ESPRESSO is made when a small amount of nearly boiling water is forced under pressure through finely coffee beans. The result is a drink with a higher concentration of caffeine that has a crema foam on top. This shot of concentrated coffee is usually served in small espresso or demitasse cups.

Though Angelo Moriondo, given credit for creating the first espresso machine, hand built his steam driven machine in 1884, it was not designed to serve individual servings. In 1901 Luigi Bezzera refined Moriondo's design and, finally, Desiderio Pavoni of the La Pavoni family, bought the patents in 1905 and began to produce espresso machines mechanically. For more details on the history of espresso and the espresso machine visit The Smithsonian online.


If you've happened upon this post on November 23rd,

Follow me on Twitter as PopArtDiva
Follow me on Twitter as TheMartiniDiva
Friend me on Facebook
LIKE "TheMartiniDiva's Happy Hour" Facebook Page


Crème Brûlée Cocktail Recipe

 This is a truly impressive cocktail to serve to your friends, it delivers the wonderful Crème Brûlée flavors but it's the beautiful caramel garnish that turns this from good to great.

Directions for making the breakable, hard caramel garnish are below. You'll want to practice making the hard caramel garnish a few times - drizzling the caramelized sugar is a bit of a trick. I used a dessert sized spoon in the end and started outside my target area as the first drop is large. When you start moving the spoon the thread thins out - move too fast and the threads get too thin and delicate, too slow and you get big clumps. Practice and pretty soon you'll have a pretty lace like disc. You can always break off nicer areas and drape them inside the glass too!

Crème Brûlée

1 Oz. Vanilla Vodka
1 Oz. Coffee Liqueur
(I used Caffe Borghetti)
3 Oz. Heavy Cream (or Half & Half)
Prepared Hard Caramel Garnish

GLASS: Cocktail (martini) or Coupe

TOOLS: Cocktail Shaker

Prepare your hard caramel garnish ahead of time, instructions are just below.
Chill your glass in the freezer.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then pour in the vodka, coffee liqueur and the cream and shake until well chilled.
Pour into the chilled glass then place the hard caramel garnish atop the glass for the guest or customer to break into their cocktail.

Here's the instructions for making the Hard Caramel Garnish on a convenient recipe card:

A little history of Crème Brûlée
The origins of custards can be traced back to the ancient Romans who were the first to use eggs as binding agents and employed the techniques in creating patinae, crustades and omelettes.  The dessert type custards we are familiar with today date back to the Middle Ages where they were most often eaten like a pudding or employed as fillings in pastries or binders in tarts - the word
custard is derived from crustade, a tart with a crust.

There are many claims to the invention of Crème Brûlée.  Trinity College in Cambridge, England claims they invented the dessert in the 1600's where they called it a Cambridge Burnt Cream or Trinity Cream, they even have a special branding iron they use to brand the caramelized topping.  Spain lays claim to a very similar dessert called a Crema Catalana, also from the 1800s, but it was the French in the 19th century brought what they called "burnt cream", literally translated as Crème Brûlée, into the world of modern cuisine.

The earliest known print reference to it is in a cookbook by François Massialot's in 1691 but a 1731 edition of Massialot's changed the name of the same recipe from "crème brûlée" to "crème anglaise".

Crème Brûlée usually is traditionally served in individual ramekins then topped with prepared discs of caramel or sprinkled with sugar which is then caramelized under a broiler/salamander, a butane torch or by flambéing a hard liquor on it.

Follow me on Twitter as PopArtDiva
Follow me on Twitter as TheMartiniDiva
Friend me on Facebook
LIKE "TheMartiniDiva's Happy Hour" Facebook Page

SHOT O' GOLD Molecular Coffee Cocktail

Putting a Shot of Leprechaun in an Irish Coffee!

Aye, and it's a lovely little dram of whiskey and espresso poured over magical Leprechaun spheres of golden delicious Irish Cream and milk with a bit o' gold at the end of the cocktail!



