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The Cocktail College Podcast: The (Re)Espresso Martini

“Cocktail College” is brought to you by Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur. Listener, do you want to know the secret to a great Espresso Martini? It’s not the vodka — though the vodka does matter — but no, it’s the coffee liqueur. And do you wanna know the secret to a great coffee liqueur? It’s coffee. That might sound like a no-brainer, but until Mr Black came along, people weren’t really talking about that. People weren’t pulling their own espresso shots in the morning. They didn’t care about things like where their espresso came from or when it was roasted. But this is what sets Mr Black apart: it’s made with the finest Arabica cold brew, and you can really taste the difference. And I’m not just saying that because we’re partnering with Mr Black today, I’m saying bartenders have been telling me that for years. Seriously, I remember when it first came along and everyone was recommending it. I was like, “I gotta try this thing.” When I did, I got it. The funny thing is, that was years before Espresso Martini mania. Here we are, and guess what? Mr Black is now available nationwide. Head to to find the closest retailer to you.

The stunning, shaken, caffeinated concoction that is the Espresso Martini needs little introduction. In the two years since we first covered the cocktail, precious little has changed on the drink’s popularity front. But can it break through its trending status and become a timeless household name like the Manhattan and Margarita? Given its memorable moniker, distinct appearance, and all-around mass appeal, we think it’s got what it takes.

Oddly enough, the drink went through several makeovers and name changes before landing where it is today. It all began one fateful night when the late Dick Bradsell shook up the first-ever “Vodka Espresso” for a young, unidentified model. A few years later, it was dubbed the “Pharmaceutical Stimulant,” and then finally the “Espresso Martini.”

Shifting nomenclature aside, our guest today explains that with great coffee comes great Espresso Martinis, which could explain its meteoric rise in popularity.

Here to break down everything Espresso Martini, from spec to its worldwide fanbase, is Mr Black’s longtime U.S. brand ambassador Stephen Kurpinsky. It’s a coffee cocktail for the ages, a marriage of barista training and bartending, and it’s all right here on the “Cocktail College” podcast. Tune in for more.

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Stephen Kurpinsky’s Espresso Martini Recipe


1 ½ ounces Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce fresh espresso or cold brew concentrate
¼ ounce rich simple syrup (2:1 ratio)
Garnish: three coffee beans


Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake until chilled.
Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with three coffee beans.

This episode of “Cocktail College” is sponsored by Mr Black Coffee Liqueur. 

The article The Cocktail College Podcast: The (Re)Espresso Martini appeared first on VinePair.

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