Everyone’s Making Espresso Martinis Topped With Parmesan Cheese

We're all guilty of being sceptical about online trends before giving them a fair chance.

We’re all guilty of being sceptical about online trends before giving them a fair chance.

So, it’s no surprise that eyebrows were raised when the latest recipe making waves on the internet was the Espresso Martini with Parmesan. 

The unconventional concoction gained attention after Jordan Hughes, a popular cocktail influencer known as the ‘cocktail guy,’ decided to share his recipe on TikTok and Instagram.

In his video, Jordan revealed that a bartender friend had suggested making an espresso martini with Parmesan cheese. 

Intrigued, Jordan decided to give it a try, even though he wasn’t sure if his friend was just messing with him. 

A bartender suggested making an espresso martini with Parmesan cheese. 

He mixed espresso, coffee liqueur, vodka, and a pinch of sea salt with ice, strained it into a chilled glass, and topped it off with grated Parmesan. 

With a mix of excitement and uncertainty, Jordan took a sip and declared the drink to be surprisingly ‘awesome’.

As expected, there were many sceptics among the viewers. 

Some comments ranged from disbelief to humorous disapproval. 

However, perhaps people were too quick to judge without considering the potential behind this unusual pairing.

Zoe Burgess, a Beverage Consultant at Sweeties at The Standard, London, sheds light on the logical reasoning behind the unusual combination. 

She explains that when we examine the basic tastes and aromatic profiles of Parmesan and coffee, the pairing starts to make sense. 

Parmesan is rich in umami, which contributes to a savoury and satisfying taste. It also has a high salt content, which can enhance other flavours and diminish bitterness. 

Coffee, on the other hand, contains aromatic compounds that contain sulfur, which supports a savoury taste. 

So, when we look beyond the initial thought of cheese in a cocktail, there is a synergy between Parmesan and coffee in terms of flavour structure.

Although Zoe hasn’t personally tried this unexpected flavour combination, she suggests that a well-balanced espresso martini, not overly sweet, with good quality Parmesan, could result in a delicious cocktail. 

So, maybe it’s time to reconsider our initial scepticism.

Zoe isn’t the only cocktail expert who approves of this pairing. 

Mariella Franciosi, Assistant General Manager and Head of Beverage at Aquavit London, was also inspired by the idea and decided to create her own version. 

Mariella’s recipe includes using a Parmesan crisp instead of grated cheese and opting for a milk vodka to add depth to the cocktail.

She recommends using aged Parmesan for a nutty and rich flavour. 

Additionally, she suggests making a Parmesan crisp by gently heating grated Parmesan in a pan until it forms into a crisp, providing a perfect crunch and added texture to the drink.

If you’re intrigued and want to try Mariella’s recipe at home, she generously shared her version with Twisted:

Espresso Martini with Parmesan Recipe


  • 40ml Black Cow Vodka (or any milk-based vodka)
  • 15ml Mr Black Coffee Liqueur (or any coffee liqueur)
  • 10ml Lustau Manzanilla “Papirusa” Sherry
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 fresh espresso shot
  • Aged Parmesan crisp as garnish


  • To create this intriguing cocktail, simply gather the first five ingredients and mix them together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 
  • Once well mixed, pour the concoction into a chilled glass and finish it off by adding the Parmesan crisp on top.

That’s all there is to it! It’s surprisingly easy to whip up this unique drink. 

In the spirit of open-mindedness, we won’t judge until we’ve had a chance to taste it ourselves. 

Excuse us while we head to the kitchen to give it a try right away!

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