Espresso Martini

18 01 2008

espresso chocolate martiniIf you enjoy alcoholic beverages, I’m sure you’ve seen Espresso Martini on the menu. I’ve tried several at different locations and found that everyone has their own version of the recipe. Certainly, this is not one of those tried and true standard cocktails that every bartender has in their repertoire that will taste the same no matter where you order it. In fact, what makes it kind of interesting is that the recipe allows bartenders to be creative in their craft. To complicate matters, the quality of the espresso will make a difference as well. A bar that has a good espresso machine should be able to produce a quality cocktail. However, a bar that relies on an espresso flavoring (ugh) or instant (gasp!) espresso will produce a mediocre cocktail, at best.

Giada, on the Food Network, has an Espresso Martini recipe that is pretty easy to make, except that it relies on simple syrup for its sweetness. Granted, simple syrup is easy to make (melt 2 parts sugar in 1 part water), but most people don’t have this handy nor do they want to take the time to whip up a batch.

So, here’s my recipe:

  • 1 shot of espresso (okay, use instant if you need to, or just brew a strong batch of coffee – i’d say 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 2 ounces of water)
  • 1 ounce vodka (the better the quality, the better the taste; I like Grey Goose, or Belvedere)
  • 1 ounce Tuaca (a sweet Italian liqueur made from brandy, vanilla, and citrus that you can use in almost anything to add sweetness; also, its about 70 proof)
  • 1 ounce Kahlua (preferrably the Kahlua Especial which is 70 proof)
  • 1 ounce Bailey’s or other quality, cream liqueur

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. The sweetness is inherent to the liqueurs, so no need to add any sugar. The nice thing about the ingredients is that you can use them for numerous other concoctions. You can also add a little flavor by lightly coating the inside of the glass with chocolate syrup (yum).

But beware, this is a deceptively strong drink and very tasty. It is easy to down a few of these potent babies in no time and you may have trouble getting up. Let me know what you think. What recipes have you tried?

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