1/2 Oz. Cold Espresso
1/2 Oz. Irish Whiskey
1 Oz. Irish Cream Liqueur
1-1/2 Oz. Milk
Cocoa Powder
Dark Chocolate Pieces
Ground Coffee


Edible Gold Flakes
Edible Gold Leaf
Silicon Mold for round spheres
Pastry Bag or Baggie to pipe Chocolate Garnish
Two Small Plates

    Melt your dark chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave, transfer to a pastry bag or baggie with the tip of one corner cut off and pipe a few fun shapes. You can pick the best one to set atop your shot glass.
    Combine the Irish Cream Liqueur and the milk then freeze in small round molds.
    Brew your espresso and set in the refrigerator to chill.
    Put some Irish Cream Liqueur into one of the plates and some coffee grounds mixed with cocoa in the other then dip your glass rim in the Irish Cream then into the coffee grounds/cocoa powder to rim.
    Place your glass in the freezer to chill.

When it's time to serve your cocktail:
        Add 1 cup of ice to a cocktail shaker, pour in the whiskey and the espresso and shake until well chilled.
    Place two of the frozen Irish Cream spheres in the glass.
    Pour the whiskey/espresso over the spheres.
    Top off the glass with your chocolate garnish.
Set the Shot O' Gold onto a plate filled with the ground coffee, place a few edible gold flakes around and serve.

Follow me on Twitter as PopArtDiva
Follow me on Twitter as TheMartiniDiva
Friend me on Facebook
LIKE "TheMartiniDiva's Happy Hour" Facebook Page


I'll have a MOCHA ESPRESSO with a Buttercrunch Biscotti, to go, please!
A Coffee, Hazelnut & Cream Flavored Edible Cocktail

When I decided to make a coffee flavored cocktail gel I kept thinking of how people order their chi-chi coffees at places like Starbucks and that great parody of the whole process in the movie L.A. Story with Steve Martin and Sarah Jessica Parker.

This inspired my whole approach to how I decided to make this Mocha Espresso Edible Cocktail. To tickle the barrista in my soul, I have created a "mocha espresso with a shot of hazelnut. a dash of cinnamon" and it comes with an order of three little gel biscotti on the plate!

This is my "half, double decaffeinated, half-caff" homage to all silliness we've gotten involved with in ordering a simple cup of coffee. It's a little tongue in cheek presentation, complete with a twist of humor!
Edible Cocktail


Espresso Layer

1 C. Espresso
1 C. Kahlua
2 Pkgs. Knox Gelatin
3 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 C. Sugar

Mocha Layer
1/2 C. Coffee
1/2 C. Milk
1/2 C. Hazelnut Liqueur
1/2 C. Hazelnut Creamer
2 Pkgs. Knox Gelatin

Garnish & Presentation
Cooking Spray
1 Tbsp. Ground Coffee
Whipped Cream
Crushed Up Butterfingers
Cinnamon Powder
Serving Platter


Measuring Cups
Non-stick Medium Saucepan
Non-stick spoon
12 - 16 Small Plastic Shot Cups
Mini Loaf Pan or similar small pan
Sharp, Thin Blade Knife

  • Spray all your molds with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Measure out all your ingredients and get your tools ready.
  • Pour your non- alcoholic liquid (juice, water, puree, milks, creams, etc.) into your saucepan, stir well and let this sit for a few minutes.
  • Place the saucepan on a burner, turn the heat to low and warm the mixture, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is completely dissolved. This takes about 2 to 4 minutes. Do not boil, it's not necessary.
  • Remove the pan from the burner and, if the recipe calls for a package of dessert gelatin, stir it in.
  •  Next, quickly stir in your alcohol ingredient.
  •  Pour gelatin mixture immediately into whatever mold(s) you plan on using.
  •  Place in the refrigerator to set for at least an hour.
  •  You can then pour on additional layers, if any.
  •  Once all layers are set, you are ready cut, press out with a cookie cutter and/or release the elements of your cocktail gels and plate.

