Coffee is great. It’s a legal high and it comes in so many distinct formats now that you almost need to have the palate of a sommelier just to enjoy a short black. While the baristas of the world tinker away tuning their machines and working on ever increasing ways to distill that liquid gold from those tiny beans, the bartenders have been working away at how to get coffee and booze to live in perfect harmony.
The famous story goes that Naomi Campbell, or maybe it was Kate Moss, anyway, a British model goes into a bar that was manned by the famous Dick Bradsell. The model ponders her drink choice, then gives Dick a brief, “I want something that will pick me up, then f*@k me up”. Dick rapidly responds with a coffee based cocktail served over ice that he named the Pharmaceutical Stimulant. This drink has today evolved into the drink we know as the Espresso Martini, which is served straight up, but that’s the only real change from the drink that blew a model’s mind and put it on a pedestal as a modern classic.
We’ve recently seen bartenders trying to use coffee in cocktails by utilising all the fancy tools that baristas have at their disposals. Cold drip, syphons and pour over have all been used to varying degrees of success to reinvent the espresso martini.
Sometimes there’s nothing quite like the original. If you’re going to do it right, it’s going to mean a trip to the local café to get some fresh extracted espresso. Anything less and you won’t achieve that famous froth. If you’re feeling adventurous, try substituting rum or tequila where the vodka lives in the recipe below.
Check out Espresso Martini