Mixology 619: Java the Hutt


If you’re looking for a smooth and silky cocktail inspired by the newest installment of “Star Wars,” then this cocktail is definitely for you. Java the Hutt has a hint of chocolate and goes down smooth. The next time you’re at barleymash, be sure to try this cocktail, an adult coffee complete with cream and sugar.

Watch as the lead bartender of barleymash, Chris Cheng, makes the Java the Hutt.

Did you grow up in San Diego?

I’m originally from a suburb in Detroit. I spent four years between Los Angeles and Chicago, then I moved to San Diego a year-and-a-half ago to work at barleymash.

How did you get into bartending?

When I was in L.A., I managed a bar run by Julian Cox. He’s the Don Corleone of cocktails. He has taught so many people how to bartend, but more importantly, he has taught even more people how to love and care about what is in the cup. I was able to taste and experience cocktails and spirits that I never knew existed. I was hooked.

What’s your favorite cocktail?

Gold Rush. It’s the first cocktail I had in L.A. It’s a great gateway drink for those looking to get exposure to cocktails. I remember crushing 10 of these the first time I had it. Bourbon, lemon and honey... simple and familiar ingredients to all.

What’s your favorite cocktail to make?

Old Fashioned. Just so many possibilities!

Are you planning on making any other themed cocktails?

The next time something witty comes up, you bet!

When you’re not mixing drinks, what are you doing in your spare time?

Being part of the industry. I like checking out other bars and restaurants that are new, especially if they are in a new city I haven’t been to. It’s amazing to see what another city is coming up with. I also enjoy the occasional show binge when I am not at the bar.

Java the Hutt

Price: $9

  • 2 oz. Westbean Cold Press Coffee
  • 1.5 oz. Ballast Point Horchata Vodka
  • .50 oz. half and half
  • Dash of simple syrup
  • White cacao
  • Garnish with an orange wheel and top with cinnamon sugar.

What’s the origin of the Java the Hutt?

I like puns and Star Wars a lot. So, pretty easy one here!

How would you describe the taste to someone who hasn’t had this before?

It’s an adult coffee with cream and sugar!

What would be the key component in this drink?

Ballast Point Horchata Vodka. There’s nothing else on the market like it.

What reactions do you get from customers when they try this cocktail for the first time?

I am ready for another!

How does the cold press coffee contribute to the taste?

The cold press coffee from Westbean Coffee Roasters is pretty amazing, In addition to being local, it’s perfect to mix with or drink on its own. It’s smooth as silk and full of chocolate notes! The horchata vodka plays well with the cold press coffee and the creme de cacao.

What are some good dishes to pair this drink with?

Pretty much anything, but our short rib benedict on our house made pretzel with brown butter hollandaise is a match made in heaven.

What kind of experience can someone get at barleymash?

We are so fortunate to have a great chef in Kevin Templeton who brings his food ethos of local, organic and sustainable produce and meat combined with all of your comfort food favorites. Take the food and add in the beer, cocktails, wine and the 180 whiskey brands we carry on our back bar. Add a DJ and great atmosphere, or the madness on a major sporting event, as well as the fast and friendly service and you have barleymash.


600 Fifth Ave., Downtown San Diego, CA
(619) 255-7373 or

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Jarnard Sutton is a multimedia producer for DiscoverSD and San Diego Union-Tribune. He loves providing readers with updates on music and events happening in San Diego. You can follow Jarnard on Twitter at @jarnard for everything music, food, beer and entertainment. You can also follow him on Instagram at @nardvillain or @thenardcast

Source: DiscoverSD