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

Coco Loco Cocktail – Outstanding Colombian Coconut Drink

About The Coco Loco

The Coco Loco is a popular beach and street stand cocktail in Colombian that has spread to other parts of the Caribbean. Now I’ve never been to Colombia and couldn’t find any old recipe books mentioning it so everything I have learned about it I got from the all mighty Google. Granted it does seem to be a pretty popular beach goer and tourist drink with each selling using a different recipe. I couldn’t find anything canon on the coco loco and like so many Caribbean cocktails it seem to be comfortably living as a quite local drink with countless variations. The coco loco is often made right on the beach in front of the customer. The vendor cuts the top off a coconut, add the ingredients in with the coconut water, gives the coconut a couple shakes and put a straw in the hole. Although even with all the variety every recipe I tested includes coconut cream, coconut water, lime juice, simple syrup, vodka, white rum, and silver tequila. So basically I just stuck to the average of most recipes I found. I do question how old it is and can’t see it being older than the 1950s, at the most. The inclusion of vodka is odd since vodka didn’t really leave Russia in large volumes till the bolshevik revolution in 1917. Furthermore vodka didn’t become a popular cocktail spirit till the 1940s with the invention of the Moscow Mule in LA. If the Coco Loco is older than that then I imagine vodka was a later addition to boost the ABV for suit american taste.

Variations of the Coco Loco

From what I read there seem to be as many recipes for the coco loco as there are people making it. Its a cheap and easy to make cocktail that tourist can be suckered into paying a high price for. In fact most of the major Caribbean cruise ships have their own recipe for it too. The recipe provided here is the sum of all the recipes I could find for it in English and Spanish averaged out. Think of this as a default recipe, but if you want to add something that improves it or make it unique then go for it.

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Coco Loco Cocktail – Outstanding Colombian Coconut Drink

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Course: DrinksCuisine: Colombian
Servings

1

servings
Calories

356

kcal
ABV

9%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Coco Loco.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Coconut Milk

  • 2 oz Coconut Water

  • 1/2 oz Vodka

  • 1/2 oz Silver Tequila

  • 1/2 oz White 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

Blue Hawaii – Original 1957 Harry Yee Cocktail Recipe

The History of the Blue Hawaii

Invented by Harry Yee in 1957, the Blue Hawaii is a classic Hawaiian cocktail and one of the few tiki style cocktails to actually come from a Polynesian island. Harry Yee came up with the blue Hawaii while working at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort in Waikiki after Bol’s approached the bartenders there and asked them to come up with a recipe that used their blue orange liqueur. After a few experiments Harry came up with this recipe called his creation the Blue Hawaii. Predating the iconic Elvis Presley movie by 4 years it is unknown if this cocktail inspired the title for the movie Blue Hawaii, but the drink did come first. As a side note I love the movie Blue Hawaii. I am a heterosexual male, but even I need to change my underwear whenever I hear Elvis sing “Can’t help falling in love”. It should be required viewing before traveling there for vacation. The movie was originally titled “Hawaiian Beach Boy” so perhaps while filming the director found the local blue Hawaii cocktail’s name to be a better fit.

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Blue Hawaii – Original 1957 Harry Yee Cocktail Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

163

kcal
ABV

13%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Blue Hawaii.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Blue Orange Liqueur

  • 3 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 2/3 oz Vodka

  • 2/3 oz White 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

Long Island Ice Tea – Classic 1972 Bob Butt Recipe

Created by Bob Butt in 1972, this drink was an entry into an orange liqueur mixing contest. The Long Island carries on the tradition of naming east coast cocktails after regions of New York and specifically gets its name from the fact that Mr. Butt was working at a bar in Long Island at the time.

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Long Island Ice Tea – Classic 1972 Bob Butt Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

540

kcal
ABV

29%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a Long Island Ice Tea.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1.5 oz Vodka

  • 1.5 oz White Rum

  • 1.5 oz Dry Gin

  • 1.5 oz Reposado Tequila

  • 1 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 1.5 oz Coke

Directions

  • Add ice to the serving glass. Combine all the ingredients in the serving glass.
  • Give the drink a couple turns to chill and mix.

Notes

Vodka Martini – A Clean Classic 1960s Martini

The Vodka Martini came about in the 1960s. Vodka is relatively old historically (it has been around since the 12th century) but didn’t become popular for mixing in cocktails until the mid 1940s. This makes for a very clean Martini. I love good ol’ Gin Martinis but these are very good too. The Vodka martini was also James Bond’s drink of choice after his first love interest Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale died. After her death he never ordered another vesper cocktail again. He replaced it with the vodka martini.

