I really enjoyed being able to make my homemade Vanilla Coffee Liqueur, since I’m a coffee lover. It’s a great addition to your home bar because it is tasty and easy to use in a variety of drinks. The easiest way to use it is to simply add a splash to coffee or hot chocolate, which will give your drink a little bit of a grown up twist while making your coffee stronger and adding a little mocha element to your hot cocoa. It’s also easy to use to make cocktails and one like this Espresso Martini with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream is right up my alley.
I make this cocktail with my coffee liqueur, vanilla vodka and freshly brewed espresso. The coffee liqueur is sweet enough to take the edge of the strong espresso, and the vanilla vodka adds a nice vanilla aroma to the drink. Since coffee is always nice with a little cream, I top this with vanilla bean whipped crea, which you can make by adding either vanilla bean paste or a pinch of actually vanilla bean seeds (from 1/4 or 1/2-inch of vanilla pod) to heavy cream before whipping it up. I don’t sweeten the whipped cream, but you certainly can to make this even more dessert-like. Because the cocktail isn’t too sweet, you can enjoy this before dinner if you want to, but I prefer to save it for dessert because it goes incredibly well with chocolate truffles and other rich chocolate baked goods.
You don’t need to make homemade coffee liqueur to make this drink. You can buy a bottle of Kahlua or use another brand of coffee liqueur, instead, although the homemade version is very delicious and well-worth the (small) effort it takes to make it. I use a cocktail shaker to combine the ingredients, but if you don’t have one, you can combine the ingredients in a large glass with ice and stir well for 30-45 seconds to chill the drink before pouring it out into your serving glass and adding the whipped cream topping.
Espresso Martini with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
1 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz Homemade Coffee Vanilla Liqueur or Kahlua
1 1/2 oz espresso
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste or a pinch of vanilla bean seeds
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a large glass filled with ice and stir well for 30-45 seconds, then strain into a martini glass.
In a small bowl, combine heavy cream and vanilla bean paste or vanilla bean seeds. Whip until slightly thickened, just to very, very soft peaks, then spoon on top of the espresso mixture to build a layer of cream. Serve immediately.