  • I used the small, plastic shot glasses for my molds to get the shape of a cup of coffee from a coffee house.
  • Start with the espresso layer first and do the mocha layer last. Save enough of the mocha gelatin to make your Gel Biscotti.
  • To make the small Gel Biscotti I reserved about 1/3 of a cup of the mocha layer and poured this into the small loaf pan. I tossed in the crushed Butterfingers, let it set then cut out small crescents with my knife. I then rolled the round edge in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • If you are molding in a cake pan, dip your knife blade in hot water and slide it around the edge of the cake pan. Do the same when you cut out the separate pieces. Use a flat metal spatula to lift your gel out of the pan.
  • Cookie cutters don't need to be heated and silicone molds do not need to be heated to release either - but don't forget the cooking spray before you pour your gelatin into any mold!
  • Most cocktail gels can be frozen, depending on the ingredients.
  • If you're preparing these for a party that will have children present create some without alcohol simply by replacing the liquor with the same amount of a non- alcoholic liquid or puree of a complimentary flavor, BUT be sure to make the non-alcoholic ones look very different from the ones with alcohol.

Follow me on Twitter as PopArtDiva
Follow me on Twitter as TheMartiniDiva
Friend me on Facebook
LIKE "TheMartiniDiva's Happy Hour" Facebook Page



I was making homemade truffles and it occurred to me, "wouldn't these be great stuffed with more booze??" I already had a dash of coffee liqueur in the ganache (which is what you make the center of truffles from) but I thought with a bit more alcohol they could be edible cocktails! So I pondered on it all night (yes, all night - it kept me awake) and came up with the idea for my White Russian Truffles with Espresso Caviar.

You bite into one of these and the Whipped Cream Egg in the center breaks open and oozes cream to mingle with the deep chocolate truffle while the Espresso Caviar bursts on top of it all with an explosion that balances out the sweetness of the rich cream and chocolate. This is like no White Russian you've ever had before!

with recipes & instructions for Mocha Truffle Cups, Whipped Cream Eggs, Espresso Caviar.

PREP for Garnish & Presentation
Small White Plates
Powdered Sugar
Ground Coffee
Chocolate Twigs (Recipe Below)

for Garnishing
1/2 Cup of Dark Chocolate Pieces or Chips

Wax Paper Lined Baking Sheet
1 Small Bowl
Double Boiler
Plastic Baggie

Melt your chocolate in a double boiler, whisking as it melts, don't allow ANY water into your chocolate or it will seize up. When completely melted, spoon into a small plastic baggie towards one corner. Twist the baggie like you would a pastry bag to get the melted chocolate towards one corner. Snip a tiny hole in the corner and pipe some twigs or other fun shapes onto the waxed paper.  Place in the fridge to set up until time to plate.


8 Oz. Good Quality Dark Chocolate, Chopped into small pieces
1/2 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp. Coffee Liqueur
Pinch of Sea Salt

2 Large Stainless Steel Bowl
Small Saucepan
Double Boiler

This is the easy part, you simply make a ganache of the ingredients by melting your chocolate in a double boiler, heating the cream until JUST beginning to bubble (Don't Boil!), Pouring the warm cream over the melted chocolate. Let this sit until the chocolate has started to melt nicely then start gently whisking the chocolate. As you stir, add in the butter pieces one at a time. Then you slowly add in the coffee liqueur, still whisking. Toss in the pinch of salt, mix in then press plastic wrap on the top of the ganache and let it set up in the fridge.

After a couple of hours you scoop out a ball of ganache and roll it into a ball in your hand, set on a waxed paper lined baking sheet

You can immediately dip these in cocoa powder or crushed nuts, candies, etcetera for traditional truffles like my Three Liquor Infused Truffle Recipes.

For the cups simply mold them into cup shapes or use a candy mold and press an indentation in the center to hold the Whipped Cream Eggs.

Cold Oil and Gelatin Spherification
1 Cup of Warm Espresso
1/4 Cup of Coffee Liqueur
1 Oz. Cold Water
1 Package of Gelatin Powder
1 C. of Canola Oil, VERY Cold


2 Medium Bowls
1 Small Bowl (like a custard cup)
One Tall Slim Glass or Container
Pipette or Squirt Bottle
Small Metal Strainer


Pour the canola oil into a tall, thin glass and place in the freezer for 1 hour.
Bloom the gelatin powder in the cold water in the custard cup, then stir.
Pour this into your warm espresso and mix well, then add the coffee liqueur.
Place in the refrigerator until it's cooled off.