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Vodka Martini – A Clean Classic 1960s Martini

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

1

servings
Calories

186

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Vodka Martini.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 2 oz Vodka

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes

Vesper Cocktail – Original 1953 Ian Fleming Recipe From Casino Royale

Believe it or not Ian Fleming is cited as the creator of this famous James Bond cocktail. Living the adventurous life of James Bond is every old man’s fantasy and Bond is famous for his drinks and his women. He had a cocktail perfect for every situation and the Vesper was inspired by the beautiful Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale. Please don’t shake this drink, I know Bond asks for it this way but it really is better stirred. Eventually character Vesper Lynd reveals herself to be an evil double agent and, overcome by her guilt and love for Bond’s big, suave, and throbbing… heart, kills herself. Stricken with sadness Bond never orders another Vesper again and instead replaces it with the Vodka Martini, and a bunch of other cocktails throughout the rest of the series. Bond is basically the male version of a bodice ripper for men. I won’t lie, I wouldn’t mind living his life. Over sexed, drunk, and a license to kill? Sign me up.

So I mention using Cocchi Americano instead of Lillet Blanc because Cocchi Americano taste is closer to what Lillet Blanc tasted like in the 50s. Even though Lillet Blanc is the original ingredient, the product was updated in 1985 to be sweeter and have the quinine removed. Cocchi Americano is drier and still has the quinine bitterness of the old Lillet Blanc.

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Vesper Cocktail – Original 1953 Ian Fleming Recipe From Casino Royale

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

1

servings
Calories

312

kcal
ABV

37%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Vesper.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 oz Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano

  • 1/2 oz Vodka

  • 1.5 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.
  • Garnish with an expressed lemon peel.

Notes

Bloody Mary – Classic 1920s Fernand Petiot Recipe

The History Of The Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary originated in 1920s Paris France by Fernand Petiot, while working at The New York Bar. This bar would later go on to become the famous Harry’s New York Bar after it was bought by Harry MacElhone. Fernand came up with the Bloody Mary as a kind of a hair of the dog drink to cure hangovers and the popular myth states it was none other than the famous drunk Ernest Hemingway who Fernand first made the cocktail for. While that most likely is not true, its still fun to imagine.

After prohibition ended Fernand Petiot immigrated to New York and served his signature cocktail at The King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel. In France the Bloody Mary was still just tomato juice and vodka but New Yorkers were not impressed. They found the drink flat, two demential, and too tomato-y. They suggested he somehow spice it up a bit. English being his second language, he took the suggestion literally. He added hot sauce, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. The spiced up remake was a hit. More and more people began ordering Fernand’s Bloody Mary but the St. Regis Hotel found the name to be too vulgar for its high class clientele. They tried to change the name to The Red Snapper, but it was too late. The cocktail had expanded beyond the hotel’s walls and the public knew it as the Bloody Mary.

What Does a Bloody Mary Taste Like

Peoples opinion of a Bloody Mary is typically a binary. They either love them or hate them. Its not your typical cocktail, because unlike other cocktails that are either sweet, sour, refreshing, earthy, or herbal, the Bloody Mary is creamy and savory. The Bloody Mary has a creamy full body mouth feel, it’s salty and sweet with bright red tomato and umami flavors. It’s understandable that some people find this to be an off-putting taste for a cocktail since its so different. Personally speaking I am put off when the tomato flavor is too strong but I love this cocktail when there is much more Worcestershire and horse radish in the drink. Like buying a jar of spaghetti sauce, just because you don’t like one brand does not mean you dislike spaghetti entirely. Maybe the issue isn’t the flavors of the drink but the proportions and balance of those flavors. If made right this can be a very tasty drink. Which is why, unless you find a Bloody Mary mixer you really like, it’s best to make it from scratch exactly the way you like.

Bloody Mary MIx vs making it from scratch

If you are wondering whether to buy a mix or make it from scratch, it taste best made from scratch and is almost the same amount of work. In fact you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge already. Also if you are able to drive to the store to buy mixer then you can buy tomato juice and spices. There are some mixers that taste good but they end up costing 2 to 3 times as much as just getting the ingredients and a cheap mixer just taste cheap. In addition making it yourself provides you much more control over the taste and final product.

Now if you’re wondering whether to use V8 or Tomato juice, then that is up to you and a matter of preference. V8 is fine and gives the drink a more herbal tomato soup like taste while using normal tomato juice gives it a cleaner more brighter tomato taste. They’re cheap ingredients so try both and see which you prefer.

