Text & photography by Rona Berg
When I visited Ocean House, a historic Relais & Chateaux set on a magnificent stretch of private beach in Watch Hill, Rhode Island--the Watch Hill Lighthouse is a 10-minute walk, just around the bend--I enjoyed taking a Cocktail Class with Rob Morrone, Club Room Bartender at the property. Morrone is a convivial fellow, who knows many things about whipping together elegant and delicious cocktails.
If you are looking for something special to serve your guests on New Year’s Eve, something that will warm them inside and out, you will definitely want to put Morrone’s gorgeous Espresso Martini on the menu. As my friends know, I am partial to a good martini (dry, straight up, with a twist), and I love my Irish coffee, but somehow this elegant hybrid, the Espresso Martini--had been missing from my repertoire. Not any longer.
It is the perfect drink to enjoy at Ocean House on a gusty night at the beach, at a festive New Year’s Eve party, or while simply curling up a deux by a cozy fire. The Negroni is another of my favorites. Rob’s version (setting the orange peel on fire is a dramatic touch!) is classic, with a twist.
The Ocean House Espresso Martini
The local touch at Ocean House is Dave’s coffee, a delicious Rhode Island blend that you will want to take home with you!
1 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Vanilla Vodka (may substitute with regular vodka)
1 oz. Chilled Espresso
1/2 oz. Kahlua
1/2 oz Baileys
Shake over ice, strain and serve straight up in a traditional martini glass with three espresso or coffee beans.
The Ocean House Nagroni
Traditionally enjoyed in warm weather, this cocktail is a crowd-pleaser.
1 oz. Gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. dry Vermouth
Add ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Shake well over ice. Pour into a cocktail glass, over ice. Garnish with a twist of orange peel, and light the corner of the peel on fire.
Garnish with chocolate shavings from a milk chocolate bar or your favorite dark chocolate.
Recipes courtesy of The Ocean House.