Bartenders wince when chocolate or coffee cocktails are called martinis. (And rightly so; that word should be reserved for one thing only: The Martini.) But equally painful is a cocktail opportunity lost to a can of energy drink. World-renowned barman Salvatore Calabrese faced this very Vegas conundrum when he swooped in to christen his namesake bar, Bound by Salvatore Calabrese, in the Cromwell (also home to Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub and Drai’s Afterhours). His very Italian solution? Ultra-high-end espresso martinis—er, cocktails.
For the Madame Moka ($16), Champagne is substituted for water in a Moka coffee pot along with cinnamon, a dusting of ground nutmeg and a crushed cardamom pod. The resulting brew is infused with subtle Champagne and spice flavors, then shaken with Hennessy V.S.O.P Cognac, Disaronno amaretto and a touch of sugar. Bound bartenders also infuse espresso with red and white Italian vermouth as well as Peroni beer, for other eye-opening adult beverages aimed at the Drai’s crowd. And yes, he even uses Red Bull. Gotta love that Italian sense of humor.
As served at Bound by Salvatore Calabrese in the Cromwell, $16
In a chilled cocktail shaker, combine 1¼ ounces Hennessy V.S.O.P Cognac, ⅔ ounce Disaronno amaretto, ⅓ ounce simple syrup and 1⅓ ounces Champagne-infused coffee (recipe below). Add ice, cover, shake hard and strain into a frozen Italian Moka coffee pot. Serve with a chilled cocktail glass and a caramel macadamia nut stick.
In an Italian Moka coffee pot, brew high-quality Italian espresso-roast coffee using Champagne (allow to go flat in a refrigerator first) in place of water, and by adding 2 small pieces of cinnamon, a dusting of ground nutmeg and a crushed cardamom pod to the ground coffee. Refrigerate before use.