The espresso martini has fast become the go-to drink of our coffee-loving, alcohol-sodden times.
However, a love of this caffeinated cocktail is not a cheap habit to maintain. While nothing beats an expertly-mixed cocktail from your fave drinking den, being able to whip up a passable espresso martini at home is the ultimate drop-in-for-a-drink-at-mine trick.
Here’s how to make your very own, WITHOUT the fancy-pants bartending equipment or $20-a-pop price tag.
Buy The Essential Ingredients
There are a few must-haves when it comes to this recipe. You will definitely need:
• Vodka: This can be unflavoured, or a vanilla-infused version. If you’re going to throw an extra $20 into any ingredient, this should be it.
• Coffee liqueur: Kahlua is a great option if you like your drinks on the sweeter side.
• Ground coffee.
• A stovetop Italian espresso maker: No espresso machine required! You can pick up a stove-top espresso pot for as little as $20, and they make fantastic, strong coffee for cocktails at a pinch of the price of a full-blown espresso machine. This Avanti model is a classic.
• Martini glasses: If you’re not keen on splashing out on a full set, hit up your local op shop and pick up a variety of the most interesting cocktail glassware you can find.
• A cocktail shaker: You can pick one of these up for under $10 from many large bottle shops, such as Uncle Dan’s.
• Either coffee beans, or dark chocolate and a grater: These are for decoration—if you don’t have any other need for unground coffee beans, go for some dark chocolate and a microplane (AKA a mini grater that will make you look like a kitchen god/goddess), so you can grate chocolate shavings over the top of each drink.
• All up, you can probably scrape together the basic ingredients for $110—$125, which should work out at around $7—8 a drink, depending on how generous you are with your pours! Plus, you’ll have loads of coffee liqueur and all the hardware you need for next time.
This part is unbelievably simple: First up, put the glass in the freezer so that they are chilled when you’re ready to serve.
Pour 50ml vodka, 25—35ml coffee liqueur, and 25—35ml of freshly-brewed coffee into your shaker, fill the shaker with ice, pop on the lid (tightly), and shake like a madman (or woman) for at least 30 seconds.
Take the glass out of the freezer and fill with your freshly-made espresso martini.
Serve With A Flourish
Once the crema (the creamy coffee layer on top) has settled, quickly grate your dark chocolate over the top, or place a few coffee beans on the surface, and serve immediately. Voila!
Even If Things Go Wrong, Pretend It’s Meant To Be Like That
The key to nailing at-home espresso martinis is ALL about the delivery. Make it look easy, even if you’ve cracked a glass in the freezer and need to text a mate to pick up an ingredient on the way. If things aren’t exactly Insta-perfect (hey, it’s your house, not Eau de freakin’ Vie), acknowledge that with a “but, wait until you try it!” And if one guest likes their cocktails more bitter, or more sweet, simply tweak the recipe a little for their next one.
This article previously appeared on our sister site, The Urban List.