This Espresso Martini with Patrón XO Cafe and Cardamom Bitters is probably my favourite version of all the coffee martinis out there. It’s a rich, creamy and indulgent cocktail with hints of bitter that will give you a spring in your step!
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
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How do you make an Espresso Martini
Espresso martini is a classic cold coffee cocktail that’s traditionally made with vodka, Kahlua and a shot of espresso, with or without a little sugar syrup. It’s strong, it’s creamy, with deliciously bitter coffee notes, and will keep the party going!
There are many recipes out there for this coffee cocktail, with equal part ingredients or more or less of this and that. Basically, as long as you stick to the 3 ingredients, you can pretty much please yourself.
However, our espresso martini today is going to be using the delicious Patrón XO Cafe, which is coffee flavoured tequila, with added cardamom bitters.
What is Patrón XO Cafe
I got a bottle of Patrón XO Cafe from Ocado to review sometime in December. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t even know that coffee tequila was a thing! I couldn’t wait to try it.
I mean coffee flavoured tequila? Yes, please, already! It’s a delicious bottle of Patrón tequila with essence of arabica beans. This has become my go-to coffee liqueur because unlike every other coffee liqueur I’ve tried, it’s not sickly sweet. It’s dry, bold yet smooth, with a light syrupy feel and flavour and way too easy to drink on its own.
Perfect in shot glasses, but also delicious on ice.
LinsFood’s Espresso Martini
So, as mentioned above, our recipe today, uses coffee tequila, specifically, Patrón XO Cafe. A few weeks after discovering it, I came across the Bitter Bastards’ Cardamom Bitters in Ocado’s January sale.
Cue lightbulb moment!
Since I was using coffee tequila, I thought that I’d try the coffee cocktail with tequila blanco too, instead of the customary vodka. So I suffered for my craft and made 2 versions. So there was a lot of sipping martini, then water, then martini again. Repeat.
While still walking a straight, I decided that the vodka version allowed the coffee liqueur to shine through better. Not mention the cardamom flavour.
So our Espresso Martini is made of:
- Patrón XO Cafe
- cardamom bitters
- optional sugar syrup (I’m not using it, I’ve got a sugar rim instead)
No Cardamom Bitters? No sweat. Crack open a cardamom and drop it into your hot espresso. Leave to infuse and shake along with everything else when making the espresso martini.
What makes an Espresso Martini Frothy?
Quite possibly, the most important part of the espresso martini is that crema (froth) at the top of the cocktail. Not only does it enhance the look of the cocktail, but it adds a creamy layer of flavour.
Called crema, to many, this froth is the most prized part of a good cup of freshly brewed espresso. The crema is in fact a stable collection of tiny little bubbles caused by the pressure created by coffee machines.
To achieve this crema in our espresso martini, all we need to do is to give it a good shake in a cocktail shaker. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, a milk frother will work, or place it in a jar with a lid and shake it up.
Difford’s Guide says that we ought to make our espresso martini with hot, freshly brewed coffee to maintain this crema, but I’m not a hundred percent convinced that this is the way to go. It’s true that the actual espresso crema does disappear once the coffee is cold, but since shaking it with ice creates the foam, I don’t think it matters too much.
I think starting with hot espresso just dilutes the cocktail far too much. I’ll let you decide that for yourself, let me know what you think.
And on that note, shall we get our aprons on?
More LinsFood Cocktails
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Espresso Martini with Patrón XO Cafe and Cardamom Bitters
- espresso maker (moka pot or machine)
- cocktail shaker
- 30 ml Patrón XO Cafe
- 30 ml vodka
- 30 ml cool espresso to be made at least 1 hour before and chilled
- 3 dashes cardamom bitters sub with an actual cardamom, see Notes below
- 3 ice cubes
- sugar syrup to sweeten this is just sugar simmered in water (see this margarita post for recipe)
- demerara sugar for the rim
Make your espresso AT LEAST 1 hour before and place it in the fridge.
- Place the tequila, vodka, espresso and ice cubes in a shaker and shake for 10 seconds to mix and create that froth you see.
- Strain into your cocktail glass.
Optional sugar rim
- Place the demerara sugar in a saucer.
- Dip your clean for finger and thumb in your cold espresso and run it around your glass.
- Dip or twirl the edge of your glass to coat with the sugar and proceed with the instructions above for making the espresso martini.
Fancy another cool drink?
- You'll enjoy this Raspberry & Chocolate Margarita! Click for the recipe.