Espresso Martini History
A cocktail known by many names throughout its history, the origins of the Espresso Martini will remain the stuff of myth and legend for years to come. The story goes that one day a young supermodel sidled up to Dick Bradsell’s bar at the Soho Brasserie and requested a pick-me-up cocktail with coffee…although her exact words were a little different! Mixing the now infamous drink with vodka, coffee liqueur, a shot of espresso and a little sugar, the Espresso Martini was thus born. The cocktail’s name may have changed through Dick’s bartending history (the 'Pharmaceutical Stimulant' is our personal favourite), but the iconic combination of vodka and coffee has remained the same since its inception.
There are those who believe that it was invented at the Harry’s Bar in Paris, where the legend is told that the Sidecar was prepared for the first time for an army captain who broke into Harry’s Bar aboard his - indeed - sidecar. There is also a third version, according to which the cocktail was created in New Orleans.
It is certain that the Sidecar's popularity soon caught on and also ended up in Graham Greene’s 1938 novel Brighton Rock. The writer David Embury spoke of it in turn, calling it (improperly, but not with the intention of belittling it) a "Daiquiri with cognac".