Take Your Best Shot: Happy National Espresso Day!

Photograph: Steve Tague

Coffee lovers, rejoice – it’s National Espresso Day! Invented in Italy some time during the 1900s, espresso is named after the technology used to product it. Espresso is “pressed out” and for customers “pronto” upon ordering. Modern espresso is brewed under pressure: pressurized water is forced to push through packed coffee grounds. Have you ever wondered why a shot of espresso delivers such a lovely dose of caffeine? Well, it’s because just 2 ounces of the lovely liquid has about the same amount of caffeine as 6 ounces of drip coffee. And before you go searching for specific beans for espresso, any type of coffee roast can make it – the grind size and prep make espresso.

If you’re new to espresso or brewing it yourself, coffee aficionados do offer some tips. First, 1 shot of espresso should be brewed in just 25 to 30 seconds. Use a proper espresso cup: the right espresso cup has a maximum capacity of 2 ounces, is thick porcelain, and is preheated. Speaking of filling, the cup should only be filled two-thirds of the way. Finally, a good espresso should hold a sprinkling of sugar on top of the crema for 30 seconds before it sinks. Espresso should be served at 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

The great thing about National Espresso Day is that beer and cocktail fans can get in on the fun.

Some beers to that you definitely need to try are Stone Coffee Milk Stout, Ballast Point Victory at Sea, Abita Macchiato Espresso Milk Stout, Flying Dog Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout, Cigar City Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale, and, if you can get your hands on it, Bad Beat Brewing Morning Pay Off. Each of these features the delicious taste of rich, roasted coffee.


Looking for a cocktail with espresso as an ingredient? Try making one of these amazing “cofftails” from our extensive cocktail recipe database!

The original Espresso Martini was created by Dick Bradsell.

A spin on Bradsell’s creation, the Kahlúa Espresso Martini calls for Absolut Vodka.

The Negrita is made with espresso, pisco and coconut liqueur.

You’ll find the Lazarus recipe, which features espresso and cognac, here.

Equal parts cold espresso and Absolut Pears make up the Absolut Grcic Pearspresso.

The Irish Espresso-tini is a delicious variation of the classic Irish coffee.



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