Looking for a trendy and impressive cocktail to serve at your next gathering? Look no further than this recipe for an Espresso Martini with Parmesan Cheese. This new viral cocktail is a unique twist on a classic and has been making waves on social media, namely TikTok, and for good reason… it’s really good.
Why This Recipe Works
- Salty and savory notes of the cheese provide an unexpected depth of flavor that compliments the bitterness of the coffee and the sweetness of the liqueur. If you like sweet and salty flavor combos, this drink is for you.
- With just a few simple ingredients, it’s easy to make at home.
- It’s a fun and impressive way to surprise and delight your friends and family.
- Vodka: Choose a good quality vodka for the best flavor. Something all purpose like Tito’s Vodka does the trick. Or, you can also go with coffee vodka for a bolder flavor.
- Coffee Liqueur: Use a coffee liqueur, like Kahlua, to add sweet, coffee flavor to the cocktail.
- Brewed Espresso: Use a freshly brewed shot of espresso for the best flavor and texture. Avoid the instant variety.
- Parmesan Cheese: Choose a fresh Parmesan cheese that has a funky salinity with a sharp flavor that can stand up to the sweetness of the cocktail. You definitely want to go with the freshly grated cheese, not the stuff that comes in the shaker.
- Nutmeg: I added a slight spin on the original by adding a touch of freshly grated nutmeg to bring out the nutty saltiness of the parmesan. It’s a classic combination often found in cheese bechamel sauces. In a pinch, you can use pre-ground nutmeg.
Pro Tip for Nutmeg: Buy plump, unblemished whole nutmeg and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place for up to two years. (Technically, I’ve had mine for waaayyyy longer – it keeps for a very long time!)
Grate what you need with a microplane grater and keep the rest whole to maintain the aroma. If your grocery store doesn’t carry whole nutmeg, check Amazon. It’s way better than the pre-ground kind.
Steps 1-2: Add the vodka and coffee liqueur to a cocktail shaker.
Steps 3-4: Add the fresh espresso and add plenty of ice to the shaker. Shake until well chilled.
Substitutions and Variations
- For a slightly different flavor and saltier profile, try using Pecorino cheese instead of Parmesan.
- For a sweeter variation, sub some shaved chocolate instead of the cheese to the top of the cocktail before serving. Or, you can can add about ½ oz simple syrup for more sweetness.
- For a saltier option, add a pinch of salt to the cocktail shaker before mixing.
- Check out more espresso martini variations like my Hazelnut Espresso Martini or just the classic Kahlua Espresso Martini.
- Shake the ingredients vigorously for at least 10 seconds (the longer the better!) to create the perfect foam on your Espresso Martini.
- Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor and texture and skip the pre-shredded.
- Serve the cocktail in a chilled coupe glass for the best drinking experience.
What makes the foam on an espresso martini?
The foam on an Espresso Martini is created by shaking the ingredients vigorously with ice, which emulsifies the crema with the sugar from the liqueur. Crema is that light brown layer on top of an espresso shot that forms from the coffee bean’s natural oils.
What kind of parmesan cheese should I use for a Parmesan Espresso Martini?
Choose a salty and tangy Parmigiano Reggiano with a sharp flavor. Freshly grated is best, and you can also consider using Pecorino cheese for a slightly different and saltier flavor.
Did you love this cocktail?
Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating & review in the comments below.
Parmesan Espresso Martini Recipe
- 1 ½ ounce vodka
- 1 ounce coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
- 1 ounce brewed espresso
- 1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- 1 dash ground nutmeg (freshly grated)
- Add the vodka, coffee liqueur, and espresso into a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice and shake until very well chilled. Strain into a martini or coupe glass.
- Top with parmesan cheese and nutmeg.
- Buy whole nutmeg instead of pre-ground. Whole nutmeg’s flavor lasts way longer (2 years) if you store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Grate what you need with a microplane grater and keep the rest whole to maintain the aroma.
- Choose a salty and tangy Parmesan with a sharp flavor. Freshly grated is best, and you can also consider using Pecorino cheese for a slightly different flavor.