Caffeine in a cocktail: the Espresso Martini is the most emblematic example of the style, and these are the best examples in Singapore.
Comprising vodka, espresso, and coffee liqueur, the Espresso Martini is a modern addition to the lexicon of classic cocktails. Among its many origin stories, one of the more audacious tales came from Dick Bradsell. The British bartender claimed that while working at a London club in the 1980s, a supermodel walked up to the bar and asked for something that would, “Wake me up, and then fuck me up.” Voilà, the Espresso Martini was born.
Much of the weight in an Espresso Martini is carried by the coffee, and bars that make the drink well are particularly focused on the ingredient. At Jigger & Pony, they work with a local roaster to create a coffee blend just for the cocktail, while The Store’s homemade coffee kombucha adds a tingle to the drink. Others see fit to riff on the cocktail’s template, such as Night Hawk’s rum and cold brew concentrate version, and roasted chicory from Underdog Inn.
7 bars that serve the best Espresso Martini in Singapore
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Singapore’s grand dame of bars bases its cocktail menu on a bar crawl to three fictional destinations. One of them is the nightclub Halogen, where you’ll find the Espresso Martini in its spiritual home. Renamed here as Cllub Caffe, it is more brooding than the original thanks to the use of Buffalo Trace Bourbon over vodka, while Sichuan pepper-spiked cream brings a jolt of spice.
(Image credit: 28 Hongkong Street)
Atlas has worked on the Martini and their version has become a modern classic in its own right. They approach the Espresso Martini with the same precision, which combines French vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso, cinnamon, and cream for a bold, silky sip with a hit of caffeine. If you prefer to enjoy your drink at home, Atlas sells a bottled version too.
(Image credit: ATLAS Singapore / Facebook)
Three-Martini lunches fell out of fashion a long time ago, but Flamingo’s Espresso Martini makes a case for bringing the tradition back. Classically composed of TNT Vodka, SGF espresso, and Mr. Black coffee liqueur, the creamy and bittersweet drink is served only during the day, and makes crunching through afternoon deadlines slightly easier.
(Image credit: Stay Gold Flamingo / Facebook)
Jigger & Pony’s rendition begins with a specially-created coffee blend of Brazilian and Indian beans that the award-winning bar created with local roaster PPP Coffee. It then goes into Grey Goose Vodka and a coffee-laced sweetener made with Okinawa sugar and honey and garnished with cacao tuile for added crunch.
The namesake cocktail at Night Hawks puts the best of a hot and cold Espresso Martini into one package. The cold part comes from shaking dark rum, vodka, cold brew concentrate, amaro, and chocolate over ice, then the drink is topped with a warm coconut maple foam. A wonderful interplay between temperatures, textures, and flavours.
(Image credit: @night.hawk.sg / Instagram)
The Store puts a little sparkle in its Espresso Martini with a coffee kombucha they make themselves, followed by Cuban rum, freshly pulled espresso, coffee liqueur, and hazelnut syrup. Garnished with crushed pistachio, it is a tingly, fun cocktail that will pull you throughout your night.
(Image credit: THE STORE / Facebook)
Cocktail Tavern Underdog Inn serves a rich and earthy Espresso Martini riff called Black & Yellow, which involves rum, coffee bitter liqueur, sherry, roasted chicory, and butternut cream. It also pours from a tap, so your caffeine fix will come quickly.
(Image credit: @underdog.inn / Instagram)
This story first appeared here.
(Hero and feature images credits: ATLAS Singapore / Facebook)