Espresso Martini – Dick Bradsell’s Iconic Vodka Espresso Cocktail

History Of The Espresso Martini

Invented by Dick Bradsell at Fred’s Club in London during the late 1980s, the espresso martini was the request of one of the patrons. Dick Bradsell claims a famous supermodel walked into the bar and requested a cocktail that would “Wake me up, and fuck me up.” He liked to elude to who but he never said exactly who requested the drink, but most seem to think it was Kate Moss, the other guess is maybe Naomi Campbell. Interestingly Kate Moss was born in 1974 so for this version to be true the oldest Kate Moss could have been is 16. She didn’t turn 18 till 1992. Maybe that’s why he never wanted to say who the model was, or the story is a bit exaggerated to make it sound cooler. Either way, who cares. it was over 30 years ago and the espresso martini is great. The original name for the espresso martini was the vodka espresso but somewhere along the line they went with espresso martini because it sounded cooler. There was also Cold War resentment during this time period and Dick Bradsell mentioned in interviews how he would try to avoid using Russian vodkas as it upset some in positions of power over him. Perhaps dropping the word vodka from its name was a strategic move to help avoid criticism.

Can You Use Normal Coffee To Make An Espresso Martini

Of course you can use normal coffee for espresso martini, you can do whatever the hell you damn well please, but it may not have the same flavor or foam on top. If you wanna make an espresso martini you kinda need espresso. Drip coffee gets you 50% of the way there but not all the way. It will still be good but not the same. Why this matters and why espresso is much better for this drink than normal drip coffee is the water to coffee ratio of espresso vs drip coffee. Espresso is a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of coffee to water and normal drip coffee is around 1:10 for a medium flavor cup of coffee. The drip coffee is fine but since you are only using 1 oz of it you want as much flavor and coffee bean oils as possible. The oil is what helps give it foam (read the section below on froth) and drip coffee will leave the drink a bit underwhelming, but the kahlua does help.

I won’t lie I was gifted a big espresso maker that cost a ton when helping a friend move, I would never personally pay for a coffee maker that cost as much as this one cost, but it is super fast and easy to use and convenient for getting an espresso shot or two right away. Although after all the years of drinking good and bad coffee and owning different makers, my favorite espresso maker is still my old little cheap Bialetti stove top unit. It’s 30 bucks, no moving parts, easy to use and makes hands down the best espresso. I would challenge my old dirty little Bialetti to the most expensive espresso machine any day. It’s one of those things that was invented 100+ years ago and has never changed because the first design was perfect. TLDR, if you are planning to make a ton of these day after day then get a machine to pull quick shots, but if you’re just making a few for yourself and friends then save your money and use a cheap stove top unit. Also I find how tight the espresso is tamped down to be more meaningful. There are little torque tampers that click when the pressure is ideal but really you just press till you can press anymore and you feel the grains stop compressing. Don’t hulk it but don’t be afraid to smash it down. This helps promote a more even and slower extraction. This was a bit of a coffee rant but I hope it helps if you were wondering.

How To Make An Espresso Martini Frothy

Shaking produces tons of bubbles but without something to stabilize the bubbles and keep them from falling apart back into the drink. Typically in cocktails the denatured protein in egg whites are used to create foam but how do you make foam without egg whites? Try shaking a martini, it will never get foamy. So the bubble stabilizing parts of an espresso martini are oil and sugar. Oil and sugar help increases the viscosity of the drink and make it difficult for the bubbles to break apart or combine together into larger bubbles. Also you kinda just gotta shake the shit out of it. You don’t need to shake it any longer but it should be a bit harder than usual since you’re trying to get a drink to foam that doesn’t really want to.

The photo I took of this cocktail was made with this exact recipe, but sometimes you get different results even when you do something the same way. Thats life. So if the foam does not quite look like this then first check your espresso. The rule of thumb is the more light brown foam on top of your espresso the more oil. The foam on top of the espresso shot are the oils from the coffee bean. Experiment with a longer or slower extraction, if you can, to see if you get more foam on the top of your espresso. Personally my machine pulls a shot a bit too fast. I found that my second shot of the same grounds actually has way more foam than my first shot and also taste better. Maybe its a setting I need to change or just how this one works. White foam is not helpful though and is just the shot getting watered down. White foam is mostly watery coffee bean oil that won’t hold or taste good. It should be a nice light brown, once the espresso foam starts to loose color you are pulling too long. Also try different brands. Different brands roast differently and that can change how much oil the toasted seeds can hold. I’ve always been a big fan of the Cuban brands but Italian ones are good too. Another thing to try is adding a bit more sugar or coffee liqueur. Not too much as these proportions are good but a teaspoon more (5mls) can help hold the foam after shaking. Also if you ever watch a video of Dick Bradsell make an espresso martini its not very foamy, and he’s the guy who invented them.

