I freaking love an espresso martini, so Many nights out could kind of go one of two ways: you're, like.
Do I go home, do we go elsewhere and a round of espresso martinis is always Going to make that decision for you, It's a national obsession here available.
Everywhere from your local pub to world-class cocktail bars, So where did it come from and why do we love it so much? I do have to thank my Partner Fred Siggins here you may have seen him in our American Whiskey articles. He's probably the person that's researched, The history and the social aspects of the espresso martini The most and we also drink plenty together, so this episode was definitely inspired by his work.
Before I moved to Melbourne, I had probably made about three espresso Martinis in my bartending career, which admittedly was only a few years, Old at that point, but considering I'd probably made about a thousand french Martinis, you can see the contrast. I hadn't really seen them on any serious Cocktail list in the UK or Canada or the States, but when I Turned up here, every single bar, no matter how high or Low brow had a bottle of espresso in the rail, So it must be an Australian invention right.
The espresso martini was actually Quite famously invented in London in 1983, The story goes that a Never named, but apparently now mega famous model Walked up to Dick Bradsell's bar and asked for a drink that would Wake her up and then * * * * her up. He obliged by shaking up vodka Fresh espresso, coffee, liqueur and sugar syrup, The result was a frothy Bittersweet miracle, which I'm very sure got both jobs done perfectly He initially called it the Vodka Espresso, then the Pharmaceutical Stimulant, which is actually my favorite title, but as with most drinks of that era, served in a martini glass.
It just couldn't escape the martini moniker, and this is how it's now known, Worldwide, Australia and the UK have strong links. In the bartending community, thanks to working holiday visas which allow fairly Easy travel between the two countries for young people, thanks for that, the Espresso martini made its way down under and just as it slowly faded from Popularity in its original home, it found a new spiritual one.
Here. Melbourne is very well known for and very proud of. Its coffee culture - this was kick-started with large-scale Italian immigration, after World War II and thankfully they brought their Espresso machine with them Cafe, culture has been thriving ever Since and cocktail bars really actually grew out of that We take our coffee seriously and, by extension, We take our coffee cocktails seriously And, of course, Sydney follows everything.
Melbourne does so the trend spread rapidly. Thankfully The rest of the world seems to be giving the espresso martini a second chance. As with so many drinks, it gets a bad rap due to overly sugary and just Unbalanced versions, so let's take a look at how to make a properly balanced Espresso Martini Melbourne style, So we really have to start with the Headline act here and that's the coffee, it's really important.
Ideally it should Be made with fresh espresso um, since cocktail bars in Melbourne did Really evolve from cafes and casual restaurants, pretty much every bar had a Coffee machine anyway, and that made it quite easy to turn out Espresso martinis, which can kind of explain why it really took hold Here, unlike elsewhere, where it can be unusual to have an espresso machine if Your primary focus is alcoholic drinks.
In fact, Fred used to Run an American style bar here called the Kodiak club, which very Deliberately did not have a coffee machine to sort of stick to its American Roots, so when people ask for an espresso Martini which they did all the time because it's Melbourne, he Would say that he would make it for them if they brought him an espresso and a Surprising number of people would actually take him up on it and run To a neighboring bar a restaurant and come back carrying a little cup of Espresso for their martini, It is ideal to pull to order, even if it Seems a bit weird to throw a hot shot of coffee in your shaker tin.
Because the crema on your espresso shot translates to the really wonderful Creamy head on the cocktail That said at Bomba, our coffee machine is Downstairs in the restaurant and the cocktail bar is on the rooftop So logistically what we do is pull a heap before each shift. And as long as you shake nice and hard, you shouldn't really struggle getting a Decent foam Just be aware that coffee does get more Sour over time, so it really lasts a day.
Maximum There's also more And more good cold brew and concentrate options on the Market as baristas sort of put their knowledge to Use to try and formulate a product that will save time and Increase consistency for bartenders on service And it also opens up espresso martinis to home bartenders, who don't have an Espresso machine to hand The most well known in Australia is Probably Little Drippa or First Press, both great products, Chameleon came up.
