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Espresso Martini Recipe

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Espresso Martini on Table Top

Espresso Martini – In just 4 ingredients. 

An Espresso Martini, when you break it down into its core ingredients, is just Vodka, Coffee Liqueur, Sugar & Coffee. There are some alternatives that people can try & adding items from Caramel syrup, to Nutmeg. But the core cocktail, in its basic ingredients are as mentioned above. 

The History of the Espresso Martini 

In terms of some of the “Classic” Cocktails in the world, mastered by all bartenders in every area of the globe. This is a relatively late addition to the collection. 
Thought up & invented by a bartender famed for giving us the “Bramble” cocktail already, Dick Bradsell came up with this drink when he was asked to make something by a guest who would in the future become a Supermodel, that would “Wake me up & F*#k me up”


Its original name, was the “Vodka Espresso” while he was bartending at the Soho Brasserie. 
But later re-named “The Pharmaceutical stimulant” When he later re-located to “The Pharmacy” bar, still in London. 
But re-named the “Vodka Espresso once again, when he moved on to Match Bar
This Cocktail became a spread amongst bartenders like wildfire & later on in the public hands, was re-named the Espresso Martini & claimed global fame after this point. 
Espresso Martini on Table Top

Make an espresso martini

The Espresso Martini Today

Its popularity has gone crazy & reportedly, Australia is claiming, its the most ordered cocktail of the last 3 years. 
You can even purchase pre-mixed cans of espresso martini in supermarkets all over the world. 
For us, at Cocktailhire, when our clients hire a bartender or hire a mobile bar. Almost always, the Espresso Martini is on the menu. It has definitely been one of the most popular drinks on the collection for at least 3 or 4 years now. 
Its a fantastic way to begin a night out, fantastic way to begin a cocktail party. Or sometimes, just to make yourself & enjoy after dinner. It is quite a universal cocktail for be enjoyed in all kinds of situations. 
When couples hire a bartender or hire a mobile bar, they almost always have Espresso Martini’s created in bulk after the speeches & dinner. It really helps to swap people out of the relaxed dinner vibes & get them ready for the wonderful night of partying ahead. 

The Espresso Martini Recipe 

1- 35ml Vodka 
2- 15ml Coffee Liqueur (Tia Maria or Kahlua mainly) 
3- 5ml or 1 teaspoon of Sugar 
4- Double Shot of Espresso 
Shake vigorously & strain away the ice into a Martini glass (or whatever you have to hand) 
There are many bars & many bartenders that take this drink one step further in order to place their own stamp on it. 
We at one point have even produced an entire Espresso Martini menu for one venue of variations of this drink for people to try. 
Here is a couple for those wanting to experiment with this already great Cocktail. 

Salted Caramel Espresso Martini 

By simply changing only one ingredient, you can elevate this cocktail to a completely new level. Even bring it “On trend” with an item thats being thrown about lately like crazy. Salted Caramel. 
There are 2 ways, you can involve the salted Caramel ingredient into this Espresso Martini. 
The simplest way, is to just purchase Salted Caramel infused Vodka. You can get this almost anywhere. Then swap it out with the recipe listed above & just use 35ml of the Salted Caramel Vodka. 
The alternative, better tasting, yet more time consuming method, is to swap the Sugar over. 
In a pan, heat 250g Sugar until it turns brown & takes on a caramel form. 
Add in half a teaspoon of Salt 
Then mix in 150ml of single cream 
This will form a nice thick salted caramel puree that you can use in the cocktail mixture, just simply use this instead of the sugar suggestion & its all done. 

Cookie Dough Espresso Martini 

This one most people would think of Coffee & Biscuits, just for this cocktail. We’re still getting the flavour combination in there, just taking away the solid. 
Like the Salted Caramel variation, you can apply this in 2 ways. One is super simple & quick. The other is a little more Time consuming. 
Firstly, like coffee shops would, just get yourself a pre-flavoured Syrup. You can buy cookie dough syrup online now & just pour 10ml of this stuff into the recipe mentioned above & you’re all done. 
Secondly. Order or make yourself some Cookie dough & add it into the shake. You’ll get a thicker consistency in cocktail from it & you’ll have to shake for longer. But this will reward you with an almost milkshake like thickness & makes for the more enjoyable. 

Gin Espresso Martini 

Sometimes the simplest ideas, are the ones that always elude you. 
Given that the original Martini, can be made with either Vodka, or Gin. 
Why not offer the choice with this cocktail too. After all, Gin & Vodka are the same spirit through initial distillation. 
For this recipe, just swap out the Vodka segment of the recipe, swap it out for Gin & you’re all done. 
We would recommend however, in this crazy world of 250 new gins popping up every year, that you would stay away from the flavoured gins, the pink gins, or any of the unicorn gimmicks, or whatever else is cropping up. These are not the right flavours, they are made up mostly of sugar & would not have the desired effect on the cocktail. 

Stick to a botanical favoured gin over a sweet one. Or your cocktail will pretty much just taste of coffee & sugar.

Baileys Espresso Martini 

Ahhh, Baileys, That bottle your parents always had in the cabinet that never seemed to get touched outside of Christmas & for many of us, our first ever experience of tasting spirits. 
For this recipe. Just swap the coffee Liqueur for Baileys & the cocktail is done. 
It will have a much creamier texture & finish as the ingredient would indicate. 
But if milky espresso martinis are more of an appeal to you, then this is the way to go. 
But I don’t have an expensive espresso coffee maker to make my Espresso Martini. 
No problem. With Technology getting more accessible, cheaper & just way cooler, nowadays you have the “Nespresso” style pod machines. You can get perfect espresso shots now at the load of a pod & touch of a button, right in your home. 
These work absolutely fantastic, just make yourself a double shot of this stuff & use it the same way. 
How we recommend on a shopping list to clients that have hired a bartender, because we do have to make these drinks in bulk & for large quantities. Is to purchase a product called Nescafe Azera. Its an instant espresso mix, not like the normal instant coffees & works absolutely brilliantly for Espresso Martini. Just mix it at double strength to a normal instant coffee & you’re sorted. 
For a litre, we would use 4 spoons of the Nescafe Azera & to operate as a great shortcut, we would also mix in the Sugar into this jug in advance & cut out one of the steps while we’re busy in service, saving a little bit of time. 
We hope that you enjoy trying out loads of these recipes, playing with the Espresso Martini & experimenting, with not only our suggestions, but your own too using these inspirations. 

Stu Hoyland, Director – Cocktailhire

About Stu 


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