London's Best Espresso Martinis
The origins of the espresso martini are said to have started in Soho in 1983 at the bar of Dick Bradsell. After a request from a customer who wanted a drink that would "wake her up, and f*ck her up", Bradsell smashed together coffee and vodka and the rest was history. Nowadays it's commonplace on any cocktail menu, with everywhere from uptown restaurants to your local 'spoons offering to shake one up for you. But, if you really want to see where this classic cocktail can go, we've selected some spots to scope out the best espresso martinis in London.
Writer: Olivia Cheves
Based at the Bloomberg Arcade, this slick sports bar and restaurant from the team behind Gymkhana has taken their espresso martini love one step further and got them on tap. Pouring out the good stuff by the gallon, it's the perfect pairing for some of their sublime Indian BBQ.
Known for its sublime drinks selection, its no surprise that London Cocktail Club is one of the best places for espresso martinis in London. Head over to their Old Street haunt every Tuesday before 7pm and you can bag two of these rich sips for just £12.
Cloudy skies aside, summer has already come to Archer Street SW11. Venture down to their basement tiki bar for a Myki Beach cocktail that adds a scoop of delicious ice cream into an English Harbour Rum espresso martini for a sweet and creamy finish to your favourite drink.
One of Islington's most innovative cocktail bars, you'd better believe this Wonderland-inspired space has more than a few twists in its espresso martini tale. Taking its name from a Neil Gaiman story, the Anansi Espresso is a unique concoction of Bulleit rye, Punt e Mes, coffee and maraschino liqueurs, espresso and cherry.
Keeping things simple with Eristoff, Kahlua, fresh espresso and a dash of vanilla syrup, The Old Compton Brasserie's espresso martini is the only thing you'll want to be sipping alongside their delicious food and eye-popping interiors.
The Scottish spirit reigns supreme on the Mac & Wild cocktail list as their Talisker 10-laced Black Watch brings together coffee liqueur, cold brew, Amaro and Janaszoon coffee beans. And if you're looking to grab one on the go, the restaurant offer it pre-bottled, so you can get you sip on from the comfort of your own sofa.
Fronting delicious cocktails, as well as a top-notch selection of bar snacks and tasty pizzas, this Covent Garden watering hole is the place to head for espresso martinis and an excellent line-up of dancefloor-ready DJs.
Any party girl worth her salt knows that no night out is complete without tequila, whether you're knocking them back at the bar or getting matey with a marg. We'd recommend getting yourself down to Nikki's then, where their highly sippable XOXO Espresso Martini that throws a good slug of cafe Patron into the mix.
If you're looking for a fun twist on the classic cocktail then head over to Farringdon party bar Piano Works. The non-stop music hub serves its own take on the espresso martini, switching in Black Fire tequila coffee liqueur and vanilla-infused vodka.
A cafe-bar hybrid, The Black Cab Coffee Co is a no-brainer for places to drink espresso martinis in London. Head over to the Nine Elms beauty on a Friday and sip on three flavoured caffeinated cocktails for a wallet-friendly price with your number ones.
If you're looking for the classic concoction done good then you should be making your way to Grind at your earliest possible convenience. A double shot of their house blend comes laced with Finlandia vodka and a touch of sugar syrup for a cold, refreshing cocktail designed for leisurely sipping. But if you are going for something a little bit more experimental, their Flat White Russian is a must-try.
One for the real pilgrims, this chic Pan-Asian restaurant and bar on Greek Street is located on the site formerly held by the Soho Brasserie, a.k.a the birthplace of the espresso martini. Head in and sample the heir to Dick Bradsell's Vodka Espresso with Gamma Gamma's Black Pool that throws vanilla and pistachio syrups into that classic concoction.
Sure, everyone raves about the food, but its Dishoom's Monsoon Martini that makes us weak at the knees. Catuai espresso comes 'vivified' with Luksusowa, chilli liqueur, walnut bitters and the perfect crema. And so what if you're having a night off the sauce, they've also concocted the Dry Monsoon Martini that loses the booze but none of the flavour.
Sitting pretty above The Strand if its booze and views you're looking for then Radio Rooftop offers the best of both. But for a real taste of the high life, get their Grey Goose and vanilla mousse espresso martini into your life for the lightest and most decadent take on the classic that we've found so far.