Now, I am one of those people who are convinced that caffeine has no effect on them. Some days I drink numerous cups of coffee, other days I don’t have any and I’m pretty sure I never feel any different. I envy friends of mine who tell me that when they’re really in need of a pick-me-up they have a cappuccino and suddenly are bouncing around the room! Placebo effect maybe, but if it works what’s the harm? Anyway, as I say, my stock position is that I am no slave to caffeine. However, that belief was shaken recently when my lovely friend Louisa visited me for an evening of cocktails. We’d sampled a few tasty drinks over the evening, and our final tipple was an Espresso Martini. Now, soon after we had started Louisa realised that she had probably had enough to drink, and that another strong cocktail was not what she needed before bed. I, having just spent some time making these, didn’t want them to go to waste, and so proceeded to drink them both in quick succession. Soon after we each went to bed. Louisa, presumably, went to sleep, where I spent the next few hours staring at the ceiling waiting for my heart to stop pounding. As it turned out, caffeine does have an impact on me, if imbibed late at night with quite a lot of alcohol…
So, with the caveat that I don’t recommend these after about 8pm (unless you want the resting heart rate of an angry wolverine), I do love an Espresso Martini – strong, rich coffee flavour with that sharp alcohol edge, served very cold in a delicate martini glass.
Classically, the cocktail is made simply from fresh chilled espresso (sweetened to taste), vodka and Kahlua coffee liqueur. However, here is my version with just a little extra flavour:
- 50ml fresh espresso, chilled
- 30ml Stoli Salted Caramel Vodka
- 30ml Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
- 30ml Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur
Add all ingredients to shaker, fill shaker with ice, shake hard until it frosts, strain into a martini glass.
To decorate, you can dust with cocoa, or dress with 3 coffee beans.
If you’re a fan of salted caramel, then this is the vodka for you! It smells incredible, and has a salty sweetness that doesn’t overpower. We discovered it at an amazing Liquor Store in New England, and for about a year it was my little secret in the UK, but now it is available in the shops over here, so everyone can enjoy. Stoli do a whole range of flavoured vodkas I’ve yet to explore, but I can certainly recommend this one.
This dark, sticky, sweet liqueur is made from sugarcane rum and Arabica coffee. It is a key ingredient in White Russians as well as the Espresso Martini, and also works well in a host of shooters.
I’m not sure how I lived before I had this Italian hazelnut liqueur in my life. If you can imagine a liquid, alcoholic version of Nutella, you’re just about there (and how amazing does that sound??) Not only do I use it in a range of drinks, I also add it to cakes, coffees, and have even poured it over ice cream on occasion!
To achieve the perfect Espresso Martini for you, play around with the ingredients. You can sweeten the espresso, you can leave out the hazelnut, or swap the salted caramel vodka for plain or vanilla.
Have fun with it and, as always, enjoy (responsibly) x