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It's time for a rant!

Today's topic is the Espresso Martini. To be clear, I have nothing against espresso -- I consume quite a bit of it on a daily basis, in fact. Nor do I have anything against martinis, as long as they are properly made.

So here are my arguments against the Espresso Martini:

Too Early For Booze
This is a drink containing both Kahlúa and espresso, so one might imagine it's a morning drink? But outside of maybe Sunday brunch, any hour of the day that is appropriate to drink an espresso (for me personally, that's before 4pm) is probably (though not definitely) too early to start drinking alcohol. The Kahlúa is probably not that strong, but the vodka certainly is too strong to be drinking first thing in the morning. Or even early afternoon.

Too Late for Caffeine
Since this is nominally called a "martini" (more on that later) one could imagine that this is intended as an evening drink, but drinking caffeine in the evening seems like something most of us have learned to avoid by the time we turn 30 or so.

(As an aside, since my personal caffeine cutoff is 4pm, and my minimum booze start-time is 5pm, I often spend the hour between 4 and 5pm pondering what to drink. But I digress).

This means that there are effectively zero hours of the day where it is appropriate to drink all the ingredients that are contained in a typical Espresso Martini.

(I do realize that some people can drink fully-caffeinated coffee right before bed, but those people are freaks of nature. And if they're drinking Espresso Martinis right before bedtime, they probably have bigger problems anyway.)

Ingredients
I don't dislike any of the ingredients in an Espresso Martini, individually. Vodka? Check. Kahlúa? Check. Espresso? Check. Okay, I could do without sugar, so the simple syrup is probably off my personal list. And probably the Kahlúa, too, but not because I don't like it.

But when you put all these ingredients together, I have some issues. In addition to the mutually exclusive time-of-day issue mentioned above, THIS IS NOT A FUCKING MARTINI! Firstly, a martini is made with gin. End-of. There is NO vodka in a martini. Ever. I realize that some people actually do call the abomination of chilled vodka and vermouth in a martini glass a "martini", but these people are idiots. Or Herb Caen. Possibly both. And Herb Caen can suck it.

Don't believe me? Check the American National Standards Institute's gold standard for a dry martini. No, I'm not kidding. There is an actual standard, and the ingredients are gin, dry vermouth, and olives. No vodka, and certainly no Kahlúa.

Conclusion
The so-called Espresso Martini is misnamed, poorly conceived, and can't reasonably be consumed at any hour of the day.

This concludes tonight's rant.
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*puts down White Russian*
*brushes cookie crumbs off keyboard*

my friend, let me introduce you to the gas station expresso martini, the early riser to its mid morning cousin; the gas station Bloody Mary.

1 can of starbux double shot espresso, 1 $0.99 airliner of vodka.

the perfect kick in the shin you need when you're going into a shit day, full of shit work, with shit people.

add a pack of off brand powdered donettes and make it a breakfast of champions.
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Boozy afogattos on the other hand are perfectly ok.
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greasy125 wrote:
the perfect kick in the shin you need when you're going into a shit day, full of shit work, with shit people.
I see where you're going here, and I can even sympathize enough to allow that you've described a worthwhile exception to the caffeine/booze paradox.

However, I would still object to calling this a "martini", even if the airline bottle happened to be gin. For one, it's not served in a martini glass. Probably.
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Isn't there also a 'Vesper Martini' that is really not a Martini?

If you made it with vodka instead of gin, would it be a Modern Vesper Martini?
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znomit wrote:
Boozy afogattos on the other hand are perfectly ok.
Depends on the booze. A bit of Bailey's or Kahlúa would probably work reasonably well, but I would argue this is no longer an affogato. And putting anything stronger than that on ice cream would just be silly.
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Shebalba wrote:
Isn't there also a 'Vesper Martini' that is really not a Martini?
That's generally just called a "Vesper", AFAIK. And though it is primarily gin, I would still object to adding the martini label to said drink.
Shebalba wrote:
If you made it with vodka instead of gin, would it be a Modern Vesper Martini?
Nice try. By definition (Ian Fleming described it in Casino Royale), a Vesper already contains vodka, along with gin and lillet.
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jess wrote:
That's generally just called a "Vesper", AFAIK. And though it is primarily gin, I would still object to adding the martini label to said drink.



Nice try. By definition (Ian Fleming described it in Casino Royale), a Vesper already contains vodka, along with gin and lillet.
Well I guess that makes my ill attempt at humor 'wrong on every level' just like the Espresso Martini.

EDIT. In chapter 7 of Casino Royale, Bond first calls the Vesper a 'dry martini.'

