Shake it up! Six Delectable Destinations to Celebrate World Espresso Martini Day
The classic espresso martini has become a bar staple since it was first created in the 1980s, so much so that there is now a dedicated day to celebrate the serve: World Espresso Martini Day held annually on March 15. A delightful blend of espresso, coffee liqueur and vodka, this popular coffee cocktail has since been recreated around the world with twists, from a sweet dash of orange to a nutty blend of coconut. This year we are shaking things up and handpicked six of some of the best destinations where travelers can sip on this delicious serve. From beachfront bars in Sri Lanka to espresso martini festivals in Miami and Sydney, travelers can get into the spirit and channel happy hour vibes that will leave them thirsty for more.
London, United Kingdom
London is the birthplace of this famous tipple, so it comes as no surprise that this capital city is home to a variety of cool and quirky bars mixing up some flavorsome serves. From the underground jaunt The Escapologist in the Seven Dials district which serves the ‘ultimate espresso martini,’ to Bbar in Victoria for a sweet twist with an infusion of fresh Madagascan vanilla pods, there’s plenty of options to be found. Head to the cosmopolitan area of Soho where a British bartender first created the cocktail in the 80s as a bespoke drink for a famous model who wanted an alcoholic beverage that would ‘wake her up.’ Travelers can explore other culinary delights and drinks on offer there on a Soho Twilight Food and Cocktail Tour. For those planning an extended trip, be sure to check out the London Coffee Festival (20 – 23 April 2023) at the Old Truman Brewery to try some of the delicious blends of high-quality coffee from around the world and vodka.
Where to stay: A short stop away from the festival is Mirabilis Apartments - Bayham Place, an ideal abode for those looking to enjoy an extended stay of up to 90 nights. This sleek apartment offers plenty of space and its large windows flood it with daylight. It’s also conveniently located in Camden, north London, near a variety of pubs, restaurants and bars and under 30 minutes on the tube to Soho. The property holds a Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge for its efforts in recycling and reducing single-use plastic.
Sydney is a thriving city bursting with an array of bars and restaurants and home to one of the espresso martini’s key ingredients: a popular coffee liqueur that gives the famous serve its wake-up kick. This brand founded the now international annual Espresso Martini Festival, dedicated to celebrating the iconic coffee cocktail. Last year’s event took place at Park House in Mona Vale, where guests were treated to espresso martini gelato and delicious eats from woodfire pizzas to tacos to accompany their cocktails, all to the backdrop of live local beats. For a twist on the classic serve, travelers can venture to The Butler, a rooftop bar nestled in the backstreets of Potts Point, for a toasted coconut or spiced orange espresso martini served with rum instead of vodka. Walk off the caffeine hit with a Sydney The Rocks Guided Walking Tour to explore the Rocks district and take in the sights including the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House, which is also highly recommended by local travelers*.
Where to stay: Bed down in the center of the action at Spicers Potts Point. This Victorian terrace hotel is elegantly decorated with marble fireplaces, wooden floorboards and an attentive use of color in the furnishings. All rooms and suites feature a terrace where guests can sip on sundowners, and the hotel is ideally located near an array of hip cocktail bars. The property holds a Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge thanks to its efforts in providing guests with a more sustainable stay, including serving locally sourced food and its ban on single-use plastic.
Cartagena is a port city situated in the north of Colombia along the beautiful Caribbean coast. One of the largest coffee producers in the world, it’s the perfect destination to get a taste of this lip-smacking caffeinated cocktail. Enjoy a pit stop at Alquimico, where master mixologists add a dash of cardamom to their house martini serve. Spanning across three floors, the tropical-inspired rooftop bar is known for its eye-catching art deco design and trendy music, as well as its experimental infusions of sensory cocktails such as a passion fruit infused martini mixed with hibiscus flower syrup and lime juice. Beyond cocktails, this city is vibrant with historical charm and archeological treasures. Venture through the colorful walled city which was constructed in the 18th century to defend the city and is now a cherished UNESCO World Heritage site. Or book a Four Hour Walking Tour where travelers can discover landmarks including the Roman amphitheater and Concepción Castle.
