By Lyre's Spirit Co
20th May 2020
It's with very good reason that the espresso martini became one of the hottest cocktails of recent years.
First created in the early 1980s by pioneering London bartender, the late Dick Bradsell, the espresso martini is typically comprised of vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and a dash of sugar.
The story goes that Bradsell invented the drink at Soho Brasserie when a customer requested a cocktail that would "wake her up, and f*ck her up".
At Lyre's, we recognise there are occasions when you may want to enjoy an espresso martini simply because it is a great drink.
As in all the best cocktails, the espresso martini is all about balance. You take the assertive, roasty bitterness of the espresso and temper it with rich, velvety coffee liqueur.
Adding vodka to the mix brings intensity and viscosity… but potentially also next day regret.
Lyre's Non-Alcoholic Spirits make it possible to enjoy the best bits of an espresso martini minus the hangover.
We start with Lyre's Coffee Originale, in which flavour architect David Murphy has replicated the finest coffee liqueurs using all-natural flavours and essences.
"The base is high quality coffee extract, and then we build upon that," David explains.
"A lot of coffee beans have a 'blue fruit' character, so we added a little blueberry for some fruity complexity, with a bit of caramel to give it a nice round edge."
Our white rum equivalent, Lyre's White Cane Spirit, ably plays the role of a high proof spirit in the mix.
"Every cocktail bar has their own house style of espresso martini," says David.
"Vodka is the most common high proof spirit, but rum is also pretty common.
"We found the caramel popcorn, vanilla and coconut characters of our White Cane Spirit were really complementary to the flavours of the Coffee Originale, and we have some tricks up our sleeve to mimic the alcohol viscosity and burn."
The aesthetics were just as important, with David acknowledging that, "people taste first with their eyes".
"When you shake up a Lyre's espresso martini and present it in a cocktail coupette, it has the same beautiful coffee crema of the real thing."