Espresso martinis have become the drink of 2020. We spoke to an expert about how to make one of the best espresso martini recipes you can from the comfort of your own home.
You could be forgiven for thinking it’s a simple mixture of vodka and coffee, but friends don’t let friends call that an espresso martini. We spoke to Nespresso’s Coffee Ambassador, Mitch Monaghan, how to get it just right.
Naturally, you’ll need a pod-compatible Nespresso machine for this one. If you have a different machine, pull 40mL of your strongest espresso to follow along.
Here’s Mitch’s recipe:
Espresso Martini recipes: What you’ll need
- Cocktail shaker
- Nespresso machine (original or Vertuo)
- Shaker glass
- Martini glass
- Coffee beans/grind for garnish
Espresso Martini recipes: Ingredients
- 40mL Firenze Arpeggio Espresso (Original Nespresso machine) OR 40mL Altissimo Espresso (Vertuo Nespresso machine)
- 15mL coffee liquor
- 60mL vodka (make it good vodka, for your sake)
- 5mL sugar syrup
- 5 biggish ice cubes
Espresso Martini recipes: Method
1. Place ice, vodka, coffee liqueur and sugar syrup into a shaker
2. Extract coffee directly into the shaker as the last ingredient
3. Place lid on shaker and shake hard for 15 seconds
4. Remove lid and strain into a separate glass, discarding ice cubes
5. Add the liquid ingredients back into the shaker and shake vigorously to aerate the crema
6. Strain into a martini glass
7. Garnish with coffee beans, coffee grind or fruit zest
Espresso Martini tips from a pro
Mitch advises that the last ingredient you add be the coffee so as to prevent your ice from melting.
Additionally, Mitch recommends not skipping the second iceless shake (or dry shake). It’s a little fiddly, but it helps aerate the drink. That’s how you get the best froth on top of the cocktail for a signature finish.
To get more tips, Redaktör had the chance to sit down with Mitch Monaghan, Nespresso Coffee Ambassador, to ask him more about the fabled bean juice and its use in both cocktails and daily pick-me-ups!
Redaktör: Why do you think the espresso martini has exploded in popularity of late?
Mitch Monaghan: Now that people are spending more time at home, they are looking to upskill their barista and bartending skills. People are exploring different tastes and trying new recipes that they didn’t have time to perfect before.
More than ever, we’re looking for moments of indulgence in their every day and with that, seeking high-quality coffee at home, whether that be with their flat white with breakfast, or the espresso martini after dinner.
Redaktör: Do you have recipes for other coffee-based cocktails for our readers?
MM: I love experimenting with coffee cocktails. When you take the highest quality coffee and mix it with the highest quality ingredients, you’re left with something pretty extraordinary. I have a few ‘go-to’ recipes that I have developed. The first I shared recently on a Facebook Live masterclass which is a Spiced Espresso Martini, the sweetness from the maple syrup and the spiciness from the pepper and cinnamon make it perfect for those winter nights. The most unique is a Coconut Coffee Margarita made with lime, tequila and coffee – not normally paired together but harmonised so well.
Redaktör: Can you give our readers any tips on how to make the perfect cup of coffee for their morning?
The first step in making the perfect cup of coffee in the morning is to spend time getting to know how you like your coffee – strong or mild. In my experience, people usually reach for a “stronger” cup but often prefer a milder roast, and here is how they differ:
- Stronger roasted coffees are easily identified for their dark and bold characteristics, such as their woody, cocoa or spicy notes, whereas milder coffees are often smoother, more fragrant, lighter and balanced.
- Understanding your coffee preference means you can choose a coffee for every mood and time of day, making such a difference to your every-day coffee experience.
- At Nespresso, we have a wide range of exceptional coffees to suit any palate. For example, the coffee I use to create my double shot Cappuccino is Firenze Arpeggio for its intense roast and cocoa notes, whereas for my afternoon Piccolo, I reach for Genova Livanto due to its medium roast and balanced profile.
As we head in to the colder months, heating up your cup before making your coffee is a key step to making café quality coffee at home.
A cold cup can steal away some of the heat from your freshly made coffee, so simply use your coffee machine to run hot water through the machine and into your cup without a capsule.
Once the cup is hot, empty the water in to your sink and extract your coffee in to the newly warmed cup. You’ll absolutely notice the difference.
If you are a lover of plant-based milks, my advice is to always choose a coffee with a strong roast.
The longer a coffee is roasted, the less acidic it is, allowing it to pair best with plant-based milk. Nespresso’s selection of coffees with an intensity of 9 or above are perfect for plant-based milk drinkers.
Redaktör: What’s the thing that annoys you most about how people take their coffee and why?
MM: I believe coffee is to be enjoyed by everyone with their own personal taste and preference, however, I do get frustrated by coffee that is too hot! When coffee is served at near boiling temperatures, you risk more than a burnt tongue, you also risk an espresso with charcoal flavours and frothed milk that tastes sour. The best temperatures for coffee and milk are 83 degrees Celsius for black coffee and 65 degrees Celsius maximum for milk.
If you like your coffee hot, make sure you serve it in a travel mug!
Now that you know how to make a great cocktail, here’s what you’ll need to drink like an adult full-time.
Luke Hopewell is the editor and co-founder of Redaktör. He's previously been the Editor of Gizmodo, Founding Editor of Business Insider Australia, Editorial Lead for Twitter Australia and more.