THE SIP OF THE SEASON IS BACK. THREE COLORADO RESTAURANTS OFFER THEIR TAKE ON THE ESPRESSO MARTINI .
WE’RE BUZZING OVER THE ESPRESSO MARTINI, a delectable caffeinated cocktail. Its appeal? That magical fusion of coffee and alcohol, typically vodka. This sweet yet strong libation is the perfect culmination of a leisurely meal, delivering a jolt of energy to round out your evening.
Nell Espresso Martini at The Little Nell’s Element 47. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LITTLE NELL
NELL ESPRESSO MARTINI ELEMENT 47, ASPEN
Served in a handblown Kimura crystal glass, the Nell Espresso Martini is “a simple but perfectly balanced recipe,” says Colton Black, general manager of Element 47 at Aspen’s The Little Nell hotel (thelittlenell.com). A single shot of freshly brewed Italian espresso is combined with cold-brew espresso liqueur, 10-times-distilled vodka and a pinch of Maldon sea salt flakes. Three espresso beans symbolizing health, happiness and prosperity beautifully finish the drink, which is best enjoyed après-ski—preferably by the cozy fireplace if you can snag a seat.
THE ESPRESSO TULIP CITREA, BEAVER CREEK
A blend of housemade coffee liqueur, Breckenridge vodka, brewed espresso and raw simple syrup, The Espresso Tulip at Mediterranean eatery Citrea (beavercreek.com/dining) in Beaver Creek calls to mind a digestif one might enjoy after a hearty alfresco dinner in Italy. “We wanted something on the menu to finish off the experience,” says Mika Tanimoto, senior food and beverage manager. With a frothy top for a trio of coffee beans to rest on, the drink is served in an aptly named tulip glass. It’s become so popular, a couple recently chose it as the signature cocktail for their wedding at SaddleRidge. Pair the martini with a plate of Beaver Creek’s iconic chocolate chip cookies—both can be found on Citrea’s dessert menu.
COLD BREW SUNSET 54THIRTY, DENVER
Come for the Cold Brew Sunset, stay for the sweeping city and mountain views. Roy Castro, general manager of 54thirty (54thirty.com), the rooftop bar at Le Méridien Denver Downtown, created his twist on a classic espresso martini with housemade cold brew, vodka, Kahlúa and Amaro Montenegro. Once shaken, a little bit of Baileys is added to the mix for creamy depth and texture. Castro serves his concoction in a coupe glass with a three-bean garnish, and on any given day, he sells upwards of 200. “It’s taken over the vodka Red Bull,” Castro says. “Everyone wants that caffeine push.”