A break from the norm; and the art of making a perfect Espresso Martini
When you’ve spent over a decade working in the city you get programmed to always think of the city when you want to plan a night out or want to catch up with a friend in an interesting space that is both inspiring and trendy. We would often visit the latest bar, try out great cocktail spots, street markets and pop up restaurants during the week; and I loved it. Since quitting the day job I must admit that I’ve felt a little in limbo for a couple of years and have been recently rediscovering the area I grew up in. It’s been refreshing to find some great new places that bring the same vibe that I missed so much and to discover a warm community feeling in these independent spaces in Southgate and North London more widely.
Running our business remotely and around young children and commitments, we are often on the road throughout the day. We meet people, drop off orders at the post office, collaborate with other small businesses we love and naturally gravitate to local coffee shops where the coffee is good and the Wi-Fi is strong; and of course, it wasn’t long before we fell in love with Claud W Dennis in Southgate. For the record, the coffee at Claud W Dennis is excellent, as they use Monmouth. It’s a triple origin coffee and brings together the best flavours of both North and South America. When we talk to the owners, brothers, Joseph and Franco, they beam with excitement over their choice of bean. Quite rightly so, it’s a high-profile, quality coffee, and they serve it with pride in Southgate.
Last week we popped in to Claud’s for a Cotton and Pearl meeting and while we were there, Franco invited us to their live jazz night that takes place every Thursday. It’s normally quite difficult for us to get out during the week with work and other commitments but we put a bit of blusher on and went along and we really loved it. The atmosphere in the evening is relaxed and chilled. Joseph and Franco are so welcoming and they make fantastic cocktails so that's already a reason to return. Mum had an incredible Espresso Martini and I ordered my fave, a Gin and Tonic. They had an excellent pianist that evening and we listened to him with admiration. Mum and I rarely have a chance to go out just the two of us and just be together in the moment and I loved it. As I looked around, there were friends laughing, couples talking and, us, just enjoying the evening together in this intimate space that exudes cool. The attention to detail within the reclaimed décor has you looking around and transports you to days gone by while you listen to jazz and talk the night away. We both said it was a refreshing break from the norm and it was so very needed.
We were so impressed with our cocktails that we asked Franco for some top tips to share with all you cocktail enthusiast’s (yep, we’re very thoughtful in that way).
Franco says, to make the perfect espresso martini you need three essential elements:
- The quality of the alcohol. We use Ketel One Vodka as our main spirit which is the top choice of many London cocktail bars.
- You need a great shot of espresso. As a speciality coffee shop, we pride ourselves in creating a consistently rich but smooth tasting espresso, thick, almost syrup like, filled with nutty and chocolatey notes.
- A great smile and a swift hand whilst rocking that cocktail shaker will help to create that all-important thick iconic crema for the 3-bean garnishing to rest upon.
Live jazz takes place every Thursday from 18:30-21:00