Cocktail of The Month: Espresso Martini

Freya Moss, August 11, 2017 4:56 pm

Espresso Martini

It’s Friday afternoon, and that usually means – it is beginning to look a lot like cocktails. As hospitality professionals, we are the number one fans of the high art of cocktail making (and drinking), and have decided it is high time to start a dedicated feature on this. So, no matter if you’re already a fully trained bartender or aspiring to become one – read on and dive into the first ever issue of “Rota’s cocktail of the month”, brought to you by our fabulous Operations Executive Khadijah.


Espresso Martini


I don’t know about you, but for me this week has been a looooong one – cold weather, ridiculous rain, then suddenly bright and sunny again? If only England would pick a season, and stick with it.


If like me you’re now looking for the perfect way to end a week like this, and kick the weekend off with some new energy, you might be torn between caffeine and something alcoholic. The good news is – you won’t have to choose. Enter: the Espresso Martini. This magical pick-me-up was first concocted by a gentleman named Dick Bradsell in London – trendy Soho to be exact – in the late 1980s, and was originally called the Vodka Espresso. Next, someone apparently thought it’d be a great idea to rename it ‘the Pharmaceutical Stimulant’, before settling on its current tag. The briefing Bradsell got for this drink? The customer wanted something to “wake me up, and then f#!k me up” (ah, Soho…). And behold, the modern classic was born!


Tea, coffee, energy drinks – let’s be honest, most of us in hospitality with the long hours, sometimes unpredictable rotas, late nights and early mornings, are complete caffeine addicts… and if we have to have caffeine, well, where’s the harm in infusing our alcohol with that eye-opening goodness?




So, how do you achieve that rich, foamy, we-swear-only-mildly-addictive delight?


A traditional Martini is gin, with vermouth to taste, and garnished with olives. While it has “Martini” in the name, there’s nothing traditional about this one.


For a classic Espresso Martini, you’ll need:

– 1 shot (25 ml) Kahlua
– 1 shot (25 ml) (cold) espresso
– 2 shots (50ml) vodka
– Sugar syrup (optional – if you like it bitter, omit or use less)


Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, and shake vigorously for 5 minutes (mind you, the ‘vigorous’ part is as essential as an actual ingredient!). To get a smooth finish, double strain the mixture using both a hawthorn over the shaker and a sieve over the glass. Serve in either a martini glass or a coupé. Garnish with 3 whole coffee beans on top (or you know, go crazy).


Simple, no? To get the signature creamy foam on top, make sure you shake the shaker hard.


Rota variations


We’ve asked our resident Rota bartenders and mixologists for their favourite variations, so get ready for two Rota exclusives for you! The method is the same as above, but the ingredients can be varied.


Version 1 – Tequila Espresso Martini

– 1 shot (25 ml) of Patron XO Café (Mexican coffee tequila)
– 1 shot (25 ml) of Patron Anejo (Mexican honey tequila)
– 1 shot (25 ml) of (cold) espresso
– Gomme (sugar dissolved in a bit of water)


Version 2 – Toast Espresso Martini

– 12.5ml (1/2 shot) of Crème de Cacao
– 12.5ml (1/2 shot) of Kahlua
– 25ml-35ml of vodka (chocolate flavoured if it’s available)
– 25ml (1 shot) of (cold) espresso
– Gomme (sugar dissolved in a bit of water)


And there you have it! Although, why stop there? We’ve heard talk of salted caramel espresso martinis, seen some very non-traditional ones with milk or cream, and have even heard whispers of one made with rum…


If you’ve had your tastebuds tickled simply by reading this, why not have a go at making one yourself!


What Is Rota?


Rota are looking for an outgoing and reliable member to join our bar staff team to work at London’s best hotels, restaurants and events!

There are a variety of shifts available and we can offer a flexible contract that suits you, either part-time or full-time, and the opportunity to earn up to £11 per hour.

Rota helps you find flexible hospitality work around London – a great opportunity to get extra earnings over the Christmas period!

Click the apply link to book your assessment session!

Share article: