort of highland tequila which brings these beautiful citrusy and fruity notes to something that’s not really known to have those.”

It was a trial-and-error process for Ryan to choose the perfect Nespresso capsule – the Diavolitto. “[I] tried different blends because [Nespresso] has a big range of different capsules. It was about trying to find the right one that works best with our ingredients. We were driven for something a bit more robust and vibrant.” It’s clear that Ryan is an expert in his field. His pace quickens and there’s a real warmth to his voice when talking about his cocktail creation. “Picture a marrying of flavours [where you’re] getting a little bit of bitterness and then that citrus of tequila is giving it a lift,” he says.

And for those who aren’t well-acquainted with liquor lingo, it means it’s bloody good. 

“[It’s] absolutely to do with [Melburnians’] obsession with coffee,” he chuckles. “A combination of our obsession of coffee and liquor together – who would’ve thought.” 

Ryan’s tip for the at-home mixologists giving this a shot is first and foremost, “don’t be afraid to try it”.

“Use fresh ingredients and use good ice,” he says firmly while I, puzzled, have to ask what constitutes as good ice. “Not little blocks that are half melted,” he tells me. “You want bigger, chunkier blocks so you’re not getting a watered-down version of your favourite drink at home.”

And as for the shaking process? “You want to give it a vigorous shake, but you don’t want to water it down, it’s finding that nice balance of getting that shake going so that it’s getting a beautiful froth,” Ryan explains. 

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Melbourne Fashion Festival, Longrain has referenced the quarter century anniversary gift of silver with a lavish touch of silver leaf. After all, it is fashion week, and we aren’t messing around. 

Presentation matters, and Ryan agrees. “You want it to be appealing in every aspect. Taste is just one of our senses. We see things, we smell things – the things you don’t see are just as important as the things you do see. Being fashion week, it’s all about bringing all those senses together.” 

Try the Nespresso martini out for yourself. Either test out your skills in the kitchen or pay Ryan a visit at Longrain.

MFF Nespresso Martini

Ingredients:

  • 45ml Corazon Blanco Tequila
  • 15ml Kahlua
  • 15ml Palm Sugar Syrup
  • 45ml Nespresso Diavolitto coffee

Method: 

  1. Use the Nespresso Vertuo Next machine to extract a Diavolitto coffee capsule into a glass. 
  2. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously for 20 seconds, strain with a fine sieve into a cocktail glass. 
  3. Channel your inner fashionista and garnish boldly with silver leaf.

The MFF Nespresso Martini ($19) will be available at Longrain until Saturday March 20. Purchase the limited edition Melbourne Fashion Festival Vertuo Next Bundle here, which includes some of the Diavolitto capsules.

nespresso.com

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