March 23, 2023

Ask A Mixologist: Sam Clark’s Fresh Take On The Espresso Martini

Recipe: Sam Clark

Sam Clark of Alpine Social in Lake Louise, Alta., shares the recipe for After Dark, an update on the espresso martini.

Q: I was at one of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise’s hotel bars recently, and it has great après-ski cocktails! We’d like to recreate the After Dark at home; are you able to get the recipe? — Amy, Regina

A: Sam Clark, a manager of bars and mixology for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in Western Canada, created the After Dark cocktail for Alpine Social. A remix of the popular espresso martini, this fresh take combines whisky, cacao, vanilla bean and coffee. “The After Dark is for those winter evenings spent in the company of friends and family, when you’re watching the snow fall outside,” says Sam. “It’s a true indulgence.”


Cacao Nib–infused Whisky

  • 1⁄2 cup organic cacao nibs
  • 750 mL Bearface 7 Triple Oak Whisky (or whisky of your choice)

Vanilla Bean Syrup

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1⁄2 vanilla pod


  • 1 1⁄2 oz. Cacao Nib–infused Whisky (see recipe above)
  • 1⁄2 oz. coffee vodka (Sam prefers Park Espresso Vodka made in Banff National Park)
  • 1 1⁄2 oz. cold brew coffee
  • 1⁄2 oz. Vanilla Bean Syrup (see recipe above)
  • 1⁄2 oz. aquafaba (canned chickpea liquid) or egg white (omit if serving warm)
  • 3 coffee beans, for garnish


Yield: Makes one cocktail

Make Cacao Nib-Infused Whisky

  1. Combine nibs and whisky together. Leave to infuse at room temperature for at least 8 hours. Set aside.

Make Vanilla Bean Syrup

  1. Add granulated sugar and water to saucepan.
  2. Slice vanilla bean lengthwise. Spread open bean pod and use knife to scrape out seeds, then add to saucepan.
  3. Bring mixture to a slow boil and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until dissolved.
  4. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool. Pour into bottle or jar. Add vanilla bean pod, if desired.
  5. Once cool, cover and store in fridge for up to 10 days.

Make Cocktail

  1. Measure all ingredients into pint mixing glass.
  2. Fill with ice and shake well.
  3. Strain into old-fashioned glass and garnish with coffee beans. Enjoy!