The Bloody Mary as a Hangover Cure

The Bloody Mary was originally a “hair of the dog” cocktail. Hair of the dog was a 19th century English expression for saying that one can heal a wound by applying to the wound a part of the thing that did the damage. It came from the idea that if you were bit by a dog then putting some of the dogs hair in the bite would help keep the wound from getting infected. In the case of a hangover, a hair of the dog cocktail is one you drink the next morning to help ease the pain. As you start to sober up, your brain starts to register what hell you just did to yourself. This keeps you from fully sobering up. It’s suppose to give you just enough of a buzz to numb you till the brunt of the hangover passes. That being said the Bloody Mary actually is a pretty good hangover drink. The Bloody Mary provides electrolytes, vitamins, enough booze to lightly buzz, enough fluid to help hydrate, and spices for pain relief . Salt provides the electrolytes. Tomato juice is high in vitamin C, E and potassium. Lemon juice is high in vitamin C. Worcestershire sauce has B vitamins, niacin, and vitamin C. Horse radish is also very high in antioxidants. And hot sauce has capsaicin in it which is often used as pain relief since capsaicin turns off the neurotransmitters that are currently telling the brain it’s in pain. Kinda like Tylenol. 

The Most important ingredient

The most important ingredient in this cocktail is the spices you use to balance the tomato juice and the amount of spices you use. Like the 1930s New Yorkers who told Fernand Petiot to spice the drink up because it was too tomato-y; What you are trying to accomplish with this cocktail is how the spices enrich and balance the tomato juice flavor. It doesn’t take much Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, or horseradish to drastically change the flavor but the right amount will blend evenly with the tomato juice. Too little spice make for a flat drink and too much is overwhelming. I got better at making this drink the more I cooked in the kitchen and learned to not fear cooking with spices. The most common problem people make when making a Bloody Mary is they under spice it and the drink ends up too tomato-y, flavorless, and flat. This leads many people to think they hate bloody Marys or they are gross. Taste is unique to everyone so under spiced to one is perfect to another but my advice it to taste each ingredient individually and experiment with flavors and proportions. If the taste is not right then add what it needs to make it right. This isn’t an easy drink to get right so don’t if its not quite right, don’t be discouraged, just keep trying.

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Bloody Mary – Classic 1920s Fernand Petiot Recipe

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

1

servings
Calories

171

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Bloody Mary.

Ingredients

  • Add To Taste Salt

  • Add To Taste Black Pepper

  • Add To Taste Worcestershire sauce

  • Add To Taste Hot Sauce

  • 1 oz Lime Juice

  • 5 oz Tomato Juice

  • 2 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 a highball glass with ice.

Notes

Improved Midori Sour – A Balanced Herbal Twist on the Midori Sour

This isn’t a classic cocktail it’s just a really good cocktail. The Midori sour is pretty awful drink. If you google it you’ll find many different recipes for it (also trying to improve it) but the official Beam Suntory recipe is half Midori and half sweet and sour mix. It comes in around 10% ABV and taste as bad as it sounds. This late 70s drink reeks of sweaty polyester suits at studio 54 looking to fuck.

This improved one keeps the same flavor and intent as the original, but isn’t as sweet and the herbal flavors make it much more palatable.

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Improved Midori Sour – A Balanced Herbal Twist on the Midori Sour

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

1

servings
Calories

252

kcal
ABV

28%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the an Improved Midori Sour.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 oz Midori

  • 1 tsp Green Chartreuse

  • 2 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

Notes

Screwdriver Cocktail – The Classic Breakfast Cocktail

The Screw Driver kinda tastes like rotten orange juice to me, but don’t take my word for it. Other people seem to like this drink so make it and form your own opinion. One story I have read goes that laborers long ago use to use screw drivers to stir their morning drink (because who doesn’t want an adult beverage some mornings?, but I have not been able to validate this as true or false.

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Screwdriver Cocktail – The Classic Breakfast Cocktail

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

1

servings
Calories

303

kcal
ABV

11%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Screwdriver.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 5 oz Orange Juice

Directions

  • Simply combine all ingredients in a glass filled with ice and stir.

Notes

Lemon Drop Martini – Original 1970s Norman Jay Hobday Recipe

Invented in the 1970s in San Francisco by Norman Jay Hobday, this drink is essentially a fancy Vodka Sour. It replaces the simple syrup with orange liqueur and has a fun catchy name too. I leave the word martini off this intentionally because there is nothing martini about this. This is a sour through and through and has more in common with the Sidecar than a Dry Martini. Bars just like putting this drink in a Martini glass for some reason, thus the confusion.

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Lemon Drop Martini – Original 1970s Norman jay Hobday Recipe

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

1

servings
Calories

235

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Lemon Drop Martini.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 2 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.

Notes