Posted: 15 Oct 2014

Paul Schliewe Toby's EstateHow to make a perfect espresso martini

As a rule, espresso martinis – like any fabulous cocktail – tend to taste better when they’re made by somebody else.

Watching a clever mixologist at work is all part of the magic, as muddle/shake/stir their way to a perfect beverage.

But Paul Schliewe (right), the chief barista and manager at Toby’s Estate flagship cafe in Flinders Lane, reckons it’s possible to make a perfect espresso martini in the comfort of your own home. Like any good recipe, the secret lies in the ingredients, and that means an excellent dose of fresh espresso coffee.

Here are Paul’s top 5 tips for a caffeine-charged martini, with a simple recipe at the end.

1. Use quality ingredients

If you want your espresso martini to taste incredible, you are going to need the finest ingredients. Freshly brewed coffee is essential in an espresso martini. Make sure it’s the same quality you’d drink in the morning. Experiment with different blends to match any food you might be serving. I personally like to use a single origin coffee.

2. Chill your glasses

Keeping your martini glasses in the fridge, or simply filling them with ice, will make sure that your glasses stay cooler and your cocktails stay refreshing for longer. Most cocktails don’t have ice in them, so they return to room temperature faster. Just don’t forget to empty the ice out before you pour your cocktail in.

3. Ice it up

When mixing your espresso martini, add fresh ice to your cocktail shaker as the last ingredient. This ensures your cocktail won’t be diluted by melted ice as you add your ingredients to the mixing glass.

4. Taste first

Coffee can vary in strength body and finish, so you may need to adjust and fine-tune your ratios to get your espresso martini 100 per cent perfect. Just as you wouldn’t serve a food dish without tasting first.

5. Decorate

Three espresso beans will make your martini look as good as it tastes. Float them on your cocktail foam, and you’re ready to enjoy.

Paul’s simple espresso martini

1/2 cup freshly brewed espresso coffee (cooled)
90ml Tia Maria
60ml vodka
Ice cubes to serve
Coffee beans to garnish

Place the coffee, Tia Maria, vodka and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine. Strain the coffee mixture and divide between chilled serving glasses.

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