We’re taking you behind-the-scenes to meet one of Nespresso’s creative minds and showing you how coffee can elevate your next cocktail experience.
We found Sacha sitting at the bar of the Nespresso boutique, hunched over scribbling in a notebook--his eyes focused intently. The pages were worn and a few of the edges ripped, evidence of his constant turning back and forth; revisiting old ideas in order to find fresh inspiration for new ones. Sacha, a barista at the N bar in Lausanne, Switzerland, is one of the creative minds responsible for the featured seasonal beverages you’ll find in our Nespresso bars and boutiques.
His daily life, his interactions, his experiences all inform the innovative process of creating new coffee recipes, and it’s all jotted down in this notebook. His latest focus has been on none other than the cocktail...with coffee of course. And it makes sense as Sacha’s initial training and background was as a bartender. He traveled the world, participating in global competitions, winning awards, and gaining visibility for his cocktail creations. When he made the transition from bartender to barista, Sacha found that there were no bounds for his creativity, and also found his lasting muse: coffee.
When he made the transition from bartender to barista, Sacha found that there were no bounds for his creativity, and also found his lasting muse: coffee.
We sat down with Sacha and asked him to give us a behind-the-scenes peek at his creative process as well as a short introduction to the coffee cocktail:
What’s your process in creating these recipes?
First of all you need to like what you do. My job requires creativity, and if there is no passion there is no creativity. For me, my ‘work’ intersects with my daily life and routines...sitting down at a restaurant with my wife, walking around town, nature, smells, seasons--everything informs my creative process and then I write it down in my notebook.
How long does it take from conception to creation?
Usually from start to finish it takes three months. And you cannot be afraid of failing and trying again. It’s a very engaging process because you have the idea, you write it down, test it, make adjustments, ask for opinions, play around with flavors and colors and ingredient combinations. But when you see your idea go from sketches in a notebook to the final creation in front of a guest, the feeling of gratification is wonderful.
Why coffee in a cocktail?
I believe the question should actually be ‘why not’? When I first started working for Nespresso, I wanted to add all of my experiences as a mixologist and bartender into my work as a barista. I began experimenting and realised that the flavours and attributes of coffee can be integrated seamlessly into mixed drinks. Of course you need to know about your coffee to know which one will work in which cocktail, but Nespresso makes that accessible with their flavour profiles for each capsule.
What are some key ingredients we should have on-hand for coffee cocktails?
You should definitely have some basic spices--cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ground ginger for example. You can also experiment a bit and make your own simple syrups infused with different ingredients depending on the type of cocktail you’re making and what you have in stock.
Ready to play bartender and barista? You can find a whole range of coffee cocktail recipes on our Nespresso recipe page. Now let’s get started, because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.
*The abuse of alcohol is dangerous for your health. Consume with moderation.