Where to stay: Continue the historical journey at the exquisite Casa Pombo. This aparthotel is situated in the historic center of Cartagena which, according to local travelers, is the best part of the city to stay when visiting.* Boasting stunning architecture throughout with exposed stone walls and original beams, the apartments are all beautifully finished with elegant dark furnishings. There’s a rooftop area with views over the city and a charming courtyard complete with a pool for guests to relax and unwind. It’s also conveniently located in the heart of the city so travelers won’t have to travel far for their next espresso martini fix.
Dickwella, Sri Lanka
This small village in the south of Sri Lanka is the perfect stop for those looking for a laidback beach hideaway, with guaranteed sun and great cocktails. The lush golden sands of Pehebiya Beach in surfer town Hiriketiya is home to Smoke & Bitters, a bar and restaurant where travelers can sip on fiery twists to the martini classic – with additions such as cumin, basil and chili salt. Half tiki lounge, half beach shack, this island bar has gained recognition for its breathtaking ocean views and equally incredible food and drink, from smoked chicken hoppers and jackfruit biryani to beer-battered mahi-mahi fish and a lauded smoked pork shoulder on roti bread. Sustainability is at the heart of this jaunt, with spirits and ingredients sourced locally to blend craft concoctions that riff on classic cocktails. Elsewhere on the island, visitors can book a surf lesson to ride the waves, take in the picturesque surroundings with a morning yoga lesson, or head out to Unawatuna for a Private Sri Lankan Cooking Experience to learn how to recreate traditional Sri Lankan dishes.
Where to stay: Singhe House is a short stroll from Smoke & Bitters, offering an authentic Sri Lankan stay surrounded by rich greenery. Guests might even spot a local peacock or two in between the flora and fauna, coconut trees and tropical fruits. Start the day with a tasty continental or Asian breakfast complete with stunning sunrise views, before enjoying the various activities on offer from jet skiing, snorkeling and diving to a bespoke espresso martini making lesson at the bar.
Québec City, Canada
Situated along the St Lawrence River in eastern Canada, this city with its prime cliff-top position, cobblestone streets and citadels has plenty to offer. Embrace Québec’s impressive historical culture and sip on an espresso martini at Bar Artefact in the Auberge Saint-Antoine inn. Various historical artifacts unearthed from the riverfront grounds of the Auberge-Saint are dotted around the bar, whilst their creative cocktails are known to pack a punch. Ask the bartenders to recreate the classic serve or opt for a modern twist. Travelers can learn more about the rich heritage of Québec on a Guided Tour, where they will stroll past other momentous landmarks including Québec fortifications and Place Royale. North America’s oldest French-speaking city is a walker’s dream and has over a hundred parks and gardens – plus fantastic festivals fill the air with fireworks and songs all year long.
Where to stay: With the bar conveniently located at the Auberge Saint-Antoine inn, travelers won’t have to venture far when ready to call it a night. This property offers a slice of historical charm coupled with luxurious elegance. In addition to the bar, it boasts two restaurants, a cinema, spa and fitness center. It also holds a Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge thanks to its eco-friendly efforts, including growing its own fruit and veg at a nearby farm for a farm-to-fork approach in its restaurants, and sourcing agricultural and organic products from local suppliers to support the community.
Miami, United States
Where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, Miami is a melting pot of cultures and experiences, bustling with nightlife, bars, beaches, art and culture. The love for the espresso martini is well established there, with a dedicated annual festival which takes place over a week in May across a plethora of bars to celebrate this coffee-infused cocktail, all at a discounted price. Explore what Miami has to offer outside of this caffeine fix, with a spot of sightseeing on a Full-day Boat Cruise, Bus Tour and Skyviews Observation Wheel Experience. Travelers will cruise along Biscayne Bay past Hibiscus and Star Island, concluding the tour at the Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel which features panoramic views of the downtown skyline. A thriving global metropolis balanced with the slow pace of sun-soaked island life, a stay in Miami means dipping into both worlds – and travelers can choose their cocktails served in a high-octane city bar or on the beach.
Where to stay: The swanky Nomada Destination Residences – Quadro are perfect apartments for those seeking luxe accommodation with views of the city skyline. Located in the Miami Design District, the stay offers an outdoor swimming pool and barbecue – perfect for gatherings with friends. There’s no shortage of bars nearby, from cool hotspots like Baccarat Boutique BBar to more relaxed vibes such as Lagniappe House where travelers can enjoy live music whilst they sip their favorite cocktail.
*Based on local travelers input from Booking.com’s Travel Communities who have visited the destination in the past.