Get the Best Foam When Making an Espresso Martini at Home

Get the Best Foam When Making an Espresso Martini at Home

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The espresso martini has come onto the cocktail scene like a bat out of hell. A caffeinated, foamy, delicious bat (don't eat bats). It's the convergence of two beverage categories home to impassioned connisuers - espresso and cocktails - making the claim for the best espresso martini recipe a well argued one. We have our favorite espresso martini recipe below, but no matter which recipe you're using there's one part that makes or breaks the cocktail - the almighty foam. Getting foam right in any cocktail can be tricky and success is a function of quality ingredients and a strong shake. But don't worry, we're here for you so that when you want to make the best espresso martini at home, you'll nail the foam every time.

The Key to Good Foam in an Espresso Martini is the Quality of the Espresso

Yes. We hate to break it to you, but while you'll find recipe blogs and even bartenders tell you that traditional coffee or cold brew can make a decent espresso martini, true espresso is the only thing that will give you the luscious, velvety foam that you crave on this cocktail. Why is that?

Well, when you shake a cocktail what you're doing is introducing air into the liquid. Some liquid take on this air in stride (such as espresso) while others don't absorb it as well (such as cold brew). This is a process called aeration, and in addition to providing smoothness and giving a good head to your espresso martini, it also rounds out the bitterness of the espresso.

If you've every drank a regular espresso, you'll notice a little foam on top. This is called the crema, and it's a by-product of the high-pressure extraction process espresso goes through. The concentrated nature and acidity of espresso, combined with this process, is what gives it a leg up over regular coffee and cold brew to produce aeriation inside a cocktail shaker, and with that the best foam on espresso martinis.

Only Use Room Temperature Espresso

The most common mistake we see from people creating a homemade espresso martini is to use hot espresso. We get it, it seems like the natural thing to do to use the freshest espresso right when it's done. But here's the problem: it melts the ice. Yes, once you pour hot espresso into the cocktail shaker, it's immediately going to start melting the ice which creates three problems for you.

Why You Shouldn't Use Hot Espresso in an Espresso Martini

  1. It dilutes the drink
  2. It makes it so the espresso martini won't be chilled
  3. It makes the liquid less open to aeration resulting in less foam

So when you're making an espresso martini at home, pour the espresso into a shallow bowl to cool for a few minutes. This way when you add it into the shaker you'll truly just be aerating pure espresso and the ice can do its job of chilling the drink without diluting it.

With the Foam Covered, Here's Our Recipe for the Best Espresso Martini

Making the espresso is honestly the most difficult part of this recipe. While that can be intimidating, don't sweat it. If you already have an espresso machine at home, you're already a pro and don't need us telling you what to do. But if don't, we'd recommend grabbing one of these Mokonas from Bialetti. We have one at the FICKS office, and it holds up well as not too crazy of a price point.

Once you've got the espresso, it's just an exercise in combining, shaking, and pouring. Let's dive in!

Ingredients for the Best Espresso Martini (Makes 1 Cocktail)

  1. 1/2 cup espresso
  2. 1 shot Mr. Black coffee liqueur
  3. 1 shot vodka

Espresso Martini Garnishes

  1. Ground espresso beans

Best Homemade Espresso Martini Recipe

1. Make the espresso.

You can do this at home if you have an espresso machine. If you don't know how to make espresso, or don't have a machine, you can also run to your nearest coffee shop to whip some up for you. Either way, once the espresso is made let it sit in a shallow bowl until it has cooled down to room temperature. This will be key in making the best foam in the espresso martini. DO NOT USE HOT ESPRESSO IN AN ESPRESSO MARTINI!

2. Add ice, Mr. Black coffee liqueur, and vodka to a cocktail shaker. Shake well.

Espresso Martini Mr Black Coffee Liqueur

Best Espresso Martini Foam Shaking Cocktail

3. Pour into a coupe glass so there is a lot of surface area for the espresso martini foam to rest.

Perfect Foam on an Espresso Martini at Home

Espresso Martini Foam Closeup

4. Garnish the cocktail with ground espresso beans, or a few espresso beans.

Foamy Espresso Martini with Ground Espresso Beans for Garnish

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