Burning the Midnight Oil: When the Cafè Doors Close, the Bar Doors Open...

Burning the Midnight Oil: When the Cafè Doors Close, the Bar Doors Open...

Becky Wooden 4 mins Read


Climpson & Sons coffee pioneers by day and night. A natural fit for Climpson's, the After Hours project encapsulates our ethos of discovery and experimentation to create something delicious, accessible and versatile. 

We have always been advocates for quality and flavour and the After Hours project is based exactly on that: combining coffee with alcohol, whilst utilising the skills we have learned over the years. With over a decade of being on the cutting edge of London's speciality coffee scene and redefining the UK coffee industry, we thought it was a nice challenge to apply these learnings to the coffee-booze sector.

Changing perceptions of the classic coffee liqueur, Midnight Oil forms a great base for many of your favourite cocktails as well as being delicious sipped chilled on its own. With a sleek new look for winter 2020, we catch up with Climpson's After Hours team to get the inside scoop on Midnight Oil and encourage you to get creative bartending at home.

What’s in the bottle?

At Climpson & Sons we focus on quality and to achieve this we use premium ingredients, starting with our much loved The Baron coffee roasted by us and sourced from Daterra Estate in Brazil. The coffee is brewed using a unique process. We then take East London Liquor Company's demerara rum from Guyana, and then finish with cacao and Madagascan vanilla.

We source our coffees from all over the world, so we had a few different flavours to choose from. For the After Hours range we've chosen The Baron from Brazil, its profile of chocolate, marzipan and hazelnut works well with stronger flavours and has a well rounded, full-bodied mouthfeel. On top of that, Daterra are considered the benchmark of sustainable coffee farming. It was a no-brainer really.

So how do we brew it? The method is a combination of immersion, pour over and flash brew. We steep the coffee and then agitate by recirculating the brew over itself, once brewed we then rapidly chill it down to stop the brewing process and lock in the flavour.

Next up, we had to make sure that the alcohol was as good as the coffee and that's why we teamed up with our neighbours East London Liquor Company (ELLC). A company in line with our ethos; high quality, accessible and local. We use their liquid to make both the Espresso Martini and the Midnight Oil coffee liqueur. The result is a liqueur all about balance, made with high-quality ingredients and packed with flavour.

Why Midnight Oil?

Our original collaboration with ELLC last year began with a desire to work together as mutually respected, local, independent businesses and the ensuing brainstorm with our development teams followed by whole lot of experimentation and recipe testing also turned out to be a lot of fun. The result, a coffee liqueur that is great for sipping on over ice, not overly sweet and allowing the ingredients to sing for themselves. You could say there was a bit of midnight oil burning in that first production run and the name certainly matches the concept. It’s a drink to take you from day to night, and then later into the night again. (Plus, rumour has it, owner Ian is a fan of the under rated 80s Aussie rock band of the same name).

ELLC worked on an original design for us, which incorporated the bold graphic text and a fantastic oil effect on the label. We loved it and have continued the theme for our new bottles on this years run. We’re stoked with the result - and like to think this bottle’s going to sit beautifully on your lockdown liqueur shelf (#shelfies anyone?)


Here’s a recipe for a decadent chocolate cherry white russian from our pals at the Red Hand

You will need;

25ml ELLC Vodka

25ml Oatly Cream

25ml Midnight Oil

5ml Demerara Syrup

2 Dashes Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters

Stir it up. Dust with Cocoa. Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry. Simple

What do you add to Midnight Oil to make it your own? Flavour masters, we’d love to see you getting creative with your bartender skills. Share your serving suggestions @climpsonandsons

Where can we buy it?

Order Midnight Oil direct to your door through our website, pick up a bottle on your next essential shopping trip to Broadway Market or follow our Instagram stories to discover new stockists.

We’re always looking to work with like-minded discerning wholesale partners who share our passion for premium coffee-based drinks. If you have an off-licence we’d love to hear from you and tell you more about how our product can work for you. Contact us at sales@climpsonandsons.com

Climpsons Journal