Get Nerdy With The Espresso Martini
The Espresso Martini is like an iconic performer. Hugely popular in their heyday, they then typically reach an awkward age, popular culture moves on and their star wanes for all except the most loyal of fans. Then, years later, the best of them reinvent themselves and surge back to a level of popularity even greater than they had before.
The Espresso Martini is one such star. Not only has the Espresso Martini returned, but it’s being made everywhere, across all levels of bars, as well as being tweaked and adapted into all sorts of variations.
With this in mind, here are our top tips for better understanding and making the best classic Espresso Martini you can. Once you’ve mastered the basics, please get creative and make it your own!
A Closer Look At Ingredients
You can use whatever you usually drink, but remember, the better you put in the better you get out. So, make sure to go with something smooth that’s not going to leave an unpleasant alcohol burn on your palate. We have some great options we recommend in our Vodka Guide. Alternatively, stay with us on this one and be open minded… try Gin. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but a bold, citrus led Gin makes for a great twist on the classic Espresso Martini. A Splash of Orange Liqueur instead of Coffee Liqueur works well in this instance too.
02. Coffee Liqueur
The classic Coffee Liqueur for this recipe is Kahlua, but today there are also many others to choose from. Feel free to switch it up if you aren’t overly constrained by tradition. Mr. Black is an excellent option here, and still gives you the classic Espresso Martini flavour profile. You can also go rogue here and play with the recipe by subbing in cacaos (Chocolate Liqueurs), Vanilla liqueurs, or Nut Liqueurs in place of the traditional Coffee Liqueur.
Freshly made is great, but if you’re entertaining and planning to make a few of these, we recommend making your Coffee ahead of time, add to a bottle and keep in the fridge. Hot or cold Espresso, it really doesn’t matter as the heat of the Espresso added to the other ingredients in the shaker will have no discernible impact. So long as you follow the correct shaking procedure. Only once all the ingredients have been added to the shaker and you are ready to shake, do you FILL your shaker with ice and shake hard!
If you want that beautiful white foam on top of your Espresso Martini, and of course you do, then the Coffee needs to be Espresso as it has the high oil content needed to create an emulsion and the texture you want. It also requires a hard and aggressive shake!
04. Rich Sugar Syrup
This is a personal thing. A splash of simple syrup does make it more unctuous and delicious, but if you want to be a little healthier, the world won’t end if you leave it out. Instead of buying it, make your own syrup. It’s easy and won’t take long!
Let’s Go Beyond Ingredients
We’re going take this opportunity to point out that we made this beautiful Espresso Martini by shaking it in a Kilner jar instead of a cocktail shaker. Just to show that you don’t need to get hung up on needing specialized equipment, as long as you understand the principles of how to make it.
Knowledge is more valuable than the equipment you can buy, so use your imagination and be the hero of the next house party! However don’t forget that to whip up these stunning cocktails, you will need to shake with energy and enthusiasm.
Where does the name come from?
This drink has gone by a few different names over the years, such as the “Vodka Espresso” and our favourite the “Pharmaceutical Stimulant”. Especially because both of these names refrain from using the word ‘Martini’ in a drink that has nothing to do with stirring Gin and Vermouth together AKA, a Martini.
To be clear, there is no blame here. Everyone, including us, was doing the same thing at that time. If you wrote a recipe and served it in a “cocktail glass”, or what is commonly, but incorrectly known as a “Martini” glass through the 90s and early 00s, you called that recipe a ‘………… Martini’ or ‘….…Tini’. You’ll have heard of some of the most famous of these. The Apple-tini, Chocolate-tini, etc, etc, you get the gist. To be clear, these recipes are NOT Martinis, and the only thing connecting them to an actual Martini is the use of the V-Shaped Cocktail Glass, AKA, the Martini Glass.
Let’s be honest though, the Espresso Martini will forever be called the Espresso Martini, it’s hugely famous around the world, and importantly it’s delicious too. We just want you to be aware that the word “Martini” can cause plenty of confusion. Hopefully a little less for you now.
However you choose to make your Espresso Martini, raise a glass to Dick Bradsell, the legendary London bartender who created this as well as other modern classics, and forever influenced bar culture around the world. Just remember as the legend goes, they really can “wake you up and f*ck you up”, so proceed with caution!
Other delicious coffee cocktails
If you like coffee in cocktails, try our own Coffee G & T for something refreshingly different. Suitable for very different occasions than Espresso Martini. We should also mention The Dude’s favourite White Russian, another rich and luxuriant coffee and vodka combination.
As always, don’t forget to show us what you made by tagging us!
@Candra_Drinks #MakeBetterDrinks #CandraDrinks
Hopefully you’ve fallen a little further in love with the Espresso Martini, and have some new fun facts to share at your next get together. If you want to show off your Espresso Martini love affair, get yourself some cool Candra original goodies in our shop!