Richly layered, it’s boozy yet velvety.
An elegant spin on the espresso martini, the La Luz Espresso is precisely the plush variation one would imagine sipping at Bar Marilou, the moody Parisian-designed cocktail lounge inside Maison de la Luz Hotel.
Like those lustworthy fringed tiger barstools, it’s downright sexy. Me-ow.
The La Luz Espresso was born in the covid era at Bar Marilou while the espresso martini has been experiencing a resurgence and customers began requesting one off menu.
Rather than vodka based, the La Luz is a combination of dark rum, Averna Amaro and Cognac, the latter a nod to the hotel’s French-inspired luxury.
With more complexity by design than the vodka and Kahlua original, caramel notes from the Averna meet the dark roast coffee. To counter coffee bitterness, Bar Marilou adds a few drops of saline.
“A little bit of salt really helps it a long, pulls the other flavors together and cancels out bitterness,” notes head bartender Ryan Wilkins.
The final craft cocktail touch for the La Luz is in the shake. Rather than filling the shaker with ice, Bar Marilou does a whip shake—a technique using just a couple of ice cubes and then shaking it longer and harder until they’re gone.
“The advantage of the whip shake is that you’re going to get more aeration, and at the end, the cocktail is going to have a nice frothy head on it, much like a freshly drawn shot of espresso.”
For a classic cocktail with a sexy backstory (the Espresso Martini was created in London when a jet-lagged supermodel reputedly requested a cocktail that would “wake me up and f@#$ me up”), the La Luz Espresso lives up to the legend, albeit murky.
“It packs a bit of a punch but that’s part of the appeal,” notes Wilkins. “It definitely lives up to that mission statement!”
544 Carondelet Street, New Orleans
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