When I was looking for something similar in the States, although I haven't tried It so if you do have a better suggestion, then please, let me know: And you can obviously make a cold brew yourself, Either way. The fuller, the flavor of the coffee, the better, so you really want a nice dark. And chocolatey roast with a good amount of bitterness. Because you're looking to balance out the sweetness of everything else For the Vodka, you can definitely have a little bit of fun.
Lots of brands like Absolute and Skyy have flavor vodkas. You could use Um, obviously, something like vanilla is always going to work. Well, In Australia, the 666 Butter vodka makes a really great espresso martini With heaps of texture, I'm going to stay classic in this one though, but still Keeping local since that's kind of the theme so White Light vodka from Here in Victoria is just a really nice clean tasting wheat, vodka But it is 47 %, so a little bit boozier than usual and just really carries all Those strong flavors home As I've said Australia is obsessed with The espresso martini, so of course, we've come up with the ultimate coffee.
Liqueur, Mr Black, do roast their own coffee and this Has about half the sugar and 10 times the coffee of your average coffee? Liqueur, So don't expect to be sleeping after one Of these, although that's never really the point, is it The coffee flavor is really intense and bittersweet and delicious, and this is Actually sold in the States now, so I'm excited to show you it as an Australian Product that you can actually get Kahlua is the other obvious choice.
That's what Dick Bradsell used in his or something like Tia Maria, it's just going! To be a little bit sweeter, but that also might be more to your taste. Anyway, As I was researching this, I did come across Dick Bradsell saying That his little trick is to take a little coin of lemon skin and just squeeze it over the top So that the oils will just give a really nice lemony aroma, and it totally makes sense to me that that would just sort of lift the whole Cocktail as well as popping any little air Bubbles so that you get a really nice smooth head on there, So we're going to try that.
So, it doesn't have to be pretty because Obviously we're just doing a little spritz and discard So, however, you find it easiest to do it We're going to go 45 mils of our vodka 20 mils of coffee, liqueur, 30 mls of our freshly pulled espresso.
Or whichever substitute you're using Just because I spilled a little bit, I like to add a small amount of vanilla syrup, as I feel it helps to boost the Body of the drink and the vanilla marries all of the other flavors really Nicely To make it you can just split a vanilla, Pod and leave it in sugar syrup overnight and you can even use the same.
Pod, a few times before it loses its flavor Otherwise, you can get little kind of vanilla, Extract type things that you can use because there's not that much going in There so yeah, you don't have to be too Precious about it or just regular sugar syrup is fine too Mr Black, as we said, doesn't have heaps of sugar in it um, so you can definitely Push a little bit more I'd suggest, keeping it to about five if you're using Something like kahlua or tia maria, although of course, if you have a sweet, Tooth as well, you can up it again.
Fill your shaker tin with ice Seal, the tins and shake as hard as you Can but also not for too long, because you want to create a nice Fluffy, head Short and sharp shake is important, Use your hawthorne strainer to hold the Ice back in the tin and pour through the fine strainer into your chilled glass You definitely want to fine strain this one as otherwise the little ice chips Will melt and ruin the head quicker?
Honestly, I don't tend to garnish with Coffee beans in the bar, because it just feels wasteful and ends up clogging the Sink when they all get dumped out, But in researching this I did find out That the three being garnish is a nod to the traditional serving of Sambuca in Italy, where the three beans are called `` con la Mosca'' and represent health wealth and happiness, which is Lovely Then we're just going to do the little lemon zest over the top And then drop in your three beans for health, wealth and happiness, The espresso martini.
So now you know It is nice. The lemon definitely works. Really well with the coffee there, Boozy and bitter, just like me, I mean yeah it. Basically, it tastes like A boozy espresso, which is you know it was originally just called The vodka espresso, the whole kind of sugary martini thing didn't come into it.
Until much later, I think that's just important to bear in Mind when you're, making it or whenever you're having one made for you, The coffee should really be the thing that kind of hits you in the face and And that definitely is what happens, especially with the Mr Black there to Kind of back up, all of all of the really lovely like Chocolatey bitterness um from the espresso and, as I said, just Having that higher proof, vodka, just kind of Uh really underpins it all really nicely.