A martini is one of the best-known cocktails in the world, and making one is quite simple. Of course, as with any good drink, there are purists who will tell you that there is only one way to make one. That the only real martini is a gin martini.
The International Bartenders Association (IBA) lists the ingredients as follows:
- Gin (60ml)
- Dry Vermouth (10ml)
- A lemon peel squeeze with an optional olive as a garnish.
But with alcohol, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. It wouldn’t be correct to say that one drink supersedes the other. No matter how much anyone may debate the matter, in the end, it all comes down to personal preference.
The vodka martini is a cleaner, more minimalist cocktail that offers a more modern taste. Vermouth gives off much of the flavor in a vodka martini. Gin is more fragrant, botanical, and complex. If there is a case for a vodka martini, it’s that it is James Bond’s drink of choice. Shaken, not stirred.
But to each their own. Even though James Bond popularized the martini, the ubiquitous drink was first made with gin. It is thought it was created in the 1860s, and by 1922, it had finally iterated into what we know today as the gin martini or just martini.
Cranberry martini, dirty martini, blood orange martini, chocolate martini, French martini, vesper martini, espresso martini; there are so many variations and plays you can make on the classic recipe. Below is one of those popular variations, an espresso martini recipe that is rich, indulgent, frothy, and sure to give you an energy boost for the day.
It is commonly thought that Dick Bradsell created the espresso martini in the late 1980s, when a young lady asked for a drink that would first wake her up and then mess her up.
How to Make an Espresso Martini
1. Bring together the following ingredients:
- Two Third Part Espresso (Freshly Brewed)
- One and a Third Parts Absolut Vodka
- Two-third Part Kahlúa
- Three Whole Coffee Beans
- Ice Cubes
Kahlúa is a coffee liqueur made with rum, sugar, and Arabica coffee. It has 100 ppm of caffeine, which adds to the caffeine total and the overall coffee flavor.
2. Because a lot of the flavor comes from the coffee, you don’t want to use just any old coffee lying around. Brew a fresh pot of coffee, then let it cool down. This is because the amount of ice you allow to melt into your drink will alter the flavor. Too hot, and all the ice melts into your espresso martini, diluting the taste. Too cold, and you get the full coffee flavor. It’s best to have it chilled but close to room temperature.
3. Throw all the ingredients in a shaker. Shake vigorously because this will help develop a beautiful frothy foam head on top of your cocktail.
4. Strain the espresso martini into a cocktail glass and top it off by garnishing it with the three coffee beans. Make sure you strain as fast as you can since this will help maintain the head of foam.
The espresso martini is a simple but elegant drink that serves as a good wake me up when you need it. This makes it acceptable for use in both formal and informal social gatherings. The Espresso Martini has also been having a bit of a resurgence. In 2021, Yelp discovered that the rate of mentions for the cocktail was up 300% for the first six months as compared to the three years prior.
Experts theorize that espresso martinis will be popular where good coffee can be found, and it also helps that the drink is very photogenic for those Instagram and TikTok posts. Whatever the case, the Espresso Martini is a cocktail with long-lasting appeal.
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