Добро пожаловать к кофейне ваших сновидений. Добро пожаловать одно, и гостеприимсво каждое.
...and welcome to everyone who speaks English, too.
There might be a slight undercurrent smell of window putty if you're sitting nearer the large windows at the front of the Coffee Shop Of Your Very Dreams, as I've had the glaziers in...just to add a couple of extra sheets of glass to keep in the warmth.
Whilst jaunting around the globe, the coffee shop always aims for somewhere that will mean it can open discreetly, so as not to concern any locals about where the hell a brand new cafť has come from, and also somewhere it can vanish from in time for next Monday without turning heads. So; in order to keep a low profile, we open our doors this morning on the pale wintry light of Red Square, Moscow. There was a light dusting of snow overnight, meaning the cobbles outside are something treacherous. As regulars, I know you won't mind the odd local being helped inside for something strengthening after going for a slide on the pavement.
Anyway, gather round the open fires, sink into furnishings so lush they haven't been seen round here since the days of the last Tsar, and get chatting to your neighbour...even if they're a 78 year old greatcoated Grandmother who started out shopping for black bread and had an untimely scuffling fall on the cobbles outside.
So; looking at the orders list we have a fair few lined up for this morning..or afternoon...I just have to feed in the ingredients...what's this spinny thing? Hmm. Four optics on a rotating thingy. One for each type of spirit. One litre of Smirnoff Red, one of Blue, one of Black and one of...Stolichnaya. Yes, well, it'll be nice to actually have some Russian vodka doing the rounds.
It always amuses me - the note on the Stoli bottle - 'Remember - only Russian vodka comes from Russia'.
Right. One bag of premium espresso grind, from beans placed meticulously in front of an advancing glacier in the Ob basin fifty years ago, ground excruciatingly slowly and kept fresh by millenia-old ice. It's a speciality thing, apparently. Some syrup slides in there...mmm, nutty...cloves, orange peel, a bottle of worcestershire sauce...more cloves, tomatoes, a few cranberries grown on the shores of the Black Sea...now then. There are a row of small shiny pewter teapot things along this bar, all with charcoal stoves underneath...best leave them alone...and a small glass figurine with three pouring lips around her head in the shape of a crown. Click that into place...
I think that's everything. Time to push the button.
RIGHT WELL, JUST LET THAT OLD MAN SIT DOWN, WILL YOU KATE, HE'S A BIT SHAKEN! I CAN'T UNDERSTAND RUSSIAN THAT WELL...SOMETHING ABOUT HIS SHOP BEING HERE ONLY YESTERDAY...YES I KNOW I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST A BLANK WALL AS WELL...and everything is ready.
The first of the finest Siberian Caravan Tea from the row of samovars goes to Green Fairy. Weeeooo! Smell those cloves...next up comes Daniella's tea...spicy!
To Wendy goes a magnificent splash of freshly squeezed and sweetened cranberry juice with her Smirnoff Black...there's coffee here if you want it, Wendy...
Hanni goes for a more traditionally Cafť-related latte, with a shot of vanilla syrup...and help yourself to vodka, my dear. I'd recommend the ice-cold Stolichnaya, but it's a personal choice.
The greenhamster opts for espresso with a shot of Smirnoff Red vodka...an interesting variation on the Cafť Coretto from last week...let me know how it tastes, Mr. Hamster, sir.
One Bloody Mary coming right up for Porny Boy Curtis, who will be thrilled to know that whilst my own PC is still a bit scragged, I have access to another for CD production purposes...and a large filter coffee to follow, garnished with shot glasses.
...and an espresso with Smirnoff Blue for Mr. D...I hope vodka and espresso tastes okay...and doesn't kill you or anything. I'm serving an awful lot of them...and a rich coffee-based Black Russian for Gordy-chops..which surely just means that it's less alcoholic than normal? Enjoy...
Now, a man with a recipe to back up his vodka consumption is Dave, who combines coffee with vodka, nut syrup and cream to give his alcoholism a touch of credence. Nice one Dave, but we're all friends here. The bottle's behind the bar if you want to top up.
Now...this figurine...from a clear crystal it is now filled top-full of black, black espresso coffee. It is a Russian Doll Coffee glass, reserved for Kate. What an excellent choice. And such style...
Finally, with requests that don't really involve the Coffee Machine of Your Very Dreams, are a bottle of Smirnoff Ice for S, and a bottle of Baltika, a none-too-rough Russian brew, for Spengy, both from the well-stocked fridges behind the bar.
Drink up, everyone, and help yourself to a slice of Black Russian Cake, complementing the theme nicely. What's this on the recipe list?
Would you believe it - the cake has vodka in it as well.
Oh, those Russians...
(Yes I was listening to Boney M over the weekend)
A late order for Lolly - why not have a refreshing glass of kumiss?