The Two-Ingredient Mocktail That Will Get You Out Of An Espresso Martini Rut

Espresso martinis may have been the cocktail of the winter, but when the weather is warmer, we're usually looking for something a little more refreshing to slake our thirst. And let's be real, caffeine and alcohol combined in one potent martini aren't exactly hydration boosters. Instead, this season we're reaching for a two-ingredient mocktail that's more satisfying than basic iced coffee and which skips the alcohol: espresso tonic. It's as easy to make as the name would lead you to believe.

An espresso tonic is made with espresso and tonic water, but because the drink is so simple, attention to detail is a must. On TikTok, DaddyGotCoffee recommends chilling your glass ahead of time for best results. Italian coffee-trend magazine The Sign Moak suggests you build the drink over ice in a tall tumbler glass, while DaddyGotCoffee uses a shorter rocks glass and brews the espresso directly into the glass. For the most striking result, add ice to a glass, then add the tonic water (you should use the best tonic water you can find), and slowly add the espresso to the top. This should create a layered effect in the glass, with tonic water on the bottom, espresso in the middle, and a layer of foam at the very top. It's a refreshing, caffeinated mocktail you could sip all afternoon and into the night, but if you're craving something more complex — or with a little boozy kick — there are a few different ways to jazz up your espresso tonic.

Play around with the ingredients

As much as the tonic water you use to make your espresso tonic matters, the coffee is even more important. Italian coffee company Moka Flor suggests using a single-origin coffee to make espresso tonics. The simplicity of the mocktail means that the flavor of such special coffee will be able to shine. Alternatively, they recommend using a "sweet and aromatic Arabica blend." If you're confused, then your best bet is to head to a local coffee shop or coffee roaster that sells coffee and espresso beans. You can ask for their expert recommendations and experiment with different options until you find your favorite. 


How to make an Espresso Tonic 🤤☕️#coffeetok #coffee

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As it stands, the espresso tonic is a mocktail. But if you're craving something with a little kick, you can add booze to turn it into a fizzy cocktail. Coffee liqueur, like Kahlua, will add more coffee flavor and a bit of sweetness; orange liqueur, like Cointreau, could also pair well, (and even a splash of orange juice, per Salon) since orange slices are a classic garnish for the espresso tonic. Or, keep things simple with a shot of vodka, which will add alcohol without altering the flavor of your espresso tonic too much, so the focus can still be on the quality espresso and tonic used to make the drink.