Have You Tried An Espresso Martini?


I have been here in Florida visiting my family and working on blog projects and the biggest trend lately is everyone ordering an Espresso Martini. The idea of a martini combined with coffee isn’t what you would think of right away when you ask for a drink at a bar or restaurant. However, the Espresso Martini has become particularly popular among the young set who want to enjoy a drink but also something with enough of a kick to wake a person up as well. And, historically, that’s how the drink was rumored to have been created; essentially, someone walked into a club in the 1980s and specifically asked for something that would open one’s eyes and ultimately get them drunk as well. Whether the story is true or not, the drink exists and it definitely does include an extract of coffee bean in it. 

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Coffee and Liquor Have an Old Partnership

The combination of drinks and coffee has not been a new idea. The two types of beverages have been served next to each other for years in European cafes and similar. In the U.S. the distinction between a bar and a café has been far more clear and separated, generally due to alcohol consumption laws and a long history of Christian influence regarding ungodly behavior, namely getting drunk, being kept out of the public’s sight. This is obvious in the fact that American bars for years were built with no street windows that could see in while in Europe the same venues are wide open community establishments. 

Overall, the two main ingredients for an espresso martini are, no surprise, vodka, and ground coffee. Many tend to focus on Kahlua or optionally Tia Maria for mixtures. The overall drink will require about 1.5 ounces of vodka, another ounce of espresso made hot and ready, and then another two-thirds of an ounce of coffee liqueur, ergo Kahlua or similar. If, by this point, a reader is thinking that there’s a darn whole lot of caffeine in that mix, he or she would be correct. 

How the Drink is Made

Of course, a martini isn’t served hot with steam smoking out of it. Instead, the whole mix of ingredients is put into a shaker with cold ice. Then the combination is properly shaken so the ice cools and melts into the drink, the contents are poured through a strainer, and the resulting drink is served in a martini glass that is also kept cold until used. People vary in terms of how they garnish the drink, but the above is the basic process of preparation. 

The general drink ingredients include:

  • 1.5 ounces vodka
  • 0.75 hot espresso
  • 0.75 coffee liqueur
  • Ice cubes
  • 3 coffee beans (not ground), garnish

Remember, the goal of the drink creation process is to have all the ingredients prepped and portioned first. Then the exact parts go into the shaker at the same time as ice. This creates an instant combination effect that produces the strongest taste of coffee in the vodka base. The ice melts and dilutes the mixture a bit, but since the entire mix is then strained, nothing but the fine drink is served cold in the martini glass. Some will argue that espresso should be made prior and then chilled to reduce the ice melting effect. Since this part has the greatest variation of dilution, it will ultimately end up becoming a matter of personal taste how strong or diluted one wants their drink. 

When shaking the mix, the idea is to properly combine all the ingredients, not pound it to death with the ice cubes. The shaking phase shouldn’t take that long. It should be just enough to create a froth which becomes part of the drink’s end product once poured and strained.

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