As a relative ingénue on the cocktail scene, the first espresso martini was created in the early 80s when a très famous model walked into a bar and asked innovative London bartender Dick Bradsell, known as the cocktail king, to make her an alcoholic beverage that would wake her up.
With an espresso machine behind the bar, the match was an obvious one. Thus the espresso martini was born, with the original recipe featuring vodka, sugar syrup, coffee liqueur and espresso topped with three coffee beans. The tipple has become the popular pick-me-up cocktail to start an evening with an energetic bang.
We asked the coffee gurus from Hong Kong hotspot Winstons Coffee to describe the road to their own beautifully roasted version of the espresso martini:
Simon Disler, director of Winstons Coffee, shared his thoughts on the popularity of this iconic beverage. 'We think that caffeine and vodka is a pretty foolproof combination whichever way you look at it. For our espresso martini, the ingredients are individually so high grade that when you combine the vodka, coffee liqueur and the timeless Carmelo roast espresso from Allpress, you end up with coffee heaven in a coupe glass.'
Winstons Coffee's Espresso Martini Recipe
• 25ml coffee liqueur
• 25ml vodka
• 20ml sugar syrup
• 40ml fresh Allpress espresso
• Bob's Chocolate Bitters
1. Shake all ingredients hard with lots of ice.
2. Double strain into a coupe glass.
3. Drop Bob's Chocolate Bitters on the surface, along with some coffee beans.
Try one for yourself at Winstons Coffee, Fu Kwok Building, 213 Queen's Road West, Sai Ying Pun.
Here is a little further interesting info on the Carmelo Blend:
James Barker, 2016 Hong Kong & Macau World Class Bartender of the Year, also shares his coffee cocktail, Dutch Coffee Shop, made with Ketel One Citroen vodka, Earl Grey tea, tonic water and Ethiopian cold-brew coffee.
Of this wake-me-up and shake-me-up creation, James says, 'The cocktail is designed to be an energising spiritous caffeine fix and takes inspiration from the craft cocktail and craft coffee movements progressing together. All the ingredients share a common similarity of having a bright citrus note, which ties the flavours together beautifully as a light cocktail suitable for afternoon enjoyment, with Ketel One Citroen taking centre stage.'
James Barker's Dutch Coffee Shop