"A dry martini," [Bond] said. "One. In a deep champagne goblet."
"Oui, monsieur."
"Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well, until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?"
"Certainly, monsieur." The barman seemed pleased with the idea. Nerd emoticon


I won't mention that I'm one of the idiots that likes the occasional dirty vodka martini.
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I do agree that an Espresso Martini seems to contradict itself. I'm not a coffee drinker, so Coffee and Vodka doesn't sound like a good combo; but I'm sure some enjoy it. There are many options for a Boozy Breakfast Cocktail to start the day.

A traditional Mimosa or closely related Belinni
The oft-overlooked Tom Collins (or any variation of Sparkling soda, lemonade, and vodka or gin)
The aptly named Tequila Sunrise
The Painkiller (sometimes taken with actual painkiller after a long night)
Aperol Spritz (an Italian classic)

Of course Bloody Mary's and Screwdrivers are quite commonplace at brunch
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jess wrote:
I see where you're going here, and I can even sympathize enough to allow that you've described a worthwhile exception to the caffeine/booze paradox.

However, I would still object to calling this a "martini", even if the airline bottle happened to be gin. For one, it's not served in a martini glass. Probably.
never know what you'll find in the dumpster next to the carwash vacuums!

one time Big Nose Bobby and Easy Lou found a size 14 red high heel and were shotgunning turbo juice out of it. granted it was 9am and they had shredded the front tires and knocked most of the suspension out from under Bobby's mom's 1994 1/2 Buick Century. I don't know if it was cause for celebration or drinking in despair. but that's a story for another time.
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greasy125 wrote:
one time Big Nose Bobby and Easy Lou found a size 14 red high heel and were shotgunning turbo juice out of it. granted it was 9am and they had shredded the front tires and knocked most of the suspension out from under Bobby's mom's 1994 1/2 Buick Century. I don't know if it was cause for celebration or drinking in despair. but that's a story for another time.
ROFL emoticon Facepalm emoticon
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Totally with you on this, Jess.

I have ordered a martini and received a vodka "martini" more than once, so I have learned to be very specific: "A gin martini, up, with an olive".

This "espresso martini" is actually a black Russian with a shot of espresso.

There are seemingly a lot of restaurants that have a "martini" menu with all kinds of weird concoctions served in a cocktail glass except an actual martini.
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Jess, I totally agree with you that calling this a martini, absolutely mocks centuries of drinking culture and whoever named that drink must have been completely wasted and probably wouldn't be my friend anyway.

The combination of coffee and alcohol is divine though.
There's caffè corretto which combines grappa and espresso, Irish coffee made with whiskey, coffee spiked with bourbon, the French pairing of eau de vie or cognac and coffee (something which Germans are also very fond of) and the list goes on. But I would not end here without mentioning my personal favorite: rum and coffee. As good as it gets!

Coffee in the afternoon or at night?! Yes, sir! That is very common in Europe and judging from my sample of one, hasn't much interfered with a good night's sleep. Coffee after dinner is a thing and I am very fond of it.

The mixing of uppers and downers also has a rich tradition. Take the Finnish grand culture of mixing salty licorice with vodka. Oh, how I love that taste! It's even available ready made in a bottle. But I digress.

Drinking in the morning? Of course, isn't that what brunch is mostly about? There are also wondrous customs, such as the German Frühschoppen, a mostly weekend get together via informal group meetings (Stammtisch) to talk and yes, consume alcohol before noon. Ok, drinking all together isn't great for your health. But let's say you have a drink a day and you don't have to operate machinery afterwards or else remain functioning at a higher level, why not have that drink in the morning?

You can always count me in for late late espresso martinis -- even though that name terribly sucks. I also love to finish dinner with a nice espresso. It makes life worth living.

So, I'd say espresso martinis are a little wrong on some level, but then also too good to pass.
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The "national" coffees (Irish, Mexican, etc.) are good for us because they contain all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, fat, and sugar.
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guess a bourbon martini is just wrong as well
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old as dirt wrote:
guess a bourbon martini is just wrong as well
Yes. Still wrong.

Bourbon is lovely though. Why mess with it?
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My only objection is that we should be having this discussion on Martini Monday…the only thing that makes Mondays worth looking forward to.
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Sorry. I can't add to this discussion.

I just finished a wonderful gin martini with Tanqueray 10 and Dolin Dry vermouth with a dash of orange bitters and lemon garnish. I'm good.
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jess wrote:
And if they're drinking Espresso Martinis right before bedtime, they probably have bigger problems anyway.)
Freaks of nature!
jess wrote:
And Herb Caen can suck it.
Wow, that's a name I haven't heard in two decades!
greasy125 wrote:
I don't know if it was cause for celebration or drinking in despair. but that's a story for another time.
You gave me a chortle with a small side of snort!
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giallo wrote:
You can always count me in for late late espresso martinis -- even though that name terribly sucks. I also love to finish dinner with a nice espresso. It makes life worth living.

