Recipe Royale: Our signature drink from Vienna: the Bittersweet Symphony

The Bittersweet Symphony: In theory, a reflection of Vienna itself, arranged in a cocktail glass. In practice, it’s a stylish twist on a classic martini that pays homage to Austria’s culture and traditions – but also marches to a different drummer.

Vienna calls itself the musical capital of the world. And no wonder – it was home to composers such as Mozart, Schubert and Haydn who shaped the First Viennese School of classical music. The city is also known for the Viennese waltz and its countless coffee houses. A place with such an impressive legacy deserves an equally impressive signature drink. That’s why we chose nothing less than the classic martini.

Modelled on the world’s most iconic cocktail

The first written record of the martini, in Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual, dates back to 1888. Since then, the drink has steadily conquered the world – and today is considered the king of cocktails. We’re impressed. But allow us, if you will, to compose our own aperitif symphony. The updated list of ingredients includes vodka instead of gin, sweet instead of dry vermouth, and orange liqueur. And, of course, coffee.

Vodka has a neutral flavour and is highly adaptable – something that we take advantage of in our recipe. We combine this clear spirit with Agent’s Choice Espresso to create a delicious flavoured vodka, which lends the Bittersweet Symphony an elegant coffee note. The vermouth and a liqueur made using orange peels give our drink the perfect bittersweet touch. So now grab your shaker – let’s see if it knows how to waltz.


Ingredients for a Bittersweet Symphony (approx. 110 ml):

  • 50 ml espresso vodka
  • 15 ml orange liqueur
  • 10 ml sweet vermouth
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange

Ingredients for the espresso vodka (approx. 500 ml):

  • 25 ml Agent’s Choice Espresso (ristretto)
  • 500 ml vodka

Preparation time:

  • 10 minutes for the drink
  • 5 minutes plus resting time for the espresso vodka


  • a cocktail shaker
  • a bar spoon
  • a strainer
  • a sharp knife or peeler
  • a cocktail glass (either a martini glass or a champagne coupe)



Preparing the espresso vodka:

  1. Mix a freshly brewed cup of Agent’s Choice Espresso with the vodka and briefly stir to combine.
  2. If you have time: allow the mixture to rest overnight. This will allow the vodka to be fully infused with coffee flavour.

Preparing the Bittersweet Symphony:

  1. Pour the espresso vodka, the orange liqueur and the sweet vermouth into the cocktail shaker.
  2. Add the ice cubes to the shaker and carefully stir the mixture for 30 seconds with a bar spoon.
  3. Pour the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of orange peel.With this drink, we toast to Wolfgang Amadeus and his contemporaries. Cheers to the classical music legends of the past who will be revered for all time!