Pull out the cold canola oil & the cooled espresso gelatin and pipe the gelatin into the icy canola oil in tiny drops - I used a pipette and did 4 quick drops per single caviar sphere. If you use a squirt bottle test a few out to get the proper amount and distance from the oil.

You want your caviar spheres to fall to the bottom of the oil and stay out of the way while you pipe others. When you have enough caviar spheres for the number of servings you plan (about 1/4 cup per serving), pour the oil and the spheres through a small strainer into another small bowl to get the spheres out of the oil. You can save the oil for another spherification use.

GENTLY rinse the caviar under COLD water for a second or two, then tap the strainer onto some paper towels to drain off the water and store the caviar in the refrigerator until ready to plate.

IMPORTANT NOTE: These can melt quickly so try to do them just a short while before you plate your dish and plate them last then immediately serve!

Take a look at the photo below - you can see the liquid espresso starting to leak out onto the Whipped Cream Egg portion - These Espresso Caviars just burst in your mouth and you get an explosion of dark espresso laced with a touch of coffee liqueur to complement the deep, dark chocolate Mocha Truffle Cup!

See how the "Whipped Cream Egg" oozes out of the Truffle Cup? It's like Whipped Cream Pudding in a little Egg Shell that breaks open!

I used a reverse spherification method on these.
1/4 Cup of Condensed, Sweetened Milk
1/4 Cup of Whipped Cream Vodka
2-1/2 Grams of Calcium Lactate
3/4 Gram of Xanthan Gum
For The Bath
2 Grams of Sodium Alginate
2 Cups Distilled Water

Immersion Blender or Bullet Blender with Two Containers
Nice ROUND Spoon
Shallow Baking Dish

Make your Bath first by blending the sodium alginate and the distilled water together until the chemical is completely mixed into water. You will see your mixture is really full of air bubbles and usually you need to let it sit for 12 hours to 24 hours for the bubbles to disperse and the chemicals to completely dissolve. For some reason mine was nearly completely clear in an hour so I went ahead and used it.

When your bath is clear, pour it into your shallow baking dish.

Blend the condensed milk, vodka, calcium lactate and xanthan gum together. You will have a pretty gummy consistency, much like pudding. Take a small round spoon and spoon dollops about 1/2" or so directly in the bath solution. You want to try to shape them as close to a ball as possible so you may have to do a few to get the hang of it. Don't worry you have enough cream solution to make about 15 little balls or so.

Stir each ball around a bit in the solution to help form the ball and allow the bath to create the gel "shell" skin around the creamy center. (You'll want to let the "eggs" sit for a minute in the solution to form the gel shell around the cream.) Once you have enough balls simply scoop them out with a spoon, roll them gently into your hand and GENTLY rinse them off with cold water in your hand allowing the water to siphon through your fingers. You can touch them lightly with a paper towel to get off excess water but it's not necessary. TIP: The longer you let the balls sit in the solution the more of a "skin" will form, more of the shell skin makes a hardier ball but too much makes for an unpleasant mouth feel and hard to burst open.

Then place them right into your Truffle Cups and set your truffle cups in the refrigerator while you set up your plating. In the photo at the top you can see I split the plate in two with half coffee grounds and half powdered sugar as my base.

I put my Truffle Cups slightly off balance with two in the powdered sugar and one in the coffee. Then I placed my Chocolate Twigs in a nice balanced position and gently spooned on the Espresso Caviar into the cups and around the plate in a nice pattern.

Et Voila!
A rich, chocolate masterpiece of a booze infused dessert!

Bon Appetit & Cheers!

Follow me on Twitter as PopArtDiva
Follow me on Twitter as TheMartiniDiva
Friend me on Facebook
LIKE "TheMartiniDiva's Happy Hour" Facebook Page


How to Make Homemade, Liquor Infused Truffles.

