An Espresso Martini shouldn’t have chocolate sauce dripping down the side. It also shouldn’t have any cream, whipped or not, and it’s important that you know this. Sure, there are plenty of sugary, convoluted versions out there, but those aren’t really Espresso Martinis. A real Espresso Martini (invented by bartender Dick Bradsell in the 1980s) is an exercise in minimalism - and it actually tastes like espresso. The secret? Good espresso.
How It Tastes: Frothy, slightly bitter, like it should be bottled and sold at grocery stores and gas stations.
Why You Should Make One: It’s an extremely well-balanced cocktail, and the alternative is a vodka Red Bull.
- Coupe or martini glass
- 1.75 ounces vodka
- .75 ounce good espresso
- .5 ounce Kahlua
- .25 ounce simple syrup
Step One: Espresso
First, you’ll need to make some espresso. Alternatively, you could go out and buy some from your local coffee shop. We like to chill our espresso in the fridge first (because hot espresso will melt some of the ice you eventually put in your shaker), but if you’re feeling impatient, feel free to throw your espresso right in. The temperature ultimately won’t make much of a difference, and your cocktail will be nice and frothy either way. Add .75 ounce to your shaker.
Step Two: Simple Syrup
Even if you drink your espresso plain, you’re going to need to add some simple syrup to this cocktail (it makes it more palatable). If you don’t know how to make simple syrup, just mix equal parts white sugar and warm water, then stir until the sugar is dissolved. Put .25 ounce in your cocktail shaker.
Step Three: Kahlua
There’s one liqueur in this cocktail, and it’s Kahlua. It’ll provide a touch more sweetness as well some vanilla notes and a little more depth. Pour .5 ounce into your cocktail shaker.
Step Four: Vodka
In terms of flavor, vodka doesn’t bring a lot to the table (this is true for just about any cocktail), but that’s actually ideal for our Espresso Martini. Vodka will graciously allow your espresso to enjoy the spotlight, so put 1.75 ounces in your cocktail shaker.
Step Five: Shake
Finally, throw around 6 ice cubes in your cocktail shaker, and shake for 20 seconds. It’s important that you shake hard, because that’s part of what’ll give your drink a thick cap of espresso-flavored foam. Once you’re finished, strain your cocktail into a chilled coupe or martini glass, and - if you’re a traditionalist - garnish with three coffee beans. Drink your Espresso Martini while it’s still foamy, and feel free to give yourself a foam mustache. You’re a grown person, and you can do what you want.