If you’ve been seeing espresso martinis and/or ordering one everywhere you go this year, you’re in good company. According to research firm CGA by NielsenIQ, the caffeinated libation was one of the 10 most ordered cocktails at U.S. bars this year, bumping the Manhattan off the list. The drink’s rise in popularity is further proof that the ‘90s revival is in full swing.
The mix of vodka, espresso and coffee liqueur was supposedly invented in the 1980s when a supermodel told London bartender Dick Bradsell to make “something to wake me up, then fuck me up.” The cocktail fell out of fashion around the same time people neglected their Tamagotchi pets and stopped drinking Surge, but just like the scourge of low-rise trousers, the espresso martini is back — and unlike plumber-style jeans, it’s better than ever.
Although Kahlúa is still the coffee liqueur of choice when mixing the drink, smaller batch brands like Mario’s Hard Espresso and Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur are making the beloved cocktail even more potable. Diageo bought the latter back in September, looking to capitalize on the spirit’s demand.
Even with its newfound popularity, there’s still one cocktail the espresso martini can’t touch. The margarita is still the country’s top-selling drink, proving that our love for tequila knows no bounds.
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