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Discover how a blend of coffee and spirits grew to become the Espresso Martini an iconic staple in bars worldwide.

The Espresso Martini is a drink woven with intrigue and innovation, starting from a chance encounter that changed the course of cocktail history. Discover the story behind this iconic drink’s origins and the secrets behind its rise to fame.

Prepare to dazzle your friends with mixology skills, fun facts, and pro tips that will wow them. So, read on and learn more about the drink that has delighted the taste buds of many worldwide.

The History of Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini, initially known as “Vodka Espresso,” was a creation by Dick Bradsell at a bar in London. This iconic cocktail, concocted in 1983, mixes vodka, coffee liqueur (Kahlúa), a shot of espresso, and simple syrup. Despite being named Vodka Espresso, the drink evolved into the Espresso Martini under Bradsell’s innovative touch.

The drink debuted on a menu in 1997 at a bar where Bradsell worked. Interestingly, the drink underwent a few name changes, briefly known as the Pharmaceutical Stimulant, before eventually settling on “Espresso Martini,” inspired by the V-shaped glass traditionally served during the ’90s.

By then, Bradsell had become quite the influencer in the cocktail scene, and the drink gained rapid popularity. It became a top choice among customers, even in bars that hadn’t listed it. Before long, the drink found its way to Australia and eventually spread worldwide!

Fun Facts

Here are some fun facts about the espresso martini to impress your friends with:

It Was From a Famous Model

Legend has it that Bradsell invented this cocktail when a young model, now widely popular, walked up to the renowned bartender and requested a drink in a manner we can’t repeat here. His solution? The bartender swiftly pulled a fresh espresso from the newly installed coffee machine in the bar and mixed it with Vodka, Kahlúa and a touch of sugar, gave it a good shake and strained it into a martini glass, and just like that a modern classic was born.

It’s Not a True Martini

Despite its name, the Espresso Martini isn’t a true martini. A traditional martini contains gin or vermouth, while an Espresso Martini primarily features vodka and coffee liqueur. However, the V-shaped martini glass it’s often served in pays homage to its “martini” roots.

The Meaning of the 3-Coffee Bean Garnish

You may have noticed that the classic Espresso Martini is often served with three coffee beans on top. It isn’t just for decoration – it has a meaning. The 3 coffee beans floated on the top of the espresso martini symbolize health, wealth, and happiness. So, when friends, lovers, or relatives raise a glass for a toast, they celebrate these beautiful things together!

“Expresso” Is Officially a Word

Despite being a common mispronunciation, “expresso” is now officially recognized in some dictionaries as a “common variant of espresso.” However, purists may still cringe at its use and prefer to stick to the correct spelling of “espresso.”

Variations of the Espresso Martini

Like any other cocktail, you’ll find many delightful variations on the classic cocktail recipe that can make it sweeter, smoother, or more intense. Here are some popular variations that you can try:

Salted Caramel Espresso Martini

This version will be right up your alley if you enjoy a touch of caramel in your coffee. Just melt some salted caramel sauce into your coffee, let it cool, then pour that goodness into your cocktail shaker. Or, if you prefer, mix coffee, caramel, and a sprinkle of salt flakes directly in the shaker.

Vanilia Espresso Martini

If you love a dash of vanilla in your coffee, you’ll fall head over heels for this variation. Pour 1 ⅓ parts Absolut Vanilia, add a shot of espresso and Kahlúa, and top it off with coffee beans. It’s the perfect way to add some sweetness to your caffeine fix.

Chocolate Espresso Martini

The Chocolate Espresso Martini, also known as the Mocha Espresso Martini, brings a sweet and velvety spin to the modern classic. Add chocolate liqueur or creme de cacao to elevate the drink with a rich and indulgent flavor. You can also make it even sweeter by adding some chocolate syrup, shavings, cocoa powder, or a mix of all three!

Creating the Perfect Espresso Martini

When crafting the perfect Espresso Martini, remember these 5 golden rules:

Use Fresh Espresso Only

The key to a perfect Espresso Martini lies in the quality and freshness of your espresso. Using freshly brewed coffee ensures a robust and aromatic base that enhances the overall flavor profile of the cocktail. Allow the coffee to cool down so you don’t have too much ice dilution. When choosing your bean and roast, go with the one you enjoy the most!

Shake it Hard!

Shake the mixture for about 30 seconds to create aeration that results in a velvety texture and a beautiful crema on top of the cocktail. The air bubbles combine with the natural oils in the coffee to form the froth, contrasting the drink’s smooth consistency. Remember: DON’T STIR IT!

To Simple Syrup or Not

Tailor the sweetness of your Espresso Martini according to your preferences. Adjust the amount of sugar syrup based on the sweetness level you desire. If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, add a touch more sugar syrup. For a less sweet option, reduce the amount of sugar or skip it for a stronger coffee flavor.

Use a High-Quality Vodka

A key element in perfecting this cocktail is choosing high-quality vodka. Opting for a premium vodka like Absolut Vodka will add a clean, crisp taste to your Espresso Martini. Additionally, a quality vodka can hold its own with the coffee and add a little extra to the flavor profile beyond the alcohol content.

Presentation Is Key

Serve your Espresso Martini in a chilled, V-shaped glass for that classic touch. However, a coupe glass is also an excellent choice for serving the drink. Its inward curve can highlight the crema and reduce the risk of spills. And finally, finish off your drink with 3 coffee beans on top for added visual appeal and a nod to tradition.

Time to Make Your Own.

Now that you know the history of Espresso Martini, why not try making one yourself? Whether you prefer the classic recipe or feel daring enough to try one of the creative variations, the perfect blend awaits your touch.

Impress your friends by serving them the perfect Espresso Martini recipe using Absolut Vodka.



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