A lot of my birthday presents this year seemed to follow a similar theme. My parents gave me a lovely John Lewis cocktail shaker and some flavoured marguerita mixers, my brother gave me a gorgeous set of martini glasses and tumblers, and my sister made (yes, that’s homemade Kahlúa and everything) me this beautiful little espresso martini set, complete with recipe…
They know me so well.
I’m not actually a fan of regular martinis, but the espresso martini is a whole different beast. If you like coffee, you will love this – it’s quite simply one of the best cocktails ever. I think that the proportions in my sister’s recipe are perfect, but feel free to play around with them if you like. Another option is to add sugar syrup to sweeten the martini, though I think the Kahlúa adds enough sugar on it’s own. The recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled depending on how many drinks you’re making and how big your cocktail shaker is (never fear, if you don’t have a cocktail shaker I’m pretty sure you can find something in your kitchen that will do the job…I’m thinking flask, tupperware pot, etc etc).
I would recommend using really nice coffee for this (step away from the instant jar) as it’s essentially one of only three ingredients in the drink. We do have a Nespresso machine in our kitchen which makes excellent espressos and would be perfect for on-demand martinis, but we had run out of pods so I made a batch of strong coffee in our mocha pot using freshly ground beans and left it to cool. You could also make up a strong batch of coffee in a French press.
These are an excellent pre-dinner aperitif, but be warned, they are very strong so maybe don’t sink too many on an empty stomach. I think they’re even better served with dessert. We had some with homemade chocolate fondants (recipe to come, click here for a sneak preview) and it was a perfect match.
Ingredients (makes one cocktail)
25ml good quality strong coffee
25ml vanilla (or regular) vodka
Optional – dash of sugar syrup to sweeten
Coffee beans to garnish
1. Measure out the coffee, vodka and Kahlúa into a cocktail shaker and add a generous amount of ice. Add some sugar syrup if you have a sweet tooth, or alternatively add sugar to the hot coffee when you first brew it.
2. Shake for 10-20 seconds.
3. Strain into a martini glass and top the foam with a few coffee beans if you’re feelin’ fancy.