Espresso Martini Cocktail Drink

Espresso Martini

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano
4.34 from 3 votes

This Espresso Martini recipe has all the right ingredients. It’s a drink that’s as easy to make as it is delicious, perfect for any classy occasion.

Easy Espresso Martini Recipe

Prepare an Espresso Martini with this recipe, which includes vodka, coffee liqueur, and freshly brewed espresso. This cocktail offers a balanced combination of flavors suitable for an evening occasion.

Prep time:

2 minutes

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

151 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Vodka
  • ½ oz coffee Liqueur
  • oz freshly brewed espresso
  • Ice cubes
  • Coffee beans, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Martini Glass
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Place your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours, or fill it with ice cubes to chill.
  • Add Vodka: In the cocktail shaker, measure and pour 1½ oz Vodka.
  • Pour Coffee Liqueur: Add ½ oz coffee Liqueur to the mix.
  • Add Espresso: Measure and pour 1½ oz freshly brewed espresso.
  • Add Ice: Fill the shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker feels cold.
  • Strain: Discard the ice from the martini glass and fine strain the mixture.
  • Garnish: Drop a few coffee beans on top for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: I've successfully used rum or gin when I'm out of vodka. The flavors are different but still create an exciting cocktail.
  • Coffee Liqueur: No coffee liqueur? I've used a mixture of simple syrup and strong cold-brew as a backup.
  • Espresso: Strong brewed coffee or even cold brew concentrate can be used in a pinch. It's quite different, but it gets the job done.

Making a Pitcher:

  • Scale: To serve 8, you'll need 12 oz of vodka, 4 oz of coffee liqueur, and 12 oz of freshly brewed espresso.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients with ice cubes and stir well.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into chilled Martini glasses, garnish, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: A non-alcoholic vodka substitute is available at many specialty stores.
  • Coffee Liqueur Substitute: Replace with a blend of non-alcoholic coffee syrup and cold brew coffee.
  • Proceed As Usual: Swap in these non-alcoholic options and follow the original instructions.

Making it Vegan:

  • Coffee Liqueur: Some coffee liqueurs may contain animal products for flavoring or coloring. Opt for a vegan-certified brand.
  • Espresso: Ensure the coffee brand you're using is vegan-friendly. Most are, but it always helps to check.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
151
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.1
g
1
%
Sodium
 
8
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
7
g
2
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Potassium
 
49
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.1
g
Vitamin C
 
0.1
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
1
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Espresso Martini Cocktail Drink

Easy Espresso Martini Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
4.34 from 3 votes
Jump to Video
Prepare an Espresso Martini with this recipe, which includes vodka, coffee liqueur, and freshly brewed espresso. This cocktail offers a balanced combination of flavors suitable for an evening occasion.
Prep time: 2 minutes
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 151

Ingredients
 

  • oz Vodka
  • ½ oz coffee Liqueur
  • oz freshly brewed espresso
  • Ice cubes
  • Coffee beans - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Martini Glass
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Place your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours, or fill it with ice cubes to chill.
  • Add Vodka: In the cocktail shaker, measure and pour 1½ oz Vodka.
  • Pour Coffee Liqueur: Add ½ oz coffee Liqueur to the mix.
  • Add Espresso: Measure and pour 1½ oz freshly brewed espresso.
  • Add Ice: Fill the shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker feels cold.
  • Strain: Discard the ice from the martini glass and fine strain the mixture.
  • Garnish: Drop a few coffee beans on top for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: I've successfully used rum or gin when I'm out of vodka. The flavors are different but still create an exciting cocktail.
  • Coffee Liqueur: No coffee liqueur? I've used a mixture of simple syrup and strong cold-brew as a backup.
  • Espresso: Strong brewed coffee or even cold brew concentrate can be used in a pinch. It's quite different, but it gets the job done.

Making a Pitcher:

  • Scale: To serve 8, you'll need 12 oz of vodka, 4 oz of coffee liqueur, and 12 oz of freshly brewed espresso.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients with ice cubes and stir well.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into chilled Martini glasses, garnish, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: A non-alcoholic vodka substitute is available at many specialty stores.
  • Coffee Liqueur Substitute: Replace with a blend of non-alcoholic coffee syrup and cold brew coffee.
  • Proceed As Usual: Swap in these non-alcoholic options and follow the original instructions.

Making it Vegan:

  • Coffee Liqueur: Some coffee liqueurs may contain animal products for flavoring or coloring. Opt for a vegan-certified brand.
  • Espresso: Ensure the coffee brand you're using is vegan-friendly. Most are, but it always helps to check.

 

What is an Espresso Martini?

An Espresso Martini is a cocktail that combines vodka, coffee liqueur, and freshly brewed espresso. Often seen as the go-to choice for coffee lovers looking for a spirited twist, it blends the lines between a pick-me-up and a wind-down. Despite its complex flavor profile, you don’t need to be a bartender to appreciate its rich taste. It has quickly become a staple in trendy bars and fine dining establishments, but it’s also incredibly easy to enjoy at home. On a sidenote, the Espresso Martini holds a prestigious spot on the International Bartenders Association’s (IBA) official cocktail list aswell. 

A side shot of a Espresso Martini cocktail in a martini glass on a dark wooden table surrounded by coffee beans.

What are the Espresso Martini ingredients?