The Recipe Ingredients

Limoncello Coconut Truffles
8 Oz. Good Quality White Chocolate
1/2 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, Cut into Pieces
4 Pieces of Lemon Peel
1 Tbsp. Toasted Coconut Flakes
2 Tbsp. Limoncello
Extra Toasted Coconut Flakes for Coating Truffles
Melted White Chocolate for Coating Truffles
Lemon Sugar Crystals for Decorating
Coffee Liqueur Chocolate Truffles
8 Oz. Good Quality Dark Chocolate
1/2 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, Cut into Pieces
1 Tbsp. Coffee Grounds
Pinch of Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Coffee Liqueur
Mixture of Ground Espresso and Cocoa for Coating Truffles
Melted Dark and Milk Chocolates for Coating Truffles
Dark Chocolate Decorations

Spicy Rum Cherry Chocolate Truffles
8 Oz. Good Quality Dark Chocolate
1/2 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, Cut into Pieces
2 Tbsp. Benjamin Twiggs Cherry Pepper Jelly
2 Tbsp. Drunken Cherry Rum*
24 Drunken Rum Cherries*, Chopped Small*
Spiced** Cocoa Powder for Coating Truffles
Melted Milk and Dark Chocolate for Coating Truffles
Dried Cherries for Decoration

*I took 24 of the Benjamin Twiggs Dried Cherries and macerated them in 3 tablespoons of Bacardi Torched Cherry Rum overnight. Then I drained off the rum and kept both the cherries and the rum for the recipe.

**I used just a pinch of cayenne and chili powder with a pinch of sea salt.

The Directions

First, I infused the cream with flavorings - here it was lemon zest and toasted coconut for the LEMONCELLO COCONUT WHITE TRUFFLES and ground coffee for the COFFEE LIQUEUR TRUFFLES. I set the cream infusions aside to get more flavorful in the fridge.


Second, I chopped up all my chocolate into very small pieces while I watched television.


Next I melted my chocolate in a double boiler, stirring constantly.


When the chocolate was pretty much melted, I got my cream out of the fridge and into a small saucepan to scald. It only takes a minute or so for the cream to get warm, please note I said "scald" not "boil". You only want the cream to start bubbling around the edges so it's warm enough to melt the chocolate.


Then I poured the warmed cream over the melted chocolate, stirring as I poured. This is now officially a ganache! I continued to stir as I added the pieces of butter, the liqueur and/or jam and the truffle additions (this is where I would add in chopped nuts, bits of dried fruit.)

After the ganache was completely blended and nice and shiny (from the butter), I applied a layer of plastic wrap right to the surface and put it in the refrigerator to set up for a few hours.


This type of ganache sets up pretty hard so when you want to make the truffles you'll need to take it out of the fridge and allow it to warm up until you can scoop and roll it into balls. I brought mine out 2 hours ahead of shaping time.

BTW, this ratio of cream to chocolate is specifically for making truffles. If you want a ganache to spread or pipe you need to bring the ratio of cream up to equal proportions with your chocolate. This mixture can also be whipped for a lighter frosting.


Once my ganache has reached a warm enough temperature to roll I simply grab a round shaped spoon and scoop out enough to roll a 1" ball in my hand and roll it! I place each ball on a parchment lined cookie sheet until I've finished the amount I want.

Since you can keep ganache for a few weeks in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer, I often only do what I intend to serve and save the rest for another day. I have also been known to take the remaining ganache, warm it up a bit and add a little more cream then use it as a frosting.


I roll my truffles in a number of coatings like cocoa powder, crushed nuts, crushed coconut, crushed candies - the type of dry coating here is wide open to your own preferences.

I also save a few truffle balls aside to dip in a tempered chocolate coating. You can use all types of chocolate here like dark, semi-sweet, milk and white chocolate, and these can be dipped into the dry toppings as well.


is they are so good you're going to want to eat them all. Don't. At least not all at once. Unless you want a big butt. Share that big butt opportunity with your family, friends & neighbors! Package your sweet truffles up in some pretty little candy papers and a fun gift box tied all up with a fancy ribbon and hand some over to others to share the wealth....and the calories!



Yes, I tried latex gloves but they kept slipping
around so I gave up and just dove in!

Truffles are easy to make, really! But they're not a quick process. It took me two days to complete all the truffle recipes here but it was two days of fun. It was also two days of making a complete chocolate mess of my kitchen and myself but in the end I had over 60 handmade truffles in a variety of flavors, colors & coatings. I had eaten at least 5 before they were finished from tasting along the way!

