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Cocktails & Bars

How to make an Espresso Martini

All you need to know about this caffine-spiked party starter.

Equal parts functional and flavourful, this coffee classic has been on the rise in recent years. It was at some point in the '80s, at the Soho Brassierie on Old Compton Street in London, that it is said legendary bartender Dick Bradsell received a request from a young lady for "something that's gonna wake me up, then fuck me up".

The resulting Vodka Expresso had all the ingredients of today's version - vodka, sugar syrup, coffee liqueur and espresso - but was served on the rocks.

Later, when Bradsell was working at Match on Clerkenwell Road, the drink evolved into the Espresso Martini, complete with three coffee beans as garnish.

At times going by the name Pharmaceutical Stimulant, this is the version that continues to perform its original function for drinkers today, but it wasn't until a few years ago that it really took off, no doubt benefiting from coffee's recent rise in popularity.

VIDEO DEMO by Tristan Stephenson: How to make an Espresso Martini

RECIPE from Dick-Tales by Dick Bradsell 

  • 50ml vodka
  • 5ml sugar syrup
  • 12.5ml Kahlua
  • 10ml Tia Maria
  • Shot of strong espresso

Method: Shake and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with three coffee beans. 

Editor's note: This is Dick's Match EC1 recipe - the cocktail had different itterations. 

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