Red Lobster Adds An Espresso Martini To This Year's Lobsterfest Lineup

A plate of fresh seafood normally demands a cool beer or a crisp bottle of white wine, but for this year's Lobsterfest, Red Lobster thinks what your crustacean really needs is coffee. The seafood chain's popular celebration of all things lobster is returning for 2024, and while the focus of the food menu is exactly where you'd expect, a surprise has shown up on the drink menu in the form of an espresso martini

It's a little less of a left turn when you consider the cocktail world's current love of all things '90s — as well as the renaissance that the espresso martini, specifically, has had over the past few years — with even the likes of Martha Stewart and Dunkin' getting in on the trend. Red Lobster's choice of including an espresso martini as part of Lobsterfest's cocktail lineup makes a little more sense once you see the chain's unique twist on the recipe. 

While most versions pair espresso and coffee liqueur like Kahlua with vodka, Red Lobster's version takes more of a dessert angle. According to the company's press release, its Mocha Espresso Martini is a "chocolatey take on a modern classic." It's made with RumChata, Disaronno amaretto, an espresso blend, and then garnished with a bit of brownie. Think of the chocolate coffee cocktail as a sweet after-dinner cap instead of a pairing with a plate of creamy lobster linguine or grilled shrimp. And, of course, the espresso martini is just the beginning of the Lobsterfest revelry.

Red Lobster's 2024 Lobsterfest is adding three new cocktails and five new dishes

This year's Lobsterfest menu will feature returning classics like the Lobster Lover's Dream, but, of course, what people are really interested in are the new creations. Headlining the offerings, according to the press release, are two overflowing combo plates: the Crispy Lobster & Shrimp Stack and the Lobster & Shrimp Lover's Dream. The former is a plate of crispy fried lobster tail meat, shrimp, hush puppies, and fries with coleslaw, honey-jalapeño butter, and a malt vinegar aioli, while the latter mixes roasted lobster with shrimp linguini alfredo. 

There is also the Dueling Southern Tails, which puts one lobster tail over grits and another over mac and cheese, topping the first with shrimp, and the second with a bacon bourbon glaze. The final two more straightforward dishes are the Lobster Lover's Duo with a Maine lobster tail and a Caribbean rock lobster tail along with two sides, and a Lobster Flatbread that tops the crispy base with Maine and langostino lobster, mozzarella, Parmesan, tomatoes, and basil.

There are also two new cocktails joining the Mocha Espresso Martini for Lobsterfest. The Deep Sea Lobsterita mixes tequila with Malibu coconut rum and blue curaçao, while the Mango Berry Sangria pairs sparkling wine with pineapple juice and purées of mango and strawberry. Unlike Red Lobster's disastrous Ultimate Endless Shrimp promotion last year, Lobsterfest will end, so if you want to wash down your lobster with an espresso martini, the clock is ticking.