Ahhh espresso martinis. Where would Friday night be without you? Sure, it may seem like we’ve only been recently going nuts over this coffee/alcohol concoction, but it’s actually been gracing cocktail menus since the 80s.
Created for a woman who demanded the bartender make her a drink that would, quite simply, “wake her up and f**k her up”, this cocktail proves you don’t need to be a coffee connoisseur to reap the benefits.
With bars in Sydney putting their spin on the original, we can say thanks to the 80s and be grateful the espresso martini was born. To save you from less-than-amazing espresso martinis, we’ve put together our pick of Sydney’s best bars serving the perfect coffee cocktail.
Resembling that of a hotel lobby out of an old Hollywood film, Della Hyde is the perfect place to pull up a pew and make your way through their extensive cocktail list (which is updated every fortnight). Luckily for us though, a main-stayer is their famous salted caramel espresso martini made with vodka, espresso, salted caramel, espresso liqueur and honeycomb. Like we needed any more excuse to fall in love with the drink all over again.
Primus Hotel’s Lobby Bar
For a vanilla infused, cold drip experience, Primus Hotel’s Lobby Bar should be on your list. With a menu dedicated to martinis, it’d be rude not to try their version of the cocktail, served in a chilled glass (using liquid nitrogen). Cold mist cascades as you sip, adding a very Instagram-friendly element to an already awesome drink. Want to know how to make it at home? Check out their recipe below.
Lot. 1 Sydney
Lot. 1 brings a bit of Italian culture to Sydney’s CBD. This restaurant and bar offers a delicious aperitivo hour complete with traditional Italian snacks to team with your post-work espresso martini (which they have claimed could just be the best).
Their self-proclaimed ‘show stopping’ espresso martini is certainly one to remember. The chocolate and coffee fusion (espresso, vodka, chocolate and coffee liqueur) provides the perfect amount of sweetness. According to these guys, all you need is some good booze and attention to detail. See below for their recipe.
Deus Bar & Kitchen
Camperdown’s newest industrial style bar (located next to Deus Ex Machina’s Sydney Flagship) uses inspiration from the machines found at the store next door to create their cocktails. Taking a French twist on the renowned espresso martini, ‘Le Gigleaur Noir’ translates to ‘the black jet’ and is the perfect vanilla infused coffee cocktail, using Vittoria Organic Blend for that smooth taste.
As the name suggests, this bar may be small, but their cocktails are by no means inferior. Pocket Bar’s take on the classic espresso martini is sure to pack a punch. Combining the strong flavours of whisky and a dash of vermouth, sweetened with honey and shaken with coffee, if you didn’t love them before, the espresso martini will become your new (and rightly so) drink of choice.
Eau De Vie
For the sweet tooth, Eau De Vie give a whole new meaning to the term ‘dessert cocktail’. They’ve teamed vodka, coffee and maple syrup to create their famous espresso martini and and topped it off with vanilla mousse. Now, if that hasn’t got you salivating…
Bondi Hardware haven’t strayed too far from the original recipe, but they sure know how to please a crowd with their vanilla espresso martini that is simply spot on. With one part vanilla-infused Absolut vodka, one part Kahlua and a dash of vanilla bean syrup shaken with espresso, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were the inventors of the drink.
If you love coffee, but vodka isn’t your thing, Barrio Cellar have put a Mexican twist on their version of the espresso martini, by swapping vodka for tequila and adding rum, agave and crème de cacao.
Because one espresso martini is never really enough, The Butler gives you three glorious choices. Using Will & Co.’s espresso, you can either have yours with vodka and coconut, rum and maple or cognac and cinnamon. Let’s just say, once you start at one, you’ll need to resist the temptation to try them all!
These guys are keeping it local using their in-house brew sourced from Single Origin Roasters to create their cold drip suburban cocktail. With bourbon, dark rum and port, this creation might just revolutionise the espresso martini we know all too well.
DIY Espresso Martinis
Want to make the perfect espresso martini? We’ve got just the right inspo to turn that night out, in. With drinks like these, you will be begging your guests to leave.
Primus Hotel’s Espresso Martini
- 30 ml infused vanilla belvedere unfiltered vodka
- 30 ml Cold dripped coffee (or espresso)
- 20ml of Kahlua
- 10ml of Frangelico shaken on ice
- Pour all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.
- Strain into a martini glass and serve in chilled martini glass and garnish with 3 roasted coffee beans.
Firefly’s Espresso Martini
- 30ml Stolichnaya or other quality vodka.
- 30ml Mr Blacks Coffee Liqueur
- 30ml of espresso or stovetop coffee (not instant)
- 20ml vanilla sugar syrup
- An empty clean medium sized jar
- Make your vanilla sugar syrup ahead of time by dissolving 200gm sugar in 200ml water and reduce on low heat until syrupy.
- Then take one vanilla pod, split in two and leave in the mix for a few hours (the longer the better).
- Add all of your ingredients to your jar and fill to 3/4 with fresh ice. Screw that lid on tight then shake shake your heart out for twenty seconds. A cold espresso martini is a good espresso martini!
- Using whatever strainer you have available pour the cocktail into your glass of choice. Now for the finale; garnish with 3 coffee beans which represent health, happiness, and prosperity.
There you have it, happiness in a glass. Cheers!
Still want more booze? Here are Sydney's best gin bars.
Image credit: Primus Hotel