As a coffee-lover, it’s no surprise that I also love cocktails that incorporate coffee into them. Espresso martinis, as popular as they are at the moment, have been a favorite of mine for years. This Orange Chocolate Espresso Martini is a variation on the original that is a liquid version of the classic flavor combination of orange and chocolate. I particularly like to serve this drink around the holidays, but it’s enjoyable all year round.
The cocktail is made with chocolate liqueur, vodka, creme de cacao, espresso and triple sec. The espresso should be cold before going into the drink, so it doesn’t melt the ice when you’re mixing. Espresso will give you the best flavor, but cold brew coffee or other very strong coffee can be used in a pinch. There is plenty of chocolate flavor from the chocolate liqueur and creme de cacao, both of which add enough sweetness that you don’t need to add additional sugar to the drink. Triple sec, an orange liqueur, adds a nice orange flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.
The orange twist at the end of the recipe may just seem like a nice visual to add to the drink, but a twist is more than that. The twist is made of a 1/2-inch by 2 inch (approximately) strip of orange zest. The twist should be squeezed in half, expressing orange oil over the top of the drink before serving, before being dropped into the drink or laid over the rim of the glass. That orange oil coats the top of the drink and really gives the cocktail a bright, fresh orange aroma. In other words, you’ll smell orange, but still taste plenty of chocolate from the cocktail.
This recipe makes one cocktail, but you can easily scale it up to serve more. Don’t put more than two drinks at a time in your cocktail shaker, as it will be too full and too difficult to shake. If you are serving a crowd, however, you can prepare the martini glasses well in advance so you’re ready to fill them up when friends and family are ready to drink!
Orange Chocolate Espresso Martini
1 3/4 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
3/4 oz vodka
1/2 oz creme de cacao
1 oz espresso or strong coffee, cold
1/4 oz triple sec
Chocolate sauce, for garnish
Sugar, for garnish
Pour 2-3 tbsp of chocolate sauce onto a small plate, warming slightly if needed to make it a pourable consistency. Pour 2-3 tbsp of sugar onto a second small plate. Dip the rim of your martini glass into the chocolate sauce, then dip into the sugar. Set aside until ready to fill.
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds, until cold. Strain into prepared martini glass.