An Espresso Martini includes these ingredients:

  • Vodka: Provides the alcoholic base and a neutral backdrop for other flavors.
  • Coffee Liqueur: Adds sweetness and a coffee complexity.
  • Freshly Brewed Espresso: Infuses the cocktail with a strong coffee flavor and some natural bitterness.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills the ingredients, diluting them slightly for a balanced taste.
  • Coffee Beans: Optional garnish that enhances the coffee aroma before you take a sip.

Vodka, coffee liqueur and freshly brewed espresso laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make an Espresso Martini?

Our easy steps teach you how to make an Espresso Martini:

1
<p>Place your Martini glass in the freezer or fill it up with some ice to ensure the cocktail stays cold.</p>

Place your Martini glass in the freezer or fill it up with some ice to ensure the cocktail stays cold.

2
<p>Add vodka to the shaker, giving the backbone to the drink.</p>

Add vodka to the shaker, giving the backbone to the drink.

3
<p>Add coffee liqueur for a rich sweetness.</p>

Add coffee liqueur for a rich sweetness.

4
<p>Add freshly brewed coffee completing the cocktail aroma and flavor.</p>

Add freshly brewed coffee completing the cocktail aroma and flavor.

5
<p>Fill the shaker with ice cubes to help chill and dilute the ingredients.</p>

Fill the shaker with ice cubes to help chill and dilute the ingredients.

6
<p>Shake the mixture vigorously until you feel the outside of the shaker turn cold, ensuring the ingredients are well-blended and chilled.</p>

Shake the mixture vigorously until you feel the outside of the shaker turn cold, ensuring the ingredients are well-blended and chilled.

7
<p>Take the chilled Martini glass out of the freezer or remove the ice cubes, and strain the shaken mixture into it.</p>

Take the chilled Martini glass out of the freezer or remove the ice cubes, and strain the shaken mixture into it.

8
<p>Drop a few coffee beans on top as a garnish for an aromatic touch.</p>

Drop a few coffee beans on top as a garnish for an aromatic touch.

Tips to make an Espresso Martini creamy

The key is in the shaking. Give it a good, vigorous shake for at least 15 seconds to aerate the espresso and achieve that desired frothy texture. You can also play around with the coffee liqueur; something like Kahlúa Cream adds that extra layer of creaminess. If you’re up for something even more luxurious, consider a dash of Baileys or a splash of half-and-half. Some folks even opt for a vanilla-flavored vodka, like Absolut Vanilia, to amplify the texture.

What’s the best Vodka for an Espresso Martini?

The Vodka you choose plays a crucial role when nailing the perfect Espresso Martini. Go for a quality vodka that’s smooth and neutral; you want the vodka to complement, not overshadow, the espresso. Brands like Grey Goose and Tito’s are top-tier options that work brilliantly. If you enjoy adding more character to your drink, you could opt for a vanilla-flavored vodka like Absolut Vanilia. It subtly enhances the coffee notes without turning the cocktail into a dessert. But if you ask me, you can’t go wrong with Belvedere. It’s exceptionally smooth and brings out the best in the other ingredients.

A Espresso Martini cocktail with three coffee beans as garnish, shot from above, in a martini glass on a light brown wooden coaster placed on a dark brown wooden table surrounded by coffee beans

What’s the best coffee liqueur for an Espresso Martini

Choosing the right coffee liqueur can make or break your Espresso Martini. Kahlúa is often the go-to, known for its rich coffee flavor and subtle sweetness. If you’re leaning towards something more complex, Tia Maria offers vanilla undertones that meld well with the espresso. For a high-end option, Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur brings a more intense coffee kick thanks to its cold brew base. While all these brands are solid choices, I recommend Mr. Black if you love coffee. It’s less sweet than other liqueurs, allowing the espresso to shine, and it packs a caffeinated punch that will keep the party going. 

What is the difference between a Coffee Martini and an Espresso Martini?

A Coffee Martini and an Espresso Martini have similarities, but key differences set them apart. First, an Espresso Martini typically uses freshly brewed espresso, giving it a more robust and intense coffee flavor. In contrast, a Coffee Martini often uses regular brewed coffee, resulting in a milder taste.

Second, the preparation method varies. Shaking an Espresso Martini creates a characteristic froth on top, contributing to its distinct texture and appearance. A Coffee Martini, however, may or may not have this frothy layer, depending on how you prepare it.

Third, the Espresso Martini usually includes coffee liqueur, adding depth and sweetness to the drink. A Coffee Martini can skip the coffee liqueur, relying solely on vodka and coffee for its flavor profile.

Finally, the Espresso Martini has become a modern classic cocktail with a well-known origin story and a strong following. The Coffee Martini has a different recognition and a universally accepted recipe.

A side shot of a Espresso Martini cocktail in a martini glass on a light brown wooden coaster with a wooden bowl on the side, placed on a dark wooden table surrounded by coffee beans.

Variations

Seeking additional twists? Here’s a selection of our top choices:

  • Vanilla Espresso Martini: Offering a sweet twist with vanilla, this martini blends seamlessly with the coffee’s robust flavor. The sweetness of vanilla enhances the overall profile, creating a smooth and delightful experience. I find the vanilla essence adds a comforting warmth, making it a perfect choice for a cozy evening.
  • Salted Caramel Espresso Martini: With the rich taste of caramel and a hint of salt, this martini offers a perfect balance of sweet and savory. The salted caramel not only enriches the flavor but also adds a unique twist to the traditional coffee taste. Its indulgent caramel flavor provides a luxurious and satisfying finish, which I particularly