Intense, full-bodied, and velvety from the very first sip: for coffee addicts, the Espresso Martini is undoubtedly one of the top 10 most outstanding cocktails. Made with vodka, coffee liqueur, sugar syrup, and espresso, it is perfect for happy hour and after-dinner.

Espresso Martini history

To trace the origins of the Espresso Martini, we have to go to Fred’s Club in London. This is where bartender Dick Bradsell, in the 1980s, invented this new cocktail with its stimulating notes.

Cocktail legend has it that a famous model (perhaps Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell) asked him, “Can you make me something that will wake me up and f*** me up?”. This question prompted Dick to create the first Espresso Martini: he took coffee from a nearby coffee machine and, without hesitation, combined it with vodka, which was particularly popular at the time. The original recipe contained vodka, sugar syrup, two types of coffee liqueur (Kahlua and Tia Maria), and freshly brewed espresso.

Fun fact: Originally, the Espresso Martini was called “Vodka Espresso”, but in the 1990s, it became known as the “Espresso Martini”, as any vodka-based cocktail served in a martini glass was considered a “Martini”.

Pairing Espresso Martini and Italian Pancetta

Combine the bitter taste of coffee with sweet liqueurs, and you get the tastiest pairing there is! This velvety drink is also an ideal table companion, not only with desserts but also for a bold (yet extraordinary!) pairing with our Italian pancetta. Flavorful and intensely fragrant, it will make your cocktail experience even more exclusive.

Cocktail recipe and variations to try out

How do you make this delicious cocktail? All you need to do is to follow these simple steps:

  • Prepare the espresso
  • Mix the Kahlúa, vodka, and hot coffee in a shaker with ice and shake
  • Strain into a martini glass and garnish with coffee beans

Once you’ve tried the Espresso Martini, why not try one of these delicious variations?

  • Cinnamon Espresso Martini: with cinnamon syrup
  • Vanilla Espresso Martini: swap the coffee liqueur for vanilla vodka
  • Chocolate Espresso Martini: with chocolate syrup for a perfect dessert cock
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