Espresso martinis are definitely having a moment…again. The delicious drink was a staple of the late ‘90s and now, along with most of the decade’s trends, it’s seeing a resurgence. But the popularity of the sweet cocktail has expanded far beyond the walls of the bar this time.
Most recently, the drink has taken the wedding industry by storm and event planners predict it will pick up even more speed in 2022. Perhaps it’s the dessert-like taste or the mix of caffeine and alcohol, which really gets a party started, but guests and wedding planners alike can’t seem to get enough of them.
“It’s a classic drink that has been around forever and is making a huge comeback,” says Heather Lowenthal, founder and owner of Posh Parties. “I also love that it’s a very universal drink and a fun pick-me-up on the dance floor.”
If you’re planning a wedding and looking to add a spirited element, try turning to this unique blend of freshly brewed espresso, coffee liqueur, and vodka. Ahead, check out these creative ways to incorporate espresso martinis into your wedding.
Customized Espresso Martinis
One easy way to incorporate espresso martinis into your wedding is to offer it up as a signature cocktail. Whether it be at the reception, rehearsal dinner, or during the cocktail hour, the caffeinated drink is sure to wake everyone up and get the crowd dancing.
“If you’re having a cocktail hour in the winter or fall and it’s a little bit chilly, serving espresso martinis during it would be a really great way to kick the night off and get things moving,” says Tara Guérard, owner and lead planner of Tara Guérard Soirée.
Customizing the cocktail will make it even more special. If you and your soon-to-be spouse share a favorite blend of coffee or type of coffee beans, add it to the recipe to make the signature cocktail all the more meaningful. The same goes for whichever vodka or liqueur you choose. You can even have your initials or a wedding logo drawn into the foam layer of the drink, similar to latte art. Gabrielle Wile of Wile Events created the custom logo seen above for Partier co-founder Danielle Tullo La Testa's wedding to put a chic personal spin on the couple's favorite cocktail.
Espresso Martini Tower
If you’d like to serve the cocktail in a more extravagant way, constructing a glamorous espresso martini tower is sure to impress your guests and create some visual appeal at the reception or cocktail hour. Just stack coupe glasses into a tower formation and place the masterpiece in either the center of the room or in the entrance to make a bold statement.
You can also accent the tower with flowers, lights, smoke, carved ice, or decor—the options are endless. The coupe glasses will bring some vintage, old-school charm to the event space and filling them with espresso martinis is much more creative than champagne.
Mini Martini Bar
For the diehard fans of this sweet drink, set up a mini bar or station that is dedicated to the cocktail. You can hire a bartender or even allow guests to create their own. Either way, it will make a fun and creative addition to any reception or cocktail hour. Fill the station with all the essentials, an espresso maker, and some cute decor.
Canned Party Favors
Party favors give your guests something to remember the night by, and canned espresso martinis would make both an adorable favor and a gift they will actually get use out of. Cocktail brands like Loverboy or Kahlúa make pre-mixed canned versions, and tons of other brands have espresso martini mixers available. This sweet to-go treat is definitely something your guests will appreciate and it's sure to come in handy at their next happy hour.
Espresso Martini Shots
If you really want to turn up the party, you can pass around espresso martini shots on the dance floor. It’s relatively easy to turn the classic drink into a shot—and they're even easier to serve. It’s the one drink that is sure to get people dancing and in a festive mood. So, place a few on a tray and have a server circle the dance floor with them. Your guests will definitely want to knock one (or a few) back and you can even make them into jello shots.
Espresso Martinis as Dessert
Instead of going with traditional cake for dessert, spice things up and serve a dessert drink instead. An espresso martini is not only a sweet substitute for cake, but it’s also a good caffeine boost that guests will need towards the end of the night.
Plus, there are tons of perks to opting for a drink instead of cake. As Guérard points out, it makes dessert a great time to do some end-of-the-night toasts as it eliminates the noise that clanking silverware can bring. If you want your guests to have something to actually eat for dessert, try a deconstructed espresso martini, which can consist of coffee mousse, chocolate crumble, and liqueur coffee syrup.
Caravan Martini Bar
For an outdoor wedding or a rustic vibe, a mini caravan bar or camper is an adorable way to serve these delicious martinis. This whimsical display will be one that guests can’t take their eyes off of, and it will make having the cocktails at your wedding even more fun.
Espresso Martini Truffles
If the drink isn’t already sugary enough for all the sweet tooths out there, espresso martini-flavored truffles are another treat you can pass out on the big day. Add them to a dessert bar or place them in baggies as a party favor. They’re the perfect combination of chocolate and coffee, and guests will have no problem devouring them. Various chocolatiers and brands make these decadent truffles including Seattle Chocolate Company, Sugarfina, Knipschildt Chocolatier, and more.