Updated: Jun 4, 2021
One of our most beloved cocktails and also one that's highly achievable at home is the classic espresso martini that only require a few basic ingredients. Most classic renditions will use vodka, coffee liquor (the most common one will be Kahlua or Tia Maria) and a shot of espresso. To spice things up, we added a little twist by replacing the coffee liquor with a naturally sweet Spanish sherry called Pedro Ximénez (the name of the grape variety) or PX.
PX grapes are typically dried in the sun (a process called asoleo) to concentrate its sugar, producing a sweet dessert wine that is exuberant with complex aromas & flavours of dates, toffee, figs, raisins, mocha, spice, cacao nibs and roasted coffee with a high acidity backbone to keep the wine in balance (at least for the very well made ones). One of our favourites came from the famous Equipo Navazos and you can read about how their Casa del Inca PX is produced here. We have used a vintage 2009 Casa del Inca PX for our espresso martini but feel free to grab what you can find at your nearest liquor stores or supermarkets. If you happen to be in Singapore, these are still available via our online shop at a steal!
Here's what you need for our PXpressotini:
60m of vodka*
30ml of espresso** (increase it to 45ml if you prefer your drink to be less sweet)
30ml of Casa del Inca 2009 PX by Equipo Navazos***
coffee beans or shaved dark chocolate to garnish (optional)
*Belvedere, Grey Goose or any Russian Vodka **Use your nespresso machine at home - we prefer Ristretto, Kazaar & Arpeggio for this recipe. Allow the espresso to cool down completely. Do NOT add ice to the coffee.
***Once opened, the PX sherry can be kept in the fridge for months and they are luxurious on vanilla bean ice cream as a topping too.
To assemble: 1. Pour all the vodka, chilled espresso and PX into a shaker with plenty of ice cubes. 2. Shake the s*** out of the shaker (or as vigorously as you can handle) and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. This step is key to creating the layer of "crema" on top of the drink.
3. Garnish with a few coffee beans or chocolate shavings, and serve immediately.
We have also played with some variations to the recipe above with an additional 15ml of Oloroso or sometimes with a small scoop of rich chocolate or coffee ice cream. These will cut down the acidity level in the drink and introduce a mid-palate richness that will appeal to those who love a fuller bodied cocktail. You may want to be careful though with the ice cream as too much of it may turn the drink into an alcoholic coffee smoothie. If you have never made this at home, give it a try this weekend!