An icon born in the 90’s, the Espresso Martini has become one of the most popular Vodka cocktails of recent years. With lockdown forcing cocktail bars to remain shut, many have turned to their cabinets and tried their hands at making their own. Here's a few tips for how you improve yours!
There are some key utensils you'll need to make an Espresso Martini, namely a cocktail shaker. If you don't have one, you can use an oversized jam jar or a Kilner Jar but while you'll achieve the cold part of the mixing it won't be the same - that frothy delicious head only comes with some room to shake. The second is actual coffee. Instant coffee will never make a nice cocktail and there's no getting round that fact.
To make an Espresso Martini, you’ll need 40ml of Vodka, 30ml of espresso, 25ml of Coffee Liqueur. Some will add a splash of sugar syrup but if you chose the right liqueur and coffee for the espresso, it’s entirely optional.
Simply add all the ingredients together with ice and shake it until your hands are blisteringly cold, before straining into a chilled coupe glass.
It sounds crazy to make a fresh steaming hot espresso coffee, just to put into a shaker filled with ice but trust us – it’ll be foamier and lovelier if you do as it’s all about the cream on top (which dies off when you let it cool and make it ages in advance).
Here’s a couple of tips for ingredients to use when making one, but if you want to browse through the full selection head to our cocktail liqueurs section to see what else is in store.
First up, pick your vodka wisely. Sure, any will do, but as a discerning drinker - that’s not why you’re here! Things to consider when selecting a vodka for an Espresso Martini are the mouthfeel, ABV and base material.
The ABV is easy to solve, you are adding liqueur with ice and coffee – so you need the vodka to stand up and play its part. Nothing under 40% will really give you the strength to carry the cocktail. As for the texture, craft vodkas tend to have big, almost creamy mouthfeels, making them perfect for an Espresso Martini. As for the base, wheat, barley and molasses tend to pair well and compliment the coffee.
Brands that have all these characteristics are Reyka Vodka. Made in Iceland from wheat and barley they use lava rock filtration and pure glacial water to give it a smooth finish. Another is Wiltshire based Ramsbury Vodka. Made from Heratio wheat, their grain to glass process maintains a lot of that velvety quality that’s ideal for this cocktail and that’ll have you licking your lips.
The next ingredient needed is a high-quality Coffee Liqueur. We love Kahlúa as much as the next group of hedonists looking for our sweet caffeine fix, it’s the original and so a fail-safe, but even we must confess that there is a marked difference when using something that’s been intentionally made with the cocktail in mind. Trust the Austalian's and Italians to know how to combine these best...
Sydney made Manly Spirit’s Blackfin has rich and captivating scents of fresh ground coffee, malty caramel and dark chocolate with smoothed bitterness and hints of spice and sea salt shining through. While so discreet, the cheeky pinch of sea salt augments the coffee liqueur to an altogether new level of satisfying and moreish.
Alternatively, try Galliano Ristretto Coffee Liqueur that offers up thick espresso and toasted sweetness wafts up on the nose. There's more of those heavily roasted flavours to taste, with a lingering creamy finish.