For those that can’t get enough of espresso martinis, there’s now a gift that smells like the iconic cocktail that’s experiencing a resurgence for its 40th birthday.
Absolut Vodka and Kahlúa coffee liqueur, two spirits that are often mixed to create an espresso martini, are releasing a $105 fragrance called “Blend No. 83,” a nod to the year the drink was created.
This isn’t the first zany food-adjacent product from a big brand. KFC introduced “finger-lickin’ good nail polish” in 2016. And in 2020, McDonald’s sold scented candles that smell like quarter pounders.
The goal of these products is to pique customers’ curiosity, spark a conversation and increase brand recognition. In other words: It’s a marketing ploy disguised as a product for sale.
The scent mixes notes of dark chocolate, sugarcane rum, arabica coffee and night musk scent, the limited-edition fragrance floods the “senses with silk richness just as if sipping an espresso martini,” a press release said. The fragrance comes in a 1980s-inspired martini coupe-like bottle.
The espresso martini is a mix of vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso. It was said to have been invented at a London bar in the 80s when a model asked for a drink to “wake me up and f–k me up,” according to inventor and famed bartender Dick Bradsell.
The scent was inspired by a survey that cited 91% of drinkers say that when they smell coffee or an espresso, they want to order an espresso martini and that a “majority” of respondents consider it a holiday cocktail.
Orders open Tuesday only online with shipping beginning in early December in time for the holidays.
Both spirits are owned by French company Pernod Ricard, which recently reported a sales increase of 10% bolstered by growth of its core brands like Absolut and Kahúla.
Part of the company’s success can be attributed to the growing sales of Kahlúa. The rise of espresso martinis has made the 87-year-old brand more appealing to younger drinkers, according to Rima Sawaya, Kahlúa’s brand director.
“Consumers are craving anything nostalgic, as evident by the resurgence of trends from the ’80s and ‘90s in fashion, music, and of course, cocktails,” she previously told CNN. She added that the drink has “allowed a new generation of cocktail-curious consumers to taste and experience Kahlúa.”
Espresso martinis have been on the rise among drinkers for the past several years but broke through last year when it entered the top 10 list of most-ordered cocktails at US bars, according to CGA by NIQ data. It displaced the classic Manhattan from the list.
Lisa Hawkins, senior vice president for public affairs for the Distilled Spirits Council, previously told CNN that the “convergence of two major US consumer trends: Americans’ affinity for high-end coffee and cocktail culture” explains why it’s having a moment.
“Spirits consumers are drawn to the simplicity and decadence of this cocktail,” she said. “The elegance of the espresso martini elevates your cocktail experience at a bar or restaurant, and it also serves as an impressive after-dinner cocktail when entertaining guests at home.”
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