It’s cool, refreshing cocktail season and it also happens to be, for people like me who love coffee, iced coffee season! I discovered a while ago what other people are now turning into a trend. I love when I get there first — it’s the espresso martini.
I know that summer usually means frozen drinks like daiquiris and piña coladas, but sometimes you want some thing a little bit more grown-up. Just take one look at Instagram and you will see hundreds of variations on this amazing summer drink.
We’ve all had hot coffee with liquor in the winter, so why not switch it up for a cool, not too sweet drink during the summer?
It’s the perfect combination of refreshing and energizing and, to me, it is the absolute perfect summer cocktail. And, here’s the thing, if you are one of those people who will be up all night if you drink caffeine in the evening, you don’t have to worry with the espresso martini.
At least I don’t. The effects of the alcohol tend to outweigh the stimulant of the caffeine. I sleep like a baby after an espresso martini. Depending on the mixers, it can also be pretty low in calories.
Now on the other hand, if you throw in creamy liqueurs like Kahlúa, as I like to do — just stop counting calories and enjoy.
Food and Wine Magazine, actually has the perfect spin on this cocktail, making it frozen.
Perfect for a steaming Jersey night. They suggest adding a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to finish the drink off, and also to balance the espresso's bitterness. And it’s simple to make!
Oh, and don’t forget to chill the glasses before serving.
  • 1 ⅔ cups brewed espresso, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) coffee liqueur (such as Kahlúa)
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) vodka
  • 1 tablespoon tablespoon simple syrup (see Note)
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
  • 6 coffee beans
Pour espresso into an ice cube tray. Freeze until solid, about 4 hours. Process espresso ice cubes, coffee liqueur, vodka, and simple syrup in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute.
Pour evenly into 2 chilled coupe martini glasses; garnish each with a pinch of sea salt and 3 coffee beans. Serve immediately.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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One of the Top 50 Candy stores in the US is right here in Jersey

Black River Candy Shoppe in Chester New Jersey was selected in Food Network Magazine's “America’s 50 Best Candy Stores” a couple of years back and the story went viral online earlier this year.

I decided to take a trip down there for myself to see what they had to offer. Right, when you walk in you feel like you are Charlie about to take over the chocolate factory. Black River Candy Shoppe is a cute little candy shop offering hundreds of different types of candy.

They have old-school childhood candy as well as an incredible selection of newer candy varieties. Candy is displayed in old whiskey barrels, and a lot of their candy is sold in bulk by the pound. It is located in downtown Chester right off of Main Street. Check out the photos from my recent visit:

NJ Diners that are open 24/7

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