In the days of my misspent youth, I once went to New York City with a boyfriend for a gig he was doing. While we were there, we went to a party. Of course. It was outdoors, in Harlem, on the roof, and it was the first time I ever drank a Red Bull. A vodka Red Bull, actually. I always thought it was the weirdest combination. The vodka to slow you down, and the Red Bull to jack you up….
I feel similarly about Espresso Martinis, which are having quite the comeback at the moment. I’m pretty sure I’ve never had another Vodka Red Bull since then, but all y’all know how I feel about coffee. I heart it. So to put it in a martini, well, I mean, those are two things I really like. Together. Can’t be bad, right??
Pop culture is often to blame for drink trends. Like think about the rise of Cosmos from Sex and the City. The Espresso Martini is a popular drink on a Bravo reality show called Below Deck, a show about crewing a mega yacht. Basically the crew is responsible for making the experience of its super rich guests the best they have ever had, and are consequently at their beck and call. And if you want an espresso martini in the hot tub, well then, espresso martinis in the hot tub you shall get.
Urban legend says this drink was invented in the early 80’s at the height of heroin chic, when a model walked into the Soho Brasserie in London and requested the bartender, Dick Bradsel, to make her something that would “&%$@ her up.” And thus the Espresso Martini was born.
It’s a fairly simple drink to make. You do have to brew strong coffee or espresso, and that’s a bit of a pain. Some recipes call for a simple syrup (which I pretty much always have on hand anyway), but I opted for a something a bit more non-traditional, a splash of my favourite vegan coffee creamer, which adds both creaminess, sweetness and a hint of vanilla.
I mean, this is coffee we’re talking about, and coffee is bitter.
I will say this: for those of you who love an after-dinner espresso, this is the grown-up version. Or it would also be perfect for brunch. Right? It’s coffee! It’s vodka! It’s the weekend!
- Cocktail shaker or a mason jar with a lid
- martini or coupe glass
- 1.5 oz espresso vodka
- 3/4 oz coffee liqueur Sheringham has a nice local one
- 1/2 oz strongly brewed coffee or espresso
- splash Silk Vanilla Coffee Creamer
- coffee beans for garnish
- Fill your shaker about 1/2 or 2/3 of the way with ice.
- Add all the ingredients to the shaker.
- Shake well for about 30 to 45 seconds, until the outside of the shaker is frosted.
- Strain into a coupe or martini glass, and garnish with whole coffee beans.