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Hot Take: Espresso Martinis Were Made for Thanksgiving

Falling asleep before the pumpkin pie is served? This ridiculously easy espresso martini recipe can help.
Grand Brulot Espresso Martinis Linkby
Composite by VICE Staff

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (good for you, honestly), you have probably observed the recent, renewed interest in espresso martinis. We don’t have any specific data that explains why the beany, boozy beverage is now one of the top ten most ordered cocktails in the US, but it’s likely because espresso martinis unite caffeine, alcohol, and coffee in one swanky-ass drink. Gone are the days of pounding Four Loko jungle juice; nigh is the time for a drink that makes your Hinge date think, Wow, they’re fancy. Maybe they even own a bed frame. 


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Now that we’re in the thick of the holiday season, we have a proposition: It’s time for espresso martinis to transition from their role as the ideal late-night summer pick-me-up to the perfect post-feast digestif. Thanksgiving is next week, after all, which means you could be days away from a big family gathering, a small Friendsgiving, or an annual re-watch of the entire The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In every one of those situations, espresso ‘tinis are poised to be the bridge between you and your next post-nap serving of pumpkin pie. 

We’re not alone in these espresso martini aspirations. Consider the French Cognac brand Grand Brulot, for example. The spirit brand is positioning its Robusta bean Cognac as an excellent Thanksgiving cocktail because, as Grand Brulot explains, “National Espresso Day and Thanksgiving are on the SAME day this year.” 

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Photo Courtesy of Grand Brulot

In the realm of fake new holidays, we’re down to sign-off on anything pro-espresso. Plus, the Brulot bros have a point about the serendipity of Thanksgiving and National Espresso Day coinciding. After all, Grand Brulot’s espresso cognac is just a boozed-up, less boring version of your average post-meal coffee. Of course, Grand Brulot’s beans are also aged in French oak barrels, allowing for them to develop the rich, smooth flavor that has made the Cognac a staple at culinary institutions such as Peter Lugers NY,  White’s Club London—and now, your apartment. But we digress.


You don’t even need to be a skilled, self-proclaimed mixologist to whip up a bangin’ espresso martini. Just cop a bottle of espresso Cognac, vanilla syrup, some statement martini glasses, and follow the brand’s personal recipe:   

  • 2 oz Grand Brulot
  • 1 oz Espresso
  • ½ oz of Amaretto or Vanilla Syrup
  • Directions: Using a shaker, combine Grand Brulot, coffee and liqueur or vanilla syrup together. Shake (25 times) vigorously with ice and then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a few cracked coffee beans and an orange twist. 

Whether you need a bottle of something ~different~ to bring to the family function this year, or you’re trying to impress your inlaws or parents with an elevated bottle of booze, we highly suggest that you lean into the bean. You have nothing to lose, and all of the casserole to gain. 

Happy feasting. 

Purchase Grand Brulot here.

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