I shared the rest. Let them deal with the big butt issue........

Chocolate Melt and Cauldron Bubble

Follow me on Twitter as PopArtDiva
Follow me on Twitter as TheMartiniDiva
Friend me on Facebook
LIKE "TheMartiniDiva's Happy Hour" Facebook Page

Cafè Noir Espresso, Whiskey Cocktail

Fratelli Branca sent me a bottle of their Caffè Borghetti, along with a Whole Foods gift card, to make a cocktail featuring their lovely espresso liqueur for National Espresso Day. I opened the shipping box at ten in the morning but still cracked open the bottle to taste. I'm not known for my patience and I love coffee liqueur ... and nobody was around to see. If you like coffee booze, in my opinion, this one beats the others by a mile. Made with real espresso, it has a nutty nose with deep chocolate notes that blend nicely with the espresso for a rich mocha experience.  It's smooth, gentle and perfect on it's own or with some coffee as an after dinner drink.

I know it will be great as a coffee liqueur in any of my Coffee Cocktails but, for my first cocktail recipe using this delicious liqueur, I wanted something unusual and powerful. Espresso is the big brother of coffee, stronger and more manly, a touch of bitterness softened by a lot of heart. I wanted to do a cocktail that expressed that.

However, I honestly had no idea how I was going to get there and I really wanted to go outside of the standard coffee and cream cocktail box. Then I got to Whole Foods and spied a bottle Del Bac Clear Mesquite Smoked Whiskey. I've been wanting to try this whiskey produced by Hamilton Distillers (a local distillery here in Tucson) very badly. The minute I saw that bottle I knew I was going to do a version of San Francisco bartender Jon Santer's Revolver, a rye and coffee liqueur cocktail with a dash of orange bitters.

I suspected that the Del Bac whiskey might be a bit reminiscent of a great smoky tequila or a mescal* because it's a clear, unaged whiskey with it's barley smoked over mesquite wood fire. I was right. So, as well as a riff on the Revolver, this cocktail is also a kind of a butch Mexican Coffee, minus the coffee and cream and with hints of orange and cherry. I  love it when a plan comes together.

Definitely serve this with at least two of the Bordeaux cherries. (I grabbed a third cherry right at the end.) This is a real man's cocktail; strong, powerful and sexy. Eating the cherries as you sip adds an extra hit of sweetness, much like that hidden touch of romanticism you find buried in those strong, silent types. Heaven. DO NOT leave out the orange bitters and twists either, aside from the fact that orange bitters are an integral part of Santer's Revolver, they add a beautiful nose and punch up the cherry from the Luxardo.


Caffè Noir
1-1/2 Oz. Del Bac Clear Mesquite Smoked Whiskey
1-1/4 Z. Caffè Borghetti Espresso Liqueur
1/4 Oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
Dash of Angostura Orange Bitters
2 Orange Twists
2 Bordeaux Cherries (or 3!)
Large Ice Cube

Glass: Old Fashioned
TOOLS: Bar Spoon, Large Ice Mold
Chill your glass in the freezer.
Rub the interior of the glass with one orange twist then toss away this twist.
Add the large ice cube to the glass then pour in the Del Bac Mesquite Smoked Whiskey, the Caffè Borghetti Espresso Liqueur and the Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur.
Stir in the glass 25 times to chill, express the oils of the second orange twist over the ice, rub the rim with the twist then add it to the cocktail.
Garnish with a couple of Bordeaux cherries and serve.

If you prefer stemmed glasses, you can shake this cocktail with ice then strain into a coupe, this will dilute the strength a bit and bring the sweetness forward. Ladies seem to like the stemmed glasses, men like something they can get a grip on.

If you happened by here on November 23rd, Happy National Espresso Day!

* The aged Dorado version might be more like a peaty Scotch but haven't tried that one yet!

I was not compensated for this post but I did get some free booze!

Follow me on Twitter as PopArtDiva
Follow me on Twitter as TheMartiniDiva
Friend me on Facebook
LIKE "TheMartiniDiva's Happy Hour" Facebook Page
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...