The Espresso Martini is vodka, coffee liqueur, and espresso. It's rich, decadent, and creamy, and the shot of espresso will keep you on your toes if you're lagging behind on a night out!
The honour of this cocktail invention goes to a British bartender named Dick Bradsell. According to legend, Bradsell invented the cocktail in the late 1980s after a young model slinked up to the bar and ordered something to 'Wake me up and then f*ck me up.'
His solution was a concoction of vodka, fresh espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar shaken into a frothy mix of bittersweet addiction. At the time, a cocktail served in a V-shaped glass was known as a martini, so Dick named his creation The Espresso Martini.
How to make the perfect Espresso Martini
The Ingredients (per drink)
- Handful of ice
- 50ml Vodka (everybody has their fave, so use yours)
- 25ml Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua is the more popular choice, but if you don't want it as sweet, try Tia Maria)
- 25ml Rave Espresso (Freshly Brewed and cooled is always best!). Any of our blends work well as they tend to be roasted darker.
- Sugar syrup - optional
- 3 Coffee Beans to garnish
• Place your martini glass into the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving. As the drink doesn't have ice, this will ensure your cocktail stays fresh.
• Place the ice into a cocktail shaker – followed by vodka, Kahlua and finally, the espresso shot. Tip: If using the espresso method, add the coffee last when mixing the cocktail as if you add it first, the ice will melt, and the drink will become diluted.
• Shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds. (This helps create the foam)
• Strain into chilled glasses and garnish with three coffee beans. Serve immediately.
Kahlua liqueur has a slight hint of vanilla and is thicker and sweeter, while Tia Maria is smoother and a little lighter. If you prefer your Espresso Martini on the sweet side, add a dash (5ml) of sugar syrup with the ingredients before the great shake - this will ensure that the sweetness of the sugar syrup is balanced with the bitterness of the coffee you're using.
Tips and Tricks Making an Espresso Martini
- For some, the most satisfying part of an Espresso Martini is the foam or crema. To create this, shake vigorously so the natural oils in the coffee combine with the air bubbles. Also, tap and swirl the shaker afterwards to ensure the creamy foam settles at the top. Finally, after pouring, spoon any foam left in the shaker and add it to the top of your Espresso Martini.
- Make the espresso coffee ahead of time and set it aside to cool naturally. Espresso coffee can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for several days (Or Try using Rave cold-brewed concentrate).
- The results are only as ever as good as your ingredients so make sure you are using fresh roasted coffee - anything over a month past the roast date will start to lose flavour, it’s still perfectly drinkable just won’t be at it’s tastiest. If you’re want your cocktail to pack a punch - fresh is best!
Fun Facts about the Espresso Martini
1. The word "espresso" is so frequently mispronounced as "expresso" that it now appears in the dictionary as a quirky variant, so ordering an Expresso Martini the next time you're out is perfectly acceptable…
2. The floating of three beans comes from the traditional serving of Sambuca in Italy, where the three beans are called con la mosca, meaning 'with the fly', and they represent health, happiness and prosperity. It's considered terrible luck to serve an even number of beans, so keep with the Espresso Martini tradition and make sure it's three!
3. It's rumoured the model who asked for and inspired the Espresso Martini cocktail is either Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss, neither has confirmed nor denied.
4. You can also use Rave Cold Brew concentrate to make Espresso Martinis (& other coffee cocktails!). Take 100g of Rave Cold Brew coffee and leave to steep in 500g cold filtered water in the fridge overnight or up to 14 hours. Pour through a paper filter to get rid of any sediment. It’s now ready to use. You can use 50ml of Rave Cold Brew in replacement for the Espresso.
From Our Brew Guide
- 1st RECIPE IS CONCENTRATE
- 2nd IS DILUTED (Ready to drink)