A breakfast martini is made with just a few ingredients—marmalade, lemon juice, Cointreau, and gin—and oh, what a way to start a weekend!
The boozy breakfast martini takes its name less from the time of day at which it may or may not be appropriate to consume it and more for the soupçon of marmalade that smooths the edges of its other ingredients—namely gin and Cointreau. It was created by Salvatore Calabrese and supposedly inspired by his wife’s morning repast of toast and jam taken at the bar. As for how well the cocktail pairs with marmalade-slathered toast, we’ll let you come to your own conclusion.–David Leite
Breakfast Martini FAQs
Can a breakfast martini be customized?
Of course. Martinis are easily customized to suit one’s tastes. We recommend starting with the original below and then getting adventurous. Try a different type of marmalade – cranberry orange, grapefruit, blood orange, lemon – the possibilities are almost endless! Not a gin fan? Again, give the original a go. If you’re still not in love, swap out the gin for some vodka. Get creative. But most of all, enjoy your breakfast.
What are our favorite gins?
At the risk of seeming like over-indulgers, we’ll share a few. The Botanist, Tanqueray, Hendricks, and some locally distilled gins are what float our boats. Because the juniper-lilted gin is a key component in this cocktail, we recommend using a decent brand – don’t hit the cheap stuff for this one.
- Cocktail shaker (or a Mason jar with a lid)
- 2 ounces gin
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau
- 1 1/2 teaspoons orange marmalade
- Orange twist, for garnish
- Shake the gin, lemon juice, Cointreau, and marmalade in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the orange twist.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Oh, what a way to start a weekend day! I used Brokers Gin and some orange marmalade that a friend made for this breakfast martini. The marmalade and Cointreau go so well with the gin. And the lemon adds just a hint of tartness to offset the bittersweet marmalade. Easy and quick to make. This could easily become my Sunday morning “orange juice.”
Delicious! After his first sip, my husband said “This is tasty! Is there more?” The flavor of the gin and Cointreau paired perfectly with the lemon juice and marmalade. The marmalade gave just the right amount of sweetness to balance the tart lemon juice and blended nicely with the alcohol. This breakfast martini would be a great addition to breakfast, brunch, or any other time of day. I ended up making 3 martinis total. The first one we shared. Then it was decided we each needed our own.
I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to martinis, but this sunny cocktail was dangerously easy drinking. It was strong but not overwhelming. I served it with buttered toast at 5pm and am now fully converted to the concept of a breakfast martini. So much so that I started planning a brunch around it immediately. My two fellow testers prefer sweeter drinks and didn’t rate it quite as highly as I did. Sharp, citrusy cocktails are my favorite and this fun twist gets a 10 in my book.
I used Two Birds gin – pretty widely available in the UK but not sure if you can get it in the US.
What a lovely idea to add to your cocktail skill set. I am so fortunate to have married into a family of marmalade junkies, but it never occurred to me to make a drink with one. My beloved father-in-law taught me his method for making marmalade, and he waited for the Seville oranges to arrive every year as an event, if you could even get them. Skipping forward a generation, both his grandsons make beautiful marmalade and we are fortunate to often have some on hand. If you have to buy some, it probably doesn’t matter if you have a runny one or a firm one. To make the marmalade really integrate with this drink, add it to a measuring cup where you have first added the lemon juice and then pour in the Cointreau. Mix them well BEFORE you add them to the cocktail shaker with the gin and some ice. Cut yourself a nice wide swath of orange peel to twist. After straining the martini, I added slices of orange as additional “submarine garnishes” and served it alongside some toasted sourdough rye with chèvre and more marmalade and called it breakfast for dinner, but I would absolutely offer this at a weekend brunch.
Originally published December 30, 2016