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Last week the cocktail world mourned the sad passing of a true legend, Dick Bradsell. One of the best-known bartenders of the modern age, and a man responsible for creating some of the best-known cocktails of the last twenty years, he was key to relaunching the London cocktail scene during the 80s and 90s with a return to quality, classic cocktails.

Cocktail legend Dick Bradsell, who died in February aged 56.

Cocktail legend Dick Bradsell, who died in February aged 56.

His creations range from the wonderfully refreshing Bramble (a now-iconic mixture of gin, blackberry liqueur, lemon and sugar) to the more exotic-sounding Pink Chihuahua (tequila, lemon, lime, almond, grenadine and egg white: has to be tasted to be believed). But for us, and indeed most in the bar world his true, lasting contribution to the cocktail pantheon of greats has got to be the espresso martini.

Our espresso martini, or three!

Our espresso martini, or three!

Originally called a vodka espresso, Dick would tell a very amusing story as to its inception. According to this now-legendary tale, during a rather exclusive function a certain famous female called on him to make a drink that would “wake me up, then f**k me up”. Finding he had coffee liqueur, vodka and espresso near at hand Dick shook up a combination that became almost instantly timeless.

At Sub 13, our version keeps it nice and simple, using those three ingredients, and just like Dick, we finish it with three lucky coffee beans; for health, wealth and happiness. Here’s to you Mr Bradsell!!

Espresso Martini

25ml Absolut vodka
25ml Expré coffee liqueur
1 shot fresh espresso

Shake all the ingredients hard, fine strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with three coffee beans.

With permission from his daughter Bea, a campaign has been set up in Dick’s memory to raise money for The Benevolent, the drinks industry charity that was very close to Dick’s heart. Working with the bar and drinks industry, and charity partners, its aim is to combat challenging social issues such as long-term illness, homelessness, addiction, poverty and disability as well as provide practical, emotional and financial support to those from in our trade in need. Visit www.justgiving.com/DickBradsell for more information and to donate.