Elevate Your Espresso Martini With The Airy Elegance Of A Soufflé

Sweet, richly-flavored, and strong enough to pack a proper punch, a homemade espresso martini recipe makes everything better. Just like you can customize coffee to your heart's content, there are all sorts of ways to play with this cocktail. You can elevate espresso martinis with coffee creamer, or switch out the vodka for rum, which is surprisingly tasty in martinis. Perhaps the most special variant, though, is the soufflé espresso martini.

Just as its name implies, this drink pays homage to the fluffy texture of an egg white-based soufflé. Like the classic French dish, the cocktail incorporates air into its ingredients to create a tall, cloud-like structure. The foam on top of the drink transforms into airy, light-as-a-feather sweet whipped coffee topping that rises like a soufflé up the sides of the glass as you pour it out.

This elegant yet fun drink looks spectacular and tastes delicious, with the indulgent cloud of mildly sweet and bitter foam on top of the more intense martini. It's sure to impress at a party or as an after-dinner treat, in place of a traditional dessert or digestif. And unlike an actual soufflé, which can be a little daunting to make, it's not as tricky to make a soufflé espresso martini. You just have to grab a cocktail shaker or electric mixer and put in some arm work.

How to make a soufflé espresso martini

The first step in making this cocktail is to prepare the fluffy egg white coffee foam. The ingredients are simple — just egg whites, white sugar, chilled espresso, and water — but the key is to aerate the mixture as much as possible so it can froth up and expand. One way to achieve the light, velvety consistency is to shake the mixture in a cocktail shaker twice: once for 30 seconds with ice cubes, then strain the mixture to remove the ice, and shake for another 30 seconds.

Alternatively, you can beat together the sugar and instant coffee with an electric mixer, then add hot water and beat again to thicken and fluff the ingredients up. Add the egg whites and beat again until the mixture gains a stable, cloud-like shape. Once you've created the foam, pour it into a tall glass. To ensure that the foamy topping rises upwards, the drink should be served in a straight-sided coupe glass, rather than a slanted martini glass.

The second step is to make the martini itself. You can use your favorite recipe, as any espresso martini variation will work for the base of this drink. To serve, make a hole in the center of the foam using a spoon or other tool. Strain the espresso martini directly into the hole, watching the impressive soufflé rise as you pour. Garnish it with three coffee beans on top to make it look extra pretty.

Elevate other classic cocktails with the soufflé method

Using the soufflé technique to whip up a deliciously light foam can be used to make classic cocktails beyond the espresso martini. Any drink that already features egg whites or a foamy top makes for a good place to start. If you prefer gin to vodka, and citrusy flavors over coffee, then a gin fizz makes a great contender for the soufflé technique. Top off the impressive fluffy head with zingy lemon or lime zest. 

You could try this method with any of your favorite flips or sours, too. Try substituting flavored simple syrups for the sugar in the egg white topping. Experiment with different  infusions such as basil, ginger, various fruits, or even flowers like lavender, depending on the other ingredients in your drink.

Because of the extra sugar, playful soufflé cocktails make a great dessert substitute when entertaining. Once you've perfected the technique to make this fabulously frothy topping, the options are endless for delightful drinks that guarantee show-stopping sipping. As a final note, if you're worried about consuming raw eggs, try using pasteurized in-shell eggs instead, which you can pick up at some grocery stores in the refrigerated section.