The Espresso Martini, a divine fusion of two beloved beverages – coffee and cocktails, has captured the hearts of many with its rich flavor and eye-opening punch. Created in the 1980s, this velvety concoction has evolved from a simple mix of espresso and vodka into a sophisticated indulgence that graces the menus of upscale cocktail bars worldwide. Whether you’re a coffee lover looking for a pick-me-up or a cocktail enthusiast in search of a new favorite, the Espresso Martini is a delightful blend of both worlds. In this article, we’ll delve into the history of this modern classic and provide a detailed recipe that will allow you to craft the perfect Espresso Martini at home.
The birth of the Espresso Martini can be traced back to London in the 1980s, a time when the cocktail scene was undergoing a renaissance. A model named Kate Moss is often credited with inspiring the drink’s creation when she walked into the late bartender Dick Bradsell’s bar, the Soho Brasserie, and requested a cocktail that would “wake me up and then f*** me up.” Bradsell took on the challenge and mixed vodka with a shot of fresh espresso and a touch of coffee liqueur, resulting in a drink that was not only invigorating but also incredibly flavorful.
The Espresso Martini quickly gained popularity in the fashionable London scene, spreading to cocktail menus across the globe. Its combination of caffeine and alcohol made it a hit, as it allowed partygoers to enjoy the best of both worlds – a lively night out and a caffeine kick to keep the energy flowing.
- Chill the Martini Glass: Begin by placing your Martini glass in the freezer. This will ensure that your Espresso Martini stays cold from start to finish.
- Prepare the Espresso: Brew a fresh shot of espresso. You can use a home espresso machine or a stovetop espresso maker for this purpose. Allow the espresso to cool slightly.
- Measure and Combine: Fill the shaker with ice cubes to about halfway. Pour the freshly brewed espresso, vodka, and coffee liqueur into the shaker using a jigger or measuring cup.
- Sweeten to Taste (Optional): Depending on your preference for sweetness, you can add a touch of simple syrup to the mixture. Start with about 0.25 oz (7.5 ml) and adjust to your liking. Keep in mind that the coffee liqueur already provides some sweetness.
- Shake It Up: Seal the shaker with its lid and give it a vigorous shake. The key here is to create a frothy, creamy top. Shake for about 10-15 seconds, or until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty.
- Strain and Serve: Remove the Martini glass from the freezer. Place a cocktail strainer over the shaker and carefully strain the Espresso Martini mixture into the chilled glass.
- Garnish (Optional): To add a touch of sophistication, you can garnish your Espresso Martini with a few coffee beans or espresso beans. They not only look beautiful but also provide a delightful aroma as you sip.
- Serve Immediately: The Espresso Martini is at its best when served immediately. Enjoy the robust flavors and the delightful combination of caffeine and spirits.
The Espresso Martini, born out of a desire for a drink that both awakens and delights, has firmly established itself as a modern classic in the world of cocktails. Its rich history, originating in the bustling streets of 1980s London, tells a story of innovation and decadence that still resonates with cocktail enthusiasts today.
Crafting the perfect Espresso Martini at home is a delightful experience that combines the precision of mixology with the artistry of coffee making. With just a handful of ingredients and a few simple steps, you can enjoy the invigorating flavors of this iconic cocktail whenever the mood strikes. So, raise your chilled Martini glass, savor each sip, and toast to the enduring appeal of the Espresso Martini. Cheers!