Gail Simmons Explains The Challenges Of Making An Edible Cocktail Cup - Exclusive

The holidays are here, and a new cocktail from Kahlúa and Cocktail Courier comes with them this year. This isn't just any old cocktail kit, though. Kahlúa tapped the talent of cookbook writer and TV presenter Gail Simmons to come up with a cocktail that will truly take any holiday gathering to the next level. The cocktail created by Simmons features a classic espresso martini. But this time, instead of having the drink poured into the traditional stemware, Simmons brought some holiday magic to it and created an edible cocoa cup vessel for the martini. Now you can have your drink and eat it too.

The cocktail kit includes everything you need to make the espresso martini, a cocktail that pairs perfectly with many traditional holiday foods. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Gail Simmons said, "In my family, we celebrate Hanukkah, so there's lots of latkes and fried donuts that all go great with an espresso martini." The cocktail goes down easy, but the creation wasn't always. We spoke with Simmons about the challenges she faced developing the perfect drink.

Finding the perfect vessel

According to Gail Simmons, the hardest part of the process wasn't the espresso martini itself, which stays true to its classic form, but finding the perfect cup recipe that anyone could make at home. Simmons said, "The most challenging part was finding a vessel that was actually easy for everyone to make at home. I didn't want to start using elaborate equipment or ingredients that other people didn't have." Staying true to this idea, Simmons' cocoa cup uses simple ingredients found in most homes, such as flour, eggs, cocoa powder, and butter. The whole thing comes together with minimal dishes and utensils. The most complicated equipment is a muffin tin, which is included in the kit.

Making an unfussy recipe was one of many challenges; Simmons needed to make sure the cup could hold the drink. She explained, "I wanted to make sure that it was ingredients in everybody's pantry, but also [something] usable and doable that actually held the espresso martini — or else what's the point?" This meant it had to be sturdy and wouldn't get soggy with the cocktail.

Sophisticated yet simple

To find the perfect recipe, Gail Simmons did what she does best: She experimented and got creative. "I tried a bunch of different things," she said. "I did different cookies, but somehow, they felt a little bit childish. This is a sophisticated drink; this is a serious, adult beverage. I didn't want it to feel cloying or sweet. I wanted it to have a balance and pair beautifully with the espresso itself and with the martini itself. I also tried doing it all in chocolate, but you hold it and it starts to melt on you and your hands get a hold of it." 

Wanting to avoid a sickly sweet cookie or a melting cup, Simmons created the perfect vessel. She explained, "I landed on this cocoa tart shell, and it makes the most sense. It's really doable and useful." The cocoa tart shell is lightly sweet and holds its form. The inside of each cup is coated with chocolate to add an impermeable layer, and the whole thing comes together to create a sophisticated yet simple edible cup.

The Stir It Up With Kahlúa & Gail Simmons: Espresso Martini Kit is available exclusively from Cocktail Courier from now until December 17.