espresso martini

Cocktail of the week: How to make the Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s Espresso Martini

A winning pick-me-up from one of Lake Como’s most glamorous hotels, this trinity of caffeine, sugar and alcohol is exactly what’s in order this weekend

After Carrie Symons was spotted strolling along its waterfront in Lake Como last week, the five-star Grand Hotel Tremezzo has filled headlines with its dreamy lakeside swimming pool and Art Nouveau façade. It’s not hard to see why the hotel has attracted European royalty and Hollywood stars over the years – the palace has epitomised Lake Como’s belle époque charm ever since it opened in 1910. The three swimming pools, private balcony jacuzzis and arguably the most extravagant breakfast buffet in Italy probably help as well.

Of course no good hotel is complete without a great bar and, with its panoramic views, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo has one of Lake Como’s best. So what to order?According to head barman Hatem Alouane the tiramisù espresso martini is a guest favourite for a post-dinner night cap, especially in autumn, as the nights get cooler and we’re all in need of a pick-me-up. “It’s inspired by the favourite Italian dessert, of course, and we like to serve it with a typical savoiardi biscuit. We always use a martini glass, and people enjoy the drink after dinner by the fire,” he explains.

espresso martini

The original espresso martini is topped with three coffee beans – an Italian tradition symbolising health, wealth and happiness. In this decadent variation, however, whipped cream is covered with copious amounts of cocoa powder, and best enjoyed with a spoon. The recipe doesn’t include vodka, but if it’s been a tough week and if you fancy adding it, we’re not stopping you. Depending on personal taste, you may also wish to spruce up your espresso martini with less sweet liqueurs. Quick Brown Fox is a small-batch coffee liqueur made using hand roasted coffee beans for a naturally low sugar and low ABV content

Tiramisù Espresso Martini

Serves 1

30ml Cognac (at Grand Hotel Tremezzo, they use the classic Italian Vecchia Romagna)
30ml Espresso coffee
30ml Tia Maria
20ml Crème de Cacao

Cocoa powder
20ml freshly whipped double cream, to top
Italian savoiardi biscuit


  1. Prepare a single espresso coffee – it’s essential to use while it’s still hot to get that creamy froth.
  2. Whip the cream and set aside.
  3. Shake the coffee over lots of ice, Tia Maria, Crème de Cacao and your cognac of choice.
  4. Strain into a martini glass or champagne coupe and gently top with the whipped cream.
  5. Garnish with plenty of cocoa powder, as with a tiramisù, and enjoy immediately with a biscuit.

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