Salted Caramel Espresso Martini: A sweet and sumptuous dessert cocktail
My regular readers will know that I do love an Espresso Martini with my after dinner cigars. I also love to switch things up a bit and create my own variations on cocktails. Previously, I have done a Mexican Espresso Martini and when I heard that my good friend Syafiera had enjoyed pairing an El Viejo Continente Maduro Lancero with some toffee popcorn, I was inspired to create a similar flavour combination in a liquid form. What I came up with was the Salted Caramel Espresso Martini.
Now some people might think that salted caramel is a weird combination – I know I did when I first came across it as a cheesecake. Then again, I thought that the idea of salted popcorn was horrible, but now I have it with my lunch nearly every day. What I will say is simply this: don’t dismiss something until you’ve tried it! Over the years, I have found that caramel has become more and more sweet to my palate. Whether this is because I now prefer more savoury flavours or because commercially available caramel has become sweeter, I can’t really say. What I do know though is that a good pinch of salt does take the edge off the sweetness.
In all honesty, this cocktail came about as the result of some beautiful serendipity. I recently treated myself to a “bulk buy” of various gins and vodkas. What can I say? They were on offer so it would have been rude not to. In amongst the vodkas was a vanilla flavoured one by J.J. Whitley. Having had a sip of it when it arrived, I thought that it would make a lovely digestif over ice if you didn’t fancy a desert. I also have a bottle of butterscotch liqueur sitting in my drinks cupboard that I rarely use, and some flavoured coffee capsules that I tend to offer to other people.
Being entirely honest with you, I can’t say that I would want to drink the Salted Caramel Espresso Martini on its own as it was rather sweet even with a very generous scrunch of salt. But when paired with a maduro cigar it really did hit the spot. The earthy notes of bay leaf, black cardamom and peat were brightened up by the sweet taste of the cocktail, and there was a beautiful nuttiness in the cigar that I hadn’t picked up on the first time I smoked it. The salt in the cocktail really allowed all of the flavours to shine and not overpower each other. This was an occasion where the cocktail and cigar were the perfect marriage.
As usual, the recipe for the Salted Caramel Espresso Martini is below. Do feel free to adjust the measures as you want to, and indeed if you don’t have exactly the right ingredients. I’m sure it would work well with some substitution. I have been known to use vanilla liqueur and ordinary vodka in place of vanilla vodka. If you don’t have caramel coffee, don’t let that put you off either.
Do be mindful of the sweetness of the liqueurs you use. My coffee liqueur isn’t very sweet, but I know that some are. Half of the fun in mixing up cocktails is creating your own variations. Do let me know in the comments below what you think of the cocktail and if you have any other variations on the Espresso Martini that you think I should try.
Did you know my website is entirely self-funded? I currently do this as a labour of love and am not sponsored by or affiliated to any of the cigar brands or retailers featured in my content. If you enjoy what you read here, please consider contributing to my next cigar review or article by donating an amount through my Buy Me a Coffee page. Thank you so much for your support x
SALTED CARAMEL ESPRESSO MARTINI COCKTAIL RECIPE
2 measures cold caramel flavoured coffee
2 measures vanilla vodka
½ measure butterscotch liqueur
½ measure coffee liqueur
generous scrunch of salt
Pour ingredients into an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake it vigorously. Check for sweetness and add extra salt if necessary. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and enjoy.