Melbourne’s love affair with the espresso martini is so powerful that this November, the city will host its first festival dedicated to the bitter-sweet drink. In celebration of the Mr Black Espresso Martini Festival, Culture Trip Melbourne brings you a list of the seven best caffeinated cocktails to enjoy at happy hour or during a definition-stretching coffee break.
The Nobel Experiment
Bar, Restaurant, Australian, Mediterranean, European, $$$
Named after America’s 1920s Prohibition-era ‘Nobel Experiment’, this Smith Street bar, restaurant and cocktail lounge is home to the ‘Outrageously Good Espresso Martini’. A highlight on their barrel-aged cocktail list, this espresso martini is made with Herradura Anejo, spiced agave nectar, fresh espresso and spiced vanilla tincture.
Open all day, every day of the year, Arbory Bar & Eatery is located on Flinders Walk, and as of last year, you can now order a Nitro Espresso Martini on tap. Once mixed, the martini is poured into a keg, chilled and injected with nitrogen oxide to create the foam. Served in under a minute, this instant martini stretches the definition of a coffee break and can be enjoyed overlooking the river.
Named after everyone’s favourite ‘wax on, wax off’ sensei from the cult classic The Karate Kid, Mr Miyagi on Chapel Street has a Cold Drip Martini which fuses the restaurant’s traditional-meets-experimental philosophy. The ‘so tasty’ cocktail blends shochu, vodka, coffee and sake topped with white chocolate foam.
‘Attitude is everything’ at High Street Prahran’s Charlie Dumpling, which dishes out dumplings with a modern flair and Asian-inspired cuisine. To wash down those dumplings, try their award-winning After Midday Espresso Martini. Made using vodka, chocolate liqueur, Kahlua and cold drip Sensory Lab coffee, this cocktail can be enjoyed any time of the day.
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Situated between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane in a small laneway parallel to Queen Street, Maha, on Bond Street, has gained a reputation for reinventing Middle Eastern cuisine. The newest staple on their cocktail list is the Moorish Espresso Martini using Frangelico, Kahlua, Massenez liqueur de Chataigne (chestnut), Aztec chocolate bitters and espresso.
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Milk the Cow
Bar, Wine Bar, Australian, Wine, Cocktails, Beer, $$$
You might be thinking, ‘what is a Fromagerie doing on an espresso martini list?’ Milk the Cow is a licensed cheese bar which pairs late-night dairy cravings with cocktails and wines. Milk the Cow’s Espresso Flip is garnished with BellaVitano’s Espresso Cheese and should be enjoyed alongside a steaming fondue pot or cheesemonger’s cheese board.
Translating to ‘water of life’, Eau de Vie is home to one of Melbourne’s most beloved espresso martinis. Their impressive Espresso Zabaione is crafted from vodka, coffee, and maple syrup and is capped with a frozen saffron and vanilla mouse lid. Grab a spoon, crack the seal and enjoy the decadence within.