Sam Low’s Award-Winning Espresso Martini Recipe
BY SOPHIE CHUNG
Not your usual, basic bitch espresso martini.
12 SEP - 2021
“The key is GOOD coffee!”
Last month, Sam Low and I had the honour of experiencing the ultimate bumper weekend at Welly On A Plate. He took us to his two favourite cafes in Welly; Twist & Pour and People’s; where he educated and elevated my plebeian taste in coffee.
My Sam calls me the ‘Triple P’ which stands for ‘Professional Peer Pressurer’ and I was responsible for introducing Sam to the world of tasty craft beers. He dipped his toe into the pool of possibilities but I failed to ignite a love for brews in him as he did with me and specialty beans.
If you’ve not come across his Instagram or heard him on the radio before, Sam Low is a renowned F&B creative, chef and barista trainer with an impressive collection of awards, the latest being the 2021 Coffee in Good Spirits Competition, where this exceptional espresso martini took it home.
By collaborating with Martin Hudak, co-owner of world-class Sydney bar Maybe Sammy and 2017 World Coffee in Good Spirits Champion, the espresso martini was an amalgamation of the creme de la cremes from both the coffee and liquor worlds - a truly magnificent cocktail creation.
“It’s easy to buy good spirits but buying good quality coffee and brewing it well is a whole other art form,” Sam says. If you’re ready to level up your espresso martini, this recipe will knock your pretty socks off.
10ml Montenegro Amaro
“Just like spicing up any dish, I love Italian liqueurs such as the Montenegro Amaro to add a dash of pizazz. There’s 40 botanicals including vanilla, orange and eucalyptus. This will increase the aroma and nose of the drink.”
30ml Honest Rum
“This is an aromatic rum. You want to be using something which tastes good on its own. This is why I stay clear from clear canvas style spirits. I’m no basic bitch. They are a zero plastic and ethical New Zealand local spirit company. People usually use vodka but the flavour profile is bland and I wanted to make something that would excite the palate.”
20ml dark cane sugar syrup
“Use a flavourful sugar that’s rich and deep in caramel flavours. You can use coconut sugar, panella, muscovato sugar. They all work really well as they’re all dark unrefined sugars.
To create the sugar syrup, mix it with hot water in a 1:1 ratio
20ml Coconut water
“Coconut water adds salinity and body to the cocktail. It also helps with the foaming of the liquid.
A little bit of salt in everything is amazing.”
30g freshly extracted espresso.
“This is the most important ingredient. I’ve selected a blend from a specialty coffee roaster that prides itself on being honestly specialty. It means that the coffee source is ethical and traceable. The coffee is balanced with notes of chocolate and caramel characteristics which works perfectly for this cocktail recipe.”
Firstly, dry shake all the ingredients without ice to even out the temperature of all the liquids.
Then, add ice. Make sure you use at least twice the volume of the mix. Too much is better than too little as it gets the drink to a cooler point quicker, so the more ice you use, the less it melts - this is why bartenders use so much ice when they make cocktails. I prefer big cubes - they’re easily accessible!
Shake until the entire Boston shaker has been frosted over. You’ll have to shake for at least a minute to get tiny foam bubbles. It’s a workout, baby!
Double strain into your favourite glass. This is to remove any tiny shards of ice in the drink from shaking and also to catch big bubbles.
Garnish! I prefer shaved dark chocolate as it adds to the flavour and aroma. But you can use a few coffee beans to decorate your drink.
TIP: If you’re going to be making martinis for a few rounds, you can batch the mix and add in fresh espresso as you go!