Here’s how to make Highly Likely’s NA-spresso martini recipe

The ubiquity of the espresso martini cannot be understated. Especially in the last five years, the cocktail It has become a staple on bar menus. in Los Angeles and beyond. In Highland Park, a new restaurant hopes that those who want the experience of the trendy, non-alcoholic cocktail can still taste it satisfied: rich, creamy and often sweet.

When all-day cafe Highly Likely opened its Highland Park location in late 2023, the restaurant also launched its first cocktail program, a departure from the original West Adams location, and with it, a small but careful collection of non-alcoholic drinks that both beverage director José Bejarano and bar manager Diana Daaila hope to grow over time.

“For me it is very important to develop the zero testing category; It’s something that is very, very near and dear to my heart,” Bejarano said. “For a long time, sober people would go out and order a drink, which was either a combination of all the juices behind the bar or a ginger beer.”

Adding depth to avoid the soft drink problem is key in Highly Likely. In addition to water conservation and other sustainability-oriented measures employed throughout the cocktail program, Daaila and Bejarano rely on a number of non-alcoholic spirits, such as Lyre’s, to add layers of flavor and familiarity to their no-ABV concoctions.

The NA-Spresso Martini is based on two Lyre products: the spicy, Kahlua-like Coffee Origionale and the brand’s take on a single malt bourbon. Fresh orange peel brightens the drink with citrus complexity, while a vigorous shake with plenty of ice (a necessary step for this particular recipe) delivers a thick, fragrant foam, which also adds body to each sip.

But it’s not just about replicating the flavor of an espresso martini; Both Daaila and Bejarano wanted to ensure that all of the restaurant’s mocktails were presented almost identically to their alcoholic counterparts so that no customer would feel left out.

“If you’re at a table with five of your friends and you’re the only one not consuming alcohol, the aesthetic is the same,” Daaila said. “And flavor-wise, it will be as mild as possible.”

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