There are certain taste combinations that naturally go together. Peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, salt and pepper—and don’t forget about coffee and alcohol. In decades past, the espresso martini served as a crowd-pleaser in bars and restaurants across the United States— before fading out of favor in the early 2000s. But since 2021, all variations of the drink, especially the ready-to-drink espresso martini, have been experiencing a kind of renaissance in the public eye. In fact, online conversations about the drink via social media are up 300% since 2021 began.
The question is, why is the ready-to-drink espresso martini once again surging in popularity? To answer that, let’s dig into the drink’s rich history before discussing what makes it such a perfect match for the here and now.
What is a Ready-To-Drink Espresso Martini?
Consult almost any list of popular global drinks, and you’ll find both coffee and alcohol, namely vodka, near the top. 59% of the global population drinks coffee. Alcohol consumption is a little harder to measure due to varying minimum age requirements, but analyze the sales volume of any major vodka manufacturer, and you’ll see a similar story.
One drink helps you relax. The other gives you a quick shot of immediate energy, especially in its espresso form. What happens when you mix the two together, though? A delicious cocktail is created, that’s what.
The espresso martini is a rich, flavorful combination that combines the best of both of these worlds. It’s also reasonably simple to make. For example, the right brand of ready-to-drink espresso martini features only a handful of bar-quality ingredients, including:
- 1 oz. cold brewed Arabica coffee
- 1 ⅔ oz. vodka
- ¾ oz. of coffee liqueur
Voila! The espresso martini is born! Of course, an espresso is the high-octane version of regular coffee. The result is an exciting drink that gives you a surge of late-day energy while simultaneously helping you relax. It’s a forward-thinking idea, but where exactly did it originate?
The Origins of the Ready-To-Drink Espresso Martini
Unlike some cocktails, the espresso martini is a relatively new invention that dates back to the 1980s. While many different mixologists from that period have laid claim to the cocktail, credit for its invention is generally given to UK bartender Dick Bradsell of the famous Fred’s Club bar in Soho.
As the legend goes, an up-and-coming model, who to this day remains ambiguously unnamed, visited the bar and asked Bradsell for something that would both wake her up and mess her up. Despite the funny story around its inception, this is commonly thought to be the true birthplace of the espresso martini.
What is verifiable is that once Bradsell had created his decadent signature drink, British stars, journalists, and critics flocked to it, making it an indispensable part of the UK’s nightclub scene throughout the late 80s and early 90s.
Why is the Espresso Martini Such a Beloved Drink?
What is it about the espresso martini and the ready-to-drink espresso martini that people love so much? What’s caused it to re-enter the public lexicon with such ferocity? One particular factor is the drink’s taste.
The robust flavor of the dark Arabica beans blends well with the neutral alcohol content of the vodka, and the cold brewed espresso helps to reduce its regular acidity, giving the drink a smooth and creamy texture. Finish it off with sumptuous coffee-flavored liqueur, and you’ve got a surprisingly complex combination of tastes without a needless level of crafting complexity.
Don’t discount the power of nostalgia, either. The combination of liquor and coffee, two of the world’s greatest indulgences, appeals to a certain demographic that would’ve ordered them during their heyday. This mix of flavor, nostalgia, and novelty is perfectly emblematic of the current-day bar scene. So how does the ready-to-drink espresso martini fit into this emerging trend?
The Six Benefits of Ordering an Espresso Martini
With the espresso martini enjoying such a forceful resurgence, it’s easy to source a high-quality cocktail from your local bartender. If a trip to your local bar isn’t in the cards, never fear. Ready-to-drink espresso martini variations are of equal quality and just as easy to find. Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits and advantages inherent to taking your favorite espresso martini on the road with you.
Ready-to-Drink Espresso Martinis Are Convenient
Let’s start our list off with a bang! Hands down, the number one advantage to enjoying ready-to-drink espresso martinis is their level of convenience. There’s no doubt that the bar experience holds a certain magic. There’s something special about ordering a signature drink like the espresso martini and watching a mixologist create a bespoke drink just for you. But the traditional bar experience comes with a lot of overhead attached.
Getting a handcrafted espresso martini means that you must actually go to the bar. Moreover, you are limited to the bar if you actually want to enjoy what you ordered. What if you want a nice night to yourself where you get to be a homebody? Bars have crowds for you to contend with. Fortunately, ready-to-drink espresso martinis provide the perfect alternative.
With the ready-to-drink version of this ultra-popular refreshment in hand, you can take your enjoyment (virtually) anywhere you want without being tethered to the bar.
They Have the Perfect Size-to-Strength Ratio
The espresso martini is all about two things:
- A rich, smooth taste
- The impact that it makes
Slow, cold-brewed coffee combined with high-quality vodka: it will give you a quick boost of energy followed by the sense of relaxation you deserve after a long work week. One of the ready-to-drink espresso martini’s greatest strengths is how much flavor and caffeine are packed into each 100 ml can. In fact, the ratio of ingredients to the size of the drink is exactly like ordering the cocktail in a bar setting. The only difference is that this drink is portable while still packing quite a punch.
They’re Cost Efficient
Sometimes a night out on the town is just what the doctor ordered. We previously talked about the overhead involved, but one element we didn’t mention is the cost of an espresso martini out at the bar.
A single espresso martini can cost upwards of $15 at a club, restaurant, or bar. A four-pack of ready-to-drink espressos is a fraction of the cost on average, retailing at only $4.49 per drink. If you’re looking to stretch your entertainment budget further, ready-to-drink options are the way to go.
Variety is the spice of life. No one wants to drink the same thing every time they have a cocktail. People go through moods and cycles, and their purchasing habits follow suit. While the espresso martini offers rich, decadent flavor with every sip, sometimes you need to break the mold and explore new variations. Ready-to-drink cocktails serve as the perfect launch pad to experiment.
If you’re looking to add ingredients to your espresso martini or synthesize your own signature drink, the size and quality of canned cocktail alternatives form the ideal base from which to create your perfect combination. In terms of versatility, the ready-to-drink espresso martini is unmatched.
They’re a Simple Drink at Heart
Sometimes less is more. Some bar-made drinks are needlessly complex. They involve the sequential mixing of liquid ingredients and perfectly measured pours. Garnish in the drink itself, garnish on the rim of the glass, and a sense of “plating” to make it all look nice.
The espresso martini flies in the face of the traditional bar experience. It features a deep and flavorful taste filled to the brim with complex and exotic flavor notes, yet it’s so simple. The cold-brewing process in which the coffee grounds must steep in cold water for up to 12 hours is the most complicated element of this now time-tested cocktail. Besides that, three high-quality, essential ingredients are all you need. They offer a quick yet sophisticated pick me up
Any time you talk about an espresso-based drink, you have to mention the caffeine rush. Espresso is notably stronger than regular coffee, so its effects are much more pronounced. That’s why espresso martinis give such a signature rush but are dressed up in a more sophisticated package. With ready-to-drink espresso martinis, you get the best of both worlds. Caffeine and alcohol make unexpected but good bedfellows.
Enjoying Espresso Martinis Your Way
The espresso martini is a drink worth revering. Like a phoenix risen from the ashes, it has escaped two decades of relative obscurity to enjoy a grand resurgence.
With the uncompromising flavors of Post Meridiem, you can take this opportunity to enjoy a high-quality, ready-to-drink espresso martini in the comfort of your own home—or wherever your adventures take you. It may be your new favorite Post Meridiem canned cocktail. Visit us online to order your perfectly proportioned espresso martinis, or check out our full selection of RTD cocktails.