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Espresso Martini – Dick Bradsell’s Iconic Vodka Espresso Cocktail

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

246

kcal
ABV

20%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make an Espresso Martini

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 2/3 oz Coffee Liqueur

  • 1.5 oz Vodka

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.
  • Garnish with 3 espresso beans.

Notes

Bahama Mama – Oswald Greenslade’s Caribbean Cocktail Recipe

The History Of The Bahama Mama

The Bahama Mama is not just a cocktail that gets you thrown out of an Applebees for disorderly conduct. It’s actually a unique and tasty Caribbean cocktail. The only person who claims to have invented the Bahama Mama was Caribbean bartender Oswald Greenslade in his 2012 Cocktail book “One More Cocktail: A Guide to Making Bahamian Cocktails” Oswald Greenslade’s website says didn’t start his bartending career until 1961 but the Bahama Mama was already a known drink by the 1950s. So chances are he didn’t actually invent it, but this may still be the closest we have to an early 1950s Caribbean recipe.

Bahama Mama Variations

There are as many Bahama Mama variations as there are Bahama Mamas. there are some that look like tequila sunrises, some that are grapefruit based, orange based, passion fruit, etc and they come in all colors. There is nothing to say this is the definitive recipe but Oswald Greenslade is the only one I can find who lays claim to having the authentic recipe/ inventing it. Most likely thought there is no singular authentic recipe and there maybe never was.

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Bahama Mama – Oswald Greenslade’s Caribbean Cocktail Recipe

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: Caribbean
Servings

1

servings
Calories

278

kcal
ABV

12%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Bahama Mama.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

  • 4 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1/3 oz Coffee Liqueur

  • 1/2 oz Coconut Liqueur

  • 1/2 oz 151

  • 1 oz Black Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker and add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass filled with ice.

Notes

Brave Bull Cocktail – Trader Vic’s 1972 Kahlua Cocktail

This an awesome cocktail and my favorite Kahlua cocktail. So if you’re not a coffee liqueur fan this one is still defiantly worth a shot. If you already like Black or White Russians then this one may become your new favorite. The origin of the name brave bull is not really know. There was a 1950s movie called The Brave Bulls and maybe it was named after that, but there is no evidence to suggest so. I found the whole movie for free on youtube but I have no interest in watching it. So if you’re so inclined to find out if they mention the drink during the movie be my guest and send me an email. I’m sure this cocktail is older than this but the oldest reference I can find of it is in Trader Vic’s 1972 revised bartending guide.

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Brave Bull Cocktail – Trader Vic’s 1972 Kahlua Cocktail

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

276

kcal
ABV

33%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a Brave Bull.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Coffee Liqueur

  • 2 oz Anejo Tequila

Directions

  • Simply combine the ingredients in a glass with ice.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.

Notes

White Russian – Classic 1950s Coffee Liqueur Cocktail

This drink is a bit too sweet for me, but I make them and drink them anyway because I want to feel as cool as the Dude. The Big Lebowski is a cult classic and therefore this drink will always have a cult following. This drink is just the boozier version of a Kahlua and Cream.

Another variation on this is the Black Russian, which is just coffee liqueur and vodka. These drinks started showing up in the late 40s early 50s but it wasn’t until the film The Big Lebowski that the White Russian gained popularity.

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White Russian – Classic 1950s Coffee Liqueur Cocktail

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

398

kcal
ABV

22%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic White Russian.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Coffee Liqueur

  • 1.5 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Heavy Cream

Directions

  • Add ice to the serving glass. Combine all the Vodka and Coffee Liqueur in the glass and give it a few turns to chill and mix.
  • Top the cocktail with heavy cream or for a nicer presentation, shake the heavy cream in a shaker for a minute to lightly whip it before topping the cocktail.

Notes