Espresso martinis are like the grown-up version of a coffee, a harmonious yet powerful blend of alcohol and caffeine that will see you through the night (and potentially into the next day).
It's believed this famous cocktail was first created in London in the late 1980's, when influential bartender, Dick Bradsell was asked by a young model (widely rumoured to be Kate Moss) to make a drink that would wake her up, then fuck her up. He obliged and the result is the sophisticated vodka, sugar and coffee concoction we know today.
Interestingly, this one's not actually a martini (due to the absence of gin and vermouth), but that's a detail we're happy to overlook—especially after actually drinking one of these bad boys.
So, where can you get your hands on a glass of this caffeinated goodness? Plenty of places, as it turns out, but here are the ones that we reckon do them best. In no particular order, here's where to enjoy the best espresso martinis in Auckland.
Viaduct Yacht Club
If you like cookies with your coffee, you'll love the espresso martini at Viaduct Yacht Club, which comes with the rather fun addition of Oreo crumbs. However, don't let the sweet exterior fool you—this one packs a serious alcoholic punch.
Credited as one of first spots in Auckland to make the espresso martini popular, SPQR serves a lovely, no-frills version of the drink that stays true to the original. A favourite amongst seasoned espresso martini fans.
The Sugar Club
The Sugar Club serves up a chic little number that's practically perfect in every way. Delivering on looks and taste, it's also available for a very reasonable $16 every day of the week during happy hour (5-7pm and 9-11pm).
The espresso martinis at Ostro are some of the best in town (and so popular, we've heard they were once served on tap). Impeccably presented—as is the case with everything here—these caffeinated creations taste just as amazing as they look.
Recreating the classics is Clipper's specialty, and their espresso martini is no exception. Known as the Flat White Martini, it's lighter and milkier than its peers but with an espresso hit that will grab your attention just the same.
Fitzroy Lounge Bar
The espresso martini at Fitzroy Lounge Bar is infused with vanilla and butterscotch, giving it a refreshing, almost caramel flavour. But make no mistake, this one has more than just the novelty factor going for it—it tastes incredible.
Combining vodka, Kahlua, espresso and sugar, the version at Everybody's—like many of the others that made this list—is evidence that sometimes simple is best. A deliciously smooth drink, nonetheless.
The espresso martini at SEVEN has gained a bit of a reputation—for being refreshingly different. This moreish, salted coconut interpretation is like the exotic version of the drink we didn't know we needed.
Scarlett Slimms & Lucky, Mount Eden
We despaired when we learnt that the Magnumtini at Scarlett Slimms & Lucky was limited edition only. An espresso martini topped with a mini Magnum ice-cream and as such, probably more dessert than drink, we'll be keeping our eyes eagerly peeled for its return (hint hint).
THE Parasol & Swing COMPANY, VIADUCT
The Tea-Ramisu at The Parasol & Swing Company may not be an espresso martini per se, but it's close enough. A double-edged sword combining coffee AND black tea; this decadent number comes topped with mascarpone foam and biscotti. Click here to see it all coming together.
Freeman & Grey, Ponsonby
As far as we're aware, Freeman & Grey is the only place in Auckland to have ever served a frozen espresso martini. Yes, these guys will sometimes sling an epic, slushy-style version of the drink, usually as part of their annual Spring Fling event. We, for one, would like to see them on the menu more permanently.
Thirsty? Round up the crew and head to one of Auckland's best cocktail bars.
Image credit: Viaduct Yacht Club by Wono Kim, Everybodys