So, I'd say espresso martinis are a little wrong on some level, but then also too good to pass.
Whole I also agree that martini isn't the right name for an espresso martini like giallo I find a well made one delicious but prefer it as an after dinner drink. Though I'm more likely to have a cognac with my after dinner coffee.Since about the only time I have an espresso martini is when we go out to dinner before dancing I have no trouble getting to sleep later that night.
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old as dirt wrote:
guess a bourbon martini is just wrong as well
Bourbon and sweet vermouth. Served up with a cherry.

It's called a Manhattan.
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jess wrote:
It's time for a rant!
This is usually the time I duck behind the counter, grab some popcorn and watch the ensuing melee

but

I find I have to chime in here
jess wrote:
vodka certainly is too strong to be drinking first thing in the morning. Or even early afternoon.
strongly disagree
or at least the girl in me who's about 20 years younger disagrees
I had a very long and very happy relationship with Sunday Bloody Marys.
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ks7877 wrote:
or at least the girl in me who's about 20 years younger disagrees
I had a very long and very happy relationship with Sunday Bloody Marys.
You were drinking Bloody Marys when you were 9?

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Buffalo Trace has a product called Bourbon Crème. Kooaloha Rum, made on Kauai, has a coffee flavored rum. Add about a shot and a half to a espresso and it's a match made in heaven. Just sayin'

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jess wrote:

ROFL emoticon
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Goodness, I had no idea there were so many choices - I am familiar only with Irish Coffee (ala the Buena Vista in lovely San Francisco), and Bloody Marys (I prefer V8 to tomahto juice)....
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People who call stuff like that a "Martini" are the same ones who refer to all scooters as "Vespas".
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GBaby wrote:
People who call stuff like that a "Martini" are the same ones who refer to all scooters as "Vespas".
Winner.
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GBaby wrote:
People who call stuff like that a "Martini" are the same ones who refer to all scooters as "Vespas".
Aren't they? ROFL emoticon
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GBaby wrote:
People who call stuff like that a "Martini" are the same ones who refer to all scooters as "Vespas".
And then it gets even more confusing.
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rgk wrote:
Aren't they? ROFL emoticon
And all tissues "Kleenex" and all bandages "Band Aids" Laughing emoticon
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giallo wrote:
The mixing of uppers and downers also has a rich tradition. Take the Finnish grand culture of mixing salty licorice with vodka. Oh, how I love that taste! It's even available ready made in a bottle. But I digress.
Maybe, but I think it got out of control when the young'uns started spiking everything with Red Bull. When you can't decide between tearing down the runway or pulling into the hangar and rolling the damned door down.
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amateriat wrote:
Maybe, but I think it got out of control when the young'uns started spiking everything with Red Bull. When you can't decide between tearing down the runway or pulling into the hangar and rolling the damned door down.
lol - as with many things: it's a fine line between having a great time and near disaster.
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this is a good recipe.
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old as dirt wrote:
this is a good recipe.
Por qué no los dos?
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giallo wrote:
lol - as with many things: it's a fine line between having a great time and near disaster.
*nods in agreement*
*looks across the shop at an MP3*
*continues to nod in agreement while pouring the contents of a red bull over ice, adding two airliners of vodka, splash of cranberry, squeeze of lime*
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jess wrote:
Por qué no los dos?
los dos al mismo tiempo?
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so way too many posts on this. I do not like gin or vermouth. I prefer a vodka martini, the same as James Bond, I do not like vermouth so it is basically chilled vodka in a martini glass with some olives, I prefer blue cheese or goat cheese olives. I have tried expresso martinis and some are quite good and many others not so. So a good expresso martini can be wonderful, but not for breakfast, a martini is a drink to be savored in the late afternoon, just before dinner. In my opinion.
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LarryMK wrote:
so way too many posts on this. I do not like gin or vermouth. I prefer a vodka martini, the same as James Bond
But that's just chilled vodka. It's not even a cocktail, let alone a martini.

Nothing wrong with cold vodka, I just object to calling it a martini.
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Molto Verboso
@larrymk avatar
Vespa Super 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1878
Location: AZ
UTC quote
jess wrote:
But that's just chilled vodka. It's not even a cocktail, let alone a martini.

Nothing wrong with cold vodka, I just object to calling it a martini.
I guess it is not technically a martini as no vermouth, I used to drink a classic vodka martini but decided I dont like the taste of vermouth. Also not a big gin drinker.
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