Barista Mixology Series: The Leeloo

Recipe by Ben Bowdoin, Photography by Caitlin LeMoine

The Leeloo

(served in a gibraltar)

Like coffee, the Negroni is a combination of many intense, complex, and perhaps even competing flavors. When harnessed properly, acidity, sweetness, and bitterness come together to please the palate.  This beautiful harmony is precisely why the drink is both balanced and delicious - much like a properly roasted and brewed cup of coffee. This cocktail is inspired by the corollary between the beverages. It's a match made in flavor heaven. 

Early versions of the drink were a stunning shade of pinkish red, which we found reminiscent of the character Leeloo - the fiery, powerful siren of the movie Fifth Element

This recipe was developed by our own Benjamin Bowdoin and recently won Coffee ATL's Liquid Ambition coffee cocktail competition.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • 1/2 oz Gin
  • 1/2 oz Campari
  • 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 oz cold brew coffee

HOW TO

1. Choose high quality liquors. This makes a big difference! Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. 

2. Give it a quick, hard shake to mix it well and froth things up but without diluting with ice too much.  

3. Strain into a glass.  Serve up in a gibraltar. 

4. Garnish with a citrus twist (but make sure to peel the fruit without getting pith!). In this version with our the cold brew, we recommend an orange twist as an homage to the classic negroni.  Lightly squeeze to release citrus oils, rub the rim of the glass, and drop in the drink.  

5. Enjoy!

GET REAL FANCY WITH IT

1. Infuse your Campari with cascara, which is the dried fruit of the coffee cherry.  This cuts the bitterness and adds a subtle floral sweetness that will pair perfectly with an already floral gin..  No cascara?  Try some hibiscus - should yield some very similar results.  Infuse at a ratio of 1 part solids (cascara or hibiscus) to 5 parts liquid (Campari) for 48 hours and strain.

2. Prepare an iced pour over for the coffee portion of the recipe. This keeps the beverage a little lighter and brighter.  Try to choose a coffee with a bright citrus acidity!  

3. Finally, we recommend using a citrus twist based on the flavor notes from the coffee to really tie everything together.