EVER JUST HAVE “one of those” weeks? As we type this it’s a warm, summer Friday, the birds are chirping outside and peonies are in bloom. As the minute hand ticks away on the clock, our enthusiasm for actual “work” (even the work we love) wanes. Perhaps that’s you every Friday; maybe you’ve scrolled all you can on Facebook, are completely bored with Instagram, can’t handle another Trump headline, and that’s why you’re paging through this column.
If you suffer from such end of week inattention, we recommend packing up your things early (it’s Friday so it’s allowed), heading to the bar, and ordering up the time-honored classic Espresso Martini. It’s not from the pre-Prohibition Era, and having been invented in the ’8Os it’s more of a Dark Ages relic than a Golden Ager. But there was a time when ordering this indisputably delicious drink may have earned you the ire of your bartender: thus, making it an Endangered Cocktail worth investigating.
The drink we now know as Espresso Martini was invented in London in 1983 by a famed barman named Dick Bradsell, who was known for revitalizing the London cocktail scene. According to lore a young model asked him for something to “wake me up, then f*#%k me up.” She’s allegedly now world famous, though Bradsell never revealed this ingénue’s name – so discreet! It was first called the Vodka Espresso, and later The Pharmaceutical Stimulant. The drink went on to become all the rage as anyone who remembers the late-199Os will recall.
As bartenders became more interested in pre-Prohibition recipes and vintage ingredients eschewing vodka became a trend: ordering an Espresso Martini from a mustachioed barman in arm garters would most certainly have earned you an eye-roll in certain spots circa 2OO7. In addition to making you seem basic, the drink requires that pesky essential ingredient: a freshly poured shot of espresso, which might require a pilgrimage to another part of the restaurant to retrieve – so many steps!
These days it’s much trendier for bartenders to make guests whatever the heck they want with a smile, especially in Boston where the pretentiousness bartender thing never really took off. It’s also much more common to see a flip or a Ramos Gin Fizz on a bar menu these days, and compared to an Espresso Martini, those drinks are a real pain to make.
For us LUPEC ladies, our love for the Espresso Martini never waned. It’s a delight as dessert, or on a summer Friday afternoon when your energy has begun to flag – you’ve got a weekend to attend to after all, it’s time to perk up!
THE VODKA ESPRESSO
2 ounces of vodka
1 ounce of espresso
1/2 ounce of coffee liqueur
1/4 ounce of simple syrup (1:1)
Combine ingredients in a shaker and
Fill with ice.
Shake until chilled and foamy
Strain into chilled glass.
Garnish with 3 coffee beans.