The Espresso Martini is a balancing act. It combines multiple flavors that otherwise would not automatically mix with each other. When one puts together sour, sweet, salt, bitterness, and spice, they often end up being a muddy concoction without some strategy for their embrace. However, when put together with just the right balance, something incredible happens with an explosion of taste, sensation, texture, and culinary power. That’s the combination that we know today as the espresso martini. Even better, you can make an easy espresso martini at home too.
Now, in a professional setting, a well-done espresso martini is not a basic cocktail to order. Instead, it tends to command a notable price on the bar menu. Part of this is due to the popularity of the drink, as well as its premium components as well. That said, it’s also the kind of drink that can be had at any time of the day as well. There’s nothing wrong with an espresso martini in the morning as well as in the middle of the night when the music is running the hottest in the smokiness of a nightclub.
The flavor is fundamentally what makes a cocktail come to life. And the espresso martini is full of it. The base begins with a premium vodka that already comes into the mix with a rich taste all of its own. Add in the espresso, ideally crafted from a medium or dark roast, and the drink again jumps further forward with expansive flavor. Then pour in Kahlua with a sweetness that counters again the previous two elements, and now there is a hefty portfolio of tastes that the drinker has to understand, comprehend, experience, and reflect on. Yet, unlike a typical martini, the brain is still calculating the effect of the froth that the espresso martini comes with, generated by the shaking effect to produce the drink in the first place.
Of course, no drink simply just happens. It needs to be put together properly. Again, even the home connoisseur can enjoy the adventure of the espresso martini themselves. It’s a simple path that can be achieved with practice and working with the right ingredients. An easy espresso martini recipe includes:
• 2 ounces of espresso (medium or dark roast)
• 1 half ounce of Kahlua
• 1 ounce of fresh brewed espresso or at least espresso powder
• 3 or 4 whole coffee beans for garnish on top
The mixture is shaken together, which in turn creates the frothing added to the top of the martini drink. The coffee beans are merely decorative, a finishing visual for the drink in its entirety in a martini glass. They also tend to be discussion starters, as everyone else looking at the drink is going to be wondering what exactly it is and whether it tastes good. Of course, being the one enjoying the drink, you get to be the star of the show as a result. So, in theory, you could just keep the coffee beans a secret and keep people guessing, enjoying your easy espresso martini all to yourself doing so.