I love Espresso Martinis. In fact, they’re the only type of Martini I actually like… because they aren’t really Martinis. Made with fresh espresso, vodka and Kahlua, the Espresso Martini is a dangerous beverage for two reasons: 1. they are delicious, so delicious you’ll drink three or four before realising there are three shots of alcohol in each, and 2. caffeine and alcohol aren’t really the best of friends, in effect this is just a more socially acceptable / delicious form of Vodka Red Bull and any body who has ever spent a night drinking Vodka Red Bulls knows it can get weird pretty quickly. But, everything is fine in moderation, right? You can always use decaff espresso if you want to play it safe.
Because I had some available, this recipe includes a few drops of chocolate bitters which elevates this drink from an old favourite to something quite special, but if you can’t get your hands on any fret not, the International Bartenders Association recipe doesn’t include them.
This cocktail is perfectly simple. No fancy techniques, ingredients, or garnishes are required. In the picture above I’ve used a classic Martini glass (pre-chilled of course), but a coupette would work just as well.
As usual, I have listed the brands of alcohol I used to make this cocktail alongside each ingredient.
- 50ml (double shot) Vodka (New Amsterdam)
- 25ml (single shot) coffee liqueur (Kahlúa) ***
- 12.5ml (half shot) sugar syrup (Monin)
- 25ml (single shot) hot freshly brewed espresso (Nespresso Roma)
- A few drops of chocolate bitters (Mozart)
- Ice cubes
- Before making this cocktail, chill a martini glass in the freezer
- Brew a fresh shot of espresso
- Put all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice.
- Shake until the shaker feels very cold to touch
- Double strain this cocktail into the glass, through both the cocktail shaker stranger and a small sieve to catch all of the ice.
- Top with a few coffee beans, and enjoy.
*** You can replace the coffee liqueur with Irish cream, for example Baileys or Carolans. This isn’t the traditional way to make this cocktail, but it does leave you with a very creamy frothy beverage. The choice is up to you.