NEW YORK — It’s likely you’ve had an espresso martini. Last summer, the caffeinated cocktail made headlines for its post-lockdown popularity. It continues to be an oft-ordered drink at bars — including at Caffe Dante, a New York City institution that’s among the Top 50 World’s Best Bars.
But Dante’s “Another Espresso Martini” isn’t the typical espresso vodka drink found at most bars. The $19 cocktail has a bit of a twist.
Head bartender Eloy Pacheco, who has eight years of mixology experience including four at Dante, refocuses the drink with tequila.
“Coffee is a part of Dante’s DNA and our exclusive blend makes a difference in our coffee cocktails,” Pacheco says. “And since the Espresso Martini is the cocktail of the moment, we decided to create a variation for it, this time with Tequila and Galliano.”
Pacheco says that the bitterness of the Galliano, an Italian herbal liqueur, and the spiciness from the chili tincture create a “perfect balance.”
The process for making the drink starts in the morning, before Dante opens.
One key to preparing “Another Espresso Martini” is making espresso in advance and keeping it chilled. If mixed while the espresso is hot, the martini could become watery due to ice melt.
Pacheco walked me through the steps at Caffe Dante in Greenwich Village, which opened its doors in 1915. Now, the bar has two locations in Manhattan (the original in Greenwich Village and a sister restaurant, Dante West Village, in the West Village) along with partnerships with other venues in the city.
The process took a few minutes for me, very much a newbie bartender. But it made me so excited to continue trying to mix different cocktails at home, especially to try things outside of my comfort zone (which currently includes mixing a gin martini and a margarita, but only if I have a recipe in front of me).
Dante’s Another Espresso Martini recipe
Served at Dante NYC.
- 1 ounce Cazadores Reposado
- ½ ounce Galliano
- ½ ounce Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur
- ¾ ounce Agave
- 3 dashes Chocolate Bitters
- 2 dashes Chili Tincture
- 1.5 ounces espresso
To make this drink, Pacheco had me add the ingredients (I did spill some Galliano – yikes) into a shaker and then add ice to the brim. Then, we had to shake forcefully for 30 seconds. After, we strained the drink over a coupe glass and grated chocolate over the glass to add a nice garnish.
Unsurprisingly, Pacheco’s cocktail turned out very nicely while mine had room for improvement. The reason? I didn’t shake vigorously enough (yes, this was a good reminder that my arm strength could use some work… 5 pound dumbbells, here I come).
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