No idea why or how 15th March got ordained Espresso Martini Day but here at Bespoke Black Book any reason to drink our favourite cocktail is a much welcome one! It’s our signature tipple, as you may have seen from numerous articles stating so, so with March 15th not far away we have rounded up the best places in London to get an Espresso Martini.
Why here you say? Well unfortunately, Dick’s Bar, where the Espresso Martini was born, or Vodka Espresso as it was named in 1983 when Dick Bradsell, one of the most influential bartenders to ever operate created this now iconic cocktail, no longer exists. The story is now something of legend as to who (a top American model) asked for a creation that would both “wake me up, then f**k me up” but fortunately, there is El Camion on Brewer Street in London’s Soho and you cannot create a Espresso Martini list without honouring this hallowed bar. El Camion was Dick Bradsell’s last stint behind the bar before he retired.
You cannot help but feel special drinking a cocktail while sitting at the American Bar at The Stafford Hotel. Surrounded by decades of memorabilia this bar has been a bolthole for visiting Americans, exuding the same ambience as an East Coast Members’ Club and servicing American infantryman during World War II! The Espresso Martini here is served in one of the most luxurious coupe glasses in London. But it is definitely not only about the glassware, made with the classic ingredients, this Espresso Martini is as smooth and sophisticated as the hotel itself.
This restaurant mini-chain boasts its own coffee roasters and loves the Espresso Martini so much they serve three variations across their four sites. The martini at Bankside offers the standard recipe as created back in the 80’s with vodka, the City location adds a fragrant star anise infusion, while the King’s Cross and Exmouth Market teams swap vodka for Golden Rum as per the Bespoke Black Book recipe. They get our vote!
This might be biassed because this used to be the Bespoke Black Book’s local but they could always rustle up a great Espresso Martini, even at 2am after a night out on the town. Whether pre-dinner cocktails or late-night drinks, this bar is the perfect spot and might be the best kept secret in London. An intimate setting, with a sophisticated London buzz, the discreet charisma of this authentic and atmospheric venue is beyond captivating, so is the perfect location for admiring oneself while sipping an Espresso Martini.
Approximately 182 metres above ground level, you will discover GŎNG at The Shangri-La, the highest hotel bar in Western Europe that was designed by renowned interior designer Andre Fu. So if you are looking for an Espresso Martini with a view this has to be it! Sexy and elegant, this bar exudes luxury, and with a killer view of London it’s the perfect place to sip a cocktail or two. With Asian influences behind the bar they are alway open to creating something bespoke so if you want to go off-menu with your Espresso Martini this is the place to try something new and unique.
Or if none of the above tickles your fancy then why not make a Bespoke Black Book Espresso Martini at home, it’s pretty simple.
Makes 2 Espresso Martinis:
- 100ml Dark Rum
- 50ml Coffee liqueur – we use Kahlua
- 50ml Freshly brewed Espresso
- Coffee beans
- Add all of the ingredients to a shaker
- Fill with ice and shake
- Strain into two chilled coupe or martini glass
- Garnish with 3 coffee beans each