The Assembly x Headstand Sherry Crush

by Ben Sibley

A sweet, floral, coffee-infused hard seltzer perfect for the summer sun

Earlier this year, we opened up a surprise delivery to our Brixton roastery and were greeted Headstand - the UK's first coffee leaf seltzer. Zingy, fruity and floral - it's a delicious thirst-quencher full of natural anti-oxidants, which makes use of an often undervalued part of the coffee plant.

As we made our way through the first few cans, it became very obvious that the citrus, tea-like flavour profile of Headstand would lend itself to a refreshing summer cocktail.

Initial ideas scribbled down, we invited Headstand founder Josh Tarlo to our Brixton roastery for a couple of tastings with Assembly Head Roaster Claire Wallace. Several coffees and a few glasses later, we had our drink.

For the Sherry Crush, we've paired Headstand with our first Kenyan coffee of the year, Kenya - Kigwandi AA, two varieties of sherry, pineapple syrup and a squeeze of lemon juice. The result? A fruity, nutty, aromatic long drink perfect for sipping in the sun.

The Amontillado sherry enhances the natural nutty, caramel flavours of the coffee, the Fino matches the citrus notes of the Headstand and adds a subtle, complex, slightly savoury element to the mix. A drop of sweet pineapple syrup brings everything together.

The Assembly x Headstand Sherry Crush - multi-layered, perfectly balanced. Time to kick back and relax.

Ingredients

For the flash brew

For brewing the coffee component of the Sherry Crush, we recommend the pour over method. This recipe will give you 200ml flash brew coffee. You will need:

  • 20g ground coffee
  • A kettle
  • A brewer and filter paper
  • A vessel
  • 100ml filtered (or bottled) water
  • 100g ice cubes

  1. Measure out 20g Assembly Kenya - Kigwandi AA medium-ground coffee and pour into the brewer.
  2. Place the ice in your vessel, sit your brewer on top and pour 92-96 degrees Celcius water onto the ground coffee, 25ml at a time. Four pours in total.
  3. The brewed coffee will cool instantly as it hits the ice. Once all the coffee is collected, give the vessel a good swirl and refrigerate.

For the pineapple syrup

  1. Peel a pineapple and chop into chunks. In a bowl, mix equal parts weight of the pineapple with white caster sugar (use whatever weight you like - 100g and 100g, 200g and 200g etc.) Allow to macerate at room temperature for at least two hours (and up to 24 hours) to release the juice.
  2. Blend in a high-speed blender, then strain the syrup into a vessel or container through a paper filter to remove any solids. Refrigerate immediately and use within one week.

How to serve

In a Collins glass or large highball glass, gently mix together the first five ingredients. Then fill the glass with crushed ice and top with Headstand. Garnish with a sprig of mint, a twist of lemon and a thin slice of fresh ginger.

Enjoy.

The Assembly x Headstand Sherry Crush. By Assembly Head Roaster, Claire Wallace and Headstand Founder, Josh Tarlo.