The Classic Espresso Martini was created in 1983 by bartending legend Dick Bradsell in London following a request from a customer for a drink which would “wake her up and …’mess’ her up”. UK Coffee in Good Spirits Champion of 2014, David Jameson, tells us all about this quintessentially elegant cocktail!
Adapted, experimented with and modified over the years, this classic cocktail is worthy of a revisit (or two, or three…)
I like to use Absolut Vodka for its single estate wheat which is used as a basis for distillation. I like the way this mirrors my preference for single estate coffee! It is neutral on the nose with just a touch of cereal aroma. It is a light dry vodka with very light hints of caramelization and a mellow, sweet but short finish.
I pair this with Kahlua for its 100% Shade-Grown Arabica from Veracruz, Mexico. It grows alongside the sugar cane from which the spirit is distilled. The coffee is combined with 7-year aged sugar cane spirit and bottled to create a liqueur with a sweet, fresh coffee flavour.
What coffee to use? The relative neutrality of the spirits gives my espresso room to shine. Los Lajones Natural Caturra Microlot (Panama) is a sweet, fruity coffee with flavours of strawberry, chocolate, cream and orange. In order to get a good crema on the finished cocktail you need to use coffee within 3 weeks of roasting.
Make a ristretto, using 23g of very finely ground coffee and pour the shot for 30 seconds to yield around 45ml, and approx 35g finished espresso. In a mixing glass, add
50ml Absolut Vodka
10ml simple syrup (50/50 sugar & water)
15ml Kahlúa Liqueur
Los Lajones Ristretto (prepared as above)
Top with ice
Seal with shaking can and shake vigorously until the can is cold and showing condensation
Split the shaker and double strain using a Hawthorne strainer and a sieve