Nightowl Martini: The Bold, Smooth Flavors of an Espresso Martini in the Convenience of a Can

by Tom Lavecchia
Nightowl Martini

The Espresso Martini is a cocktail that seamlessly marries the rich, bold flavors of coffee with the smooth, robust character of vodka. It’s a concoction that can electrify any evening with its sophisticated blend and invigorating essence. Today, I’m taking a closer look at a particular variation of this beloved drink, a canned version: The NightOwl Espresso Martini. This review will explore its taste, presentation, and the unique twist it brings to the classic recipe, all while examining its potential as a staple in the world of modern cocktails.

History and Evolution of the Espresso Martini

To appreciate the NightOwl Espresso Martini fully, one must first understand the roots of its classic form. The Espresso Martini was created in the 1980s by London bartender Dick Bradsell. As legend has it, a famous model asked for a drink that would “wake her up and then f**k her up,” leading Bradsell to combine vodka with espresso, thereby crafting a cocktail that was both energizing and potent. The original recipe included vodka, espresso coffee, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup.

Over the decades, this cocktail has evolved and been adapted by bartenders worldwide, leading to numerous variations, each adding their own local or innovative spin. The NightOwl Espresso Martini in a ready to drink canned cocktail, in particular, stands out due to its unique components and presentation, which aim not only to energize but also to enchant.

Ingredients and Preparation

The NightOwl Espresso Martini goes beyond the traditional ingredients, incorporating elements that add complexity and depth. It consists of only three ingredients: real spirits (vodka and tequila styles), Brazilian blend coffee and hints of vanilla for balanced sweetness. The standard vodka is replaced with a high-quality, small-batch artisanal vodka, lending a cleaner, smoother finish. The coffee flavor is also swapped for a bespoke blend that includes hints of cocoa and vanilla, enhancing the overall flavor profile without overpowering the natural bitterness of the espresso. They also have a  Tequila Espresso Martini which tastes equally as amazing. 

Nightowl Espresso Martini

A key differentiator in the NightOwl variant is the use of cold brew concentrate instead of traditional espresso. This choice not only nods to the modern coffee culture’s preference for cold brew but also introduces a less acidic, smoother coffee taste that integrates seamlessly with the alcoholic components. 

Presentation and Experience

The presentation of the NightOwl Espresso Martini is meticulously crafted to appeal to both traditionalists and modern cocktail enthusiasts. They recommend serving it in a classic martini glass, topped with three coffee beans, a nod to the traditional garnish that symbolizes health, wealth, and happiness. For an added luxury, dust the frothy top with a shower of rich cocoa powder. 

Upon the first taste, the smoothness of the vodka is immediately apparent, providing a clean canvas for the richer flavors to shine. The cold brew coffee asserts itself gently, its robust flavor enhanced but not overshadowed by the aromatic coffee liqueur. The vanilla tones are subtle yet present throughout the drinking experience, providing a sweet counterbalance to the bitterness of the coffee.

The Night Owl Difference

What sets the NightOwl Espresso Martini apart is its perfect balance of tradition and innovation. It respects the original concoction’s boldness and functionality while introducing nuances that make it palatable even to those who might not typically opt for a coffee-flavored cocktail. The use of cold brew coffee and a specially crafted coffee liqueur gives it a contemporary edge, making it a standout in the crowded landscape of Espresso Martini variants. 

The NightOwl Espresso Martini is a sophisticated, beautifully balanced cocktail that stands as a testament to the creativity and innovation in the modern cocktail scene. It respects its roots while flying confidently in the face of convention, offering a rich, velvety experience that both stimulates and delights. Whether you’re a coffee lover, a cocktail aficionado, or simply someone in search of a luxurious after-dinner libation, the NightOwl Espresso Martini promises not just to wake up your senses but to provide an unforgettable journey into the depths of coffee and cocktail craftsmanship. This cocktail is not just a drink; it’s a statement—a bold declaration that even the most classic cocktails can evolve into something new and extraordinary.  Learn more here

About the Author/s

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Tom is a lifelong New Jersey resident, Rutgers and FDU alumni and the publisher of The Digest.

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