Words: Oliver James, Tattooed Sailor Coffee Roasters & Guyala Cafe

The popularity of coffee, and its handy fatigue-combating caffeine, is a brilliant base for the summer festive months in Cairns.

The espresso martini is no doubt a big contender for the most popular coffee-based cocktail, with its creamy refreshing texture, and balance of sweet, boozy coffee bitterness.

It was created in the early 80s by UK bartender Dick Bradsell, after a young lady asked him for a cocktail that would “wake me up, then fuck me up”.


Indeed, it worked, and surely it’s this effect that underpins the cocktail’s dominance.

At Guyala Cafe, we created a very simple espresso martini recipe, leaning on the good work of local Mareeba coffee growers.

Skybury’s ingenious whole-of farm espresso liqueur combines vodka made with their famous papaya, and espresso concentrate from the best of their coffee.

We combine this with a fresh double espresso of Tattooed Sailor Smooth Sailing blend and a tiny pinch of xanthan gum – a gastro-kitchen coagulant.

The gum helps combine the liquor and the acidity in the espresso to create the creamiest texture we can possibly achieve.

The final trick: shake it hard and double strain any ice particles out to prevent graininess. Yum.


The bitterness of the quinine in tonic water adds a moreish harmony and complexity to the bitterness in the coffee.

We add orange juice to provide even more complexity, and a fresh zing. Simple and delicious.

The simplest cold drink I know of for summer is an iced long black – literally a cup full of ice, topped with fresh double espresso.

Choosing a fruit-forward or mild milk chocolate-like coffee blend will create a memorable experience.

My personal favourite is our Tattooed Sailor Fruit Merchant blend.

By using anaerobic processed Ethiopian coffee, it’s created to be very fruity and tropical – think boozy jackfruit, banana and pineapple notes.

Garnish the iced long with an orange wedge, and you’ve got the perfect start for a lazy poolside festive weekend.



Double espresso of TSCR Fruit Merchant blend

180ml Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water

Squeeze of fresh lemon

45ml freshly squeezed orange juice

Dehydrated orange wheels for garnish (optional)


  • Build in a tall glass over ice.

  • Add tonic, then squeeze of lemon, orange juice, and double espresso.

  • Garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel and fancy straw.



Double espresso of TSCR Smooth Sailing blend

1 tsp sugar

65ml of Skybury Espresso Liqueur

Tiny pinch of xanthan gum (found in the baking section of

major supermarkets)


  • Pour ingredients over ice in cocktail shaker.

  • Shake like you stole it.

  • Double strain into a chilled martini glass.

  • Garnish with a few coffee beans.




Cold water

Double espresso of TSCR Fruit Merchant


  • Build in a tall glass/poolside plastic cocktail glass.

  • Serve with fancy swizzle stick.

  • Drink floating on an inflatable unicorn, in a pool, wearing big sunnies, and with friends.

Espresso tonic is another perfect summer coffee combo and is a non-boozy option.
Oliver James
Tattooed Sailor Coffee Roasters