Why 2022 Is the Year of the Espresso Martini

New York

It may be 2022, but people still order espresso martinis like they did in the 90s.

The coffee-flavored beverage has experienced such a resurgence that it has entered the top 10 most ordered cocktails at U.S. bars this year, according to Nielsen IQ research firm CGA.The espresso martini has even replaced the classic The Manhattan, a bourbon-based cocktail, made the top ten.

CGA, part of NielsenIQ, which tracks cocktail sales in U.S. bars, reports that the margarita remains the top-selling cocktail in the country.

This isn’t just a nostalgic espresso martini revival. Lisa Hawkins, senior vice president of public affairs for the Distilled Spirits Council, told CNN Business that “the confluence of two major consumer trends in the US: Americans’ love of high-end coffee and cocktail culture” explains why it’s catching on.

“Spirits consumers are drawn to the simplicity and decadence of this cocktail,” she said. “The elegance of an espresso martini elevates your cocktail experience at a bar or restaurant, and it also makes an impressive after-dinner cocktail when entertaining guests at home.”

2022 is the year of the espresso martini.

An espresso martini is a blend of vodka, coffee liqueur, and espresso. It’s a relatively young drink that was reportedly invented in a London bar in the 1980s when a model asked for a drink to “wake me up and fuck me up”, inventor and famous bartender Dick Bradsell once said it.

Kahlúa has also benefited from the obsession with espresso martinis. The Pernod Ricard brand recently said sales were hitting new records, with double-digit growth worldwide.

Rima Sawaya, Kahlúa brand director, said the espresso martini also made the 86-year-old brand more appealing to younger drinkers.

“Consumers crave anything nostalgic, as evidenced by the revival of ’80s and ’90s trends in fashion, music and, of course, cocktails,” she told CNN Business. The drink “allows a new generation of cocktail-curious consumers to taste and experience Kahlúa,” she added.

Other beverage giants have also taken note of the trend. In September, Baileys maker Diageo (DEO) acquired Mr. Black, a coffee liqueur that’s blended with cold brew and served straight from the bottle (no mixing required). The purchase price was not disclosed.

Espresso martinis are also expected to remain popular next year.

“Going forward, we anticipate that consumers will not only continue to enjoy this incredible classic ’80s martini, but also find new and fun ways to enjoy it year-round – and serve it with tequila or whiskey. And other different spirits instead of vodka Savoy says.

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