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16th Apr 2023

The parmesan espresso martini is the latest trend gripping the internet – would you try it?


By Fiona Frawley

An espresso… martini… with parmesan in it.

We’ve seen a steady flow of food trends come and go over the years. There was the Great Donut Invasion back in 2015, with seacuterie boards on the incline since the rise of TikTok. As far as cocktails go, the espresso martini has been a favourite of Dubliners for close to a decade, but are the boomerang-ing, caffeine-loving groups of girlies ready for this savoury spin?

The parmesan espresso martini is the latest trend gripping TikTok and beyond, with many cocktail connoisseurs encouraging you not to knock before you try. For a mixologist or chef, learning how to balance the five elements of flavour — umami/salt, bitter, sweet, sour and spice — is a fundamental part of the trade, and many insist the dusting of nutty parmesan offsetting the bitterness of the espresso is a perfect example of umami.

An age old pairing

Speaking to, Jonathan David Stanyard, a bartender at The Bitter Gringo Co in Washington explained that mixing coffee and cheese isn’t a new concept. The Bitter Gringo was a key player in the rise of the parmesan espresso martini, or the truffletini as they call it.

“The concept (of pairing coffee and cheese) goes back centuries,” the bartender explained. “Throughout Latin America, people have long-enjoyed the classic combinations of Cafe con Queso and Chocolate con Queso, and I was reminded of this flavour combination while conversing with Carlos Ruiz. With this thought, I walked away from that conversation thinking that I could shave parmesan onto my Espresso Martini.”

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Easy on the cheese

Cocktail influencer and photographer Jordan Hughes insists the tipple “sounds a lot weirder than it actually is” and that there’s only a “small minority of people who are disgusted by it after trying it”. However, he has advised those looking to try the cocktail not to go overboard with the cheese. “Your Espresso Martini is not a plate of pasta”, he warned.

Would you try a parmesan espresso martini?