The First Espresso Martini Festival in the U.S. Starts Buzzing Today

Seventy bars in seven U.S. cities are collaborating to celebrate the trendy cocktail. It's the first U.S. festival, following successful runs in Australia and the U.K.

Photo: Courtesy Mr. Black Spirits

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Last year, the espresso martini swept across America, handily becoming the buzziest drink around (in more ways than one). Now, lest you think the retro concoction was waning on the public consciousness – set to be replaced by Dirty Shirleys, perhaps? – an espresso martini festival is arriving to keep the drink plastered across your Instagram feed, at least for another week.

Mr. Black Espresso Martini Fest was born in Australia all the way back in 2016 before moving to the U.K in 2018. From May 16 to 22, 2022, it lands in the U.S. for the first time. For occasion, 70 bars in seven cities will all be shaking up their own special versions of the cocktail.

Bars in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Houston, and Tampa are all involved in the action, and each has the opportunity to craft their own take on the coffee cocktail. Sponsor Mr. Black Spirits asks that their Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur be used in the recipe, but beyond that it’s up to the individual bartenders to riff on the espresso martini as they see fit.

A full list of bars participating can be found on the festival website. Among them, the Gracias Madre family of vegan restaurants in California, where they’ll be offering two iterations of the libation.

Prefer to make your own at home? Mr. Black recommends a simple recipe: 2 ounces of Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, 1 ounce of espresso, shaken with ice and strained into a glass. Other recipes, like this one from, call for a mix of espresso with coffee liqueur, simple syrup, and vodka.

RELATED: Is the Chai-Tini 2022’s Answer to the Espresso Martini Trend?

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