Inspired by the much-loved digestif cocktail the Espresso Martini, the Early Martini was created by the expert mixologists at Yauatcha.

The Espresso Martini is relatively new to the cocktail scene, but its smooth flavours and the fact that it packs a hefty punch has meant it has become a firm favourite in bars and restaurants around the world. While it is not a true martini – it is not made with either gin or vermouth – it is one of the many cocktails that has adopted the popular term into its name.

The Early Martini with Grey Goose Vodka

The inclusion of strong espresso coffee means that the Espresso Martini is best enjoyed as an after dinner drink: it’s dark, luxurious and rich, like a coffee, dessert and digestif cocktail all at once. However, it isn’t entirely versatile. The Espresso Martini wasn’t created to be paired with food, or to whet the appetite before sitting down to eat.

The bar team at Yauatcha, headed up by Eder Neto, and Grey Goose wanted to create a cocktail that had all the same invigorating qualities – as simple, stimulating and delicious as an Espresso Martini – but could be enjoyed at any time, as good as an aperitif or with food as it is after dinner or at the bar.

The Early Martini with Grey Goose Vodka and Macarons
The Early Martini with Grey Goose Vodka and Macarons

The Early Martini has the same visual impact as an Espresso Martini: it is dark chocolate brown in colour and decadent in flavour. But there are many aspects of the Early Martini that aren’t evident in the Espresso Martini: the addition of 24 hours infused Earl Grey vodka gives the cocktail a freshness, and the absence of espresso makes the cocktail lighter and more enjoyable throughout the evening.

The hint of coffee in the Early Martini comes from a liqueur, and the sweetness from a chocolate liqueur. The final creation is a cocktail with layers of subtlety and a deliciously long finish.