by David Klemt

Celebrate the Espresso Martini with Mr. Black

by David Klemt

Two Espresso Martinis on a bar

For the second time in its brief but exciting history, Mr. Black Espresso Martini Fest is coming to bars throughout America.

Last year, 70 bars in eight cities across the US took part to celebrate the Espresso Martini. This year, participation more than doubles.

Fourteen cities in ten states will play host to more than 200 bars during the fest. For 2023, Austin, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Nashville, Phoenix, and Seattle are joining in on the fun.


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I, for one, expect Espresso Martini Fest to have the same staying power as other cocktail celebrations. The inaugural event took place in 2016 in Australia. In 2018, the Fest spread to the UK. After launching in the US, the week-long event growth has doubled over the course of just one year.

Logically, Mr. Black Espresso Martini Fest should join the ranks of Negroni Week, Old Fashioned Week, and Bee’s Knees Week.

Now, I know I’ve called the Espresso Martini “the cocktail that won’t die.” And yes, I’ve pointed out that it’s not technically a Martini, and that many bartenders hate it for the time it can take to make. That doesn’t mean participating in Espresso Martini Fest is a bad idea.

This is a cocktail that guests enjoy. It’s a drink that generates headlines each year. And clearly it’s a beverage that can drive traffic and generate revenue. At the end of the day, participation is a smart move.

2023 Espresso Martini Fest Cities

Given that the Fest runs from October 9 to 15, it’s unlikely the organizers are still vetting venues for participation. However, at the time of this article’s publication, the portal appeared to be open. It’s a worth a shot if you want your bar to join Espresso Martini Fest!

At least you’re aware of the event now so you can prepare to sign up next year.

Bars in the following cities are taking part in this year’s Fest:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Houston, Texas
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Miami, Florida
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • New York, New York
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • San Diego, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Seattle, Washington

I certainly anticipate this list growing by at least 50 percent for 2024. Cheers!

Image: Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality. Bar Consultant. Nightclub. Lounge. Mixology. Cocktails.