Espress Yo’Self – Sydney’s Best Espresso Martinis
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If there are two certain essentials in life, it’s caffeine and booze. In a city that already does coffee and cocktails so well, you don’t have to think twice when it comes to bringing the two together for the ultimate caffeine hit. The Espresso Martini originated in London from British bartending guru Dick Bradsell who revolutionized London’s cocktail scene in the 80s. The story goes that a woman demanded her bartender make her something that would, quite simply, “wake her up, and then f**k her up”. Although it wasn’t until a few years ago that the Espresso Martini has come to reign supreme as one of our nation’s beloved favourites.
So you wouldn’t have to, we did the hard yards and sipped and swigged our way through Sydney’s Espresso Martinis to grind out the Top 10 for you to try.
1. Della Hyde
At the top of our list is Della Hyde’s ‘The Hyde Espresso’ ($18). Concocted with vodka, salted caramel, espresso and espresso liqueur ‘The Hyde Espresso’ puts the perfect twist on our old favourite.Topped with a sprinkling of honeycomb and chocolate, simplicity of the salted caramel and coffee combination puts this one at the top of our list.
2. Tuxedo Bar
With so many to choose from at Tuxedo Bar, a venue based solely on Espresso Martinis, it was hard to choose just one. Our front-runner is the Cadbury Chocolate ($18) which comes as an ode to the original owners of the building; made with melted chocolate, shards of shaved chocolate, chocolate liqueur and a shot of espresso. Close behind is The Candy Man ($22). Served in a glass rimmed with hundreds and thousands, it’s a blend of amaretto, vodka, kahlua and espresso.
3. Eau De Vie
Taking the old classic to new heights, Eau De Vie’s ‘Espresso Zabaione’ ($19-$22) is one of our favourites. Certainly one for those with a sweet tooth, it brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘dessert cocktail’. Crafted with coffee, maple syrup and your choice of vodka, whisky or rum. Chilled with liquid nitrogen and topped with a saffron and vanilla mousse.
4. Riley St Garage
Blending vanilla-infused Ketel One vodka with espresso, Kahlua and pinch of salt and sugar, Riley St Garage brings your their ‘Sweet & Salty ‘spresso’ ($19). Coupled with a glass that’s rimmed with salted caramel and biscotti, this ‘Sweet & Salty ‘espresso’ will no doubt have you licking it clean.
5. The Butler
Let’s be honest, one espresso martini just isn’t enough, and thankfully The Butler gives you a choice of three. With the option of vodka and toasted coconut, rum and maple (our personal favourite) or cognac and cinnamon ($18), it’s easy to say that once you’ve had one, you’ll have all three.
123 Victoria St, Potts Point
Mon & Tues 4pm-12am, Wed-Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-10pm
6. Primus Hotel’s Lobby Bar
With a menu dedicated to martini’s, it would’ve been so wrong not to have given Primus’ Espresso Martini ($24-$28) a try. Made with cold drip coffee, vanilla-infused vodka, Kahlua and Frangelico, these classic flavours put the Espresso Martini sixth on our list. Chilled with liquid nitrogen, it has that extra wow factor.
7. Pocket Bar
Bringing together the sturdy flavours of Glenmorangie with a dash of vermouth, the ‘No Money, Some Honey’ ($20) at Pocket Bar is great example of how diverse flavours of an espresso martini can be. The coffee, honey, chocolate bitters and salt pairs perfectly with the vanilla, and creaminess of the whisky and makes for a smooth drop.
8. Barrio Cellar
If tequila is the way to your heart, you’ve got to try the ‘Cellar Espresso Martini’ ($19) at Barrio Cellar. Putting a Mexican spin on their version, they ditch the vodka for tequila, add dark rum and agave with crème de cacao. It’s a surefire pick me up with a nutty, boozy flavour.
9. The Wild Rover
Coffee aficionados will want to try the ‘The Cold Drip Suburban’ ($18) at the WIld Rover. A nod to the classic cocktail, it blends Old Forester bourbon whisky, dark rum and port. With the addition of cold drip coffee, what you end up with is a mouth watering flavour combination of coffee, hard liquor and nuttiness with the addition of walnut bitters.
10. Dead Ringer
We’re aware this one isn’t technically a martini, but Dead Ringer’s ‘Obligatory’ ($19) deserves to be on the list. Granted it’s a slight crack at the popularity of both Old Fashions and coffee cocktails, we’re not even bothered because it’s just that good. Made with aged tequila, cold drip coffee and smoked maple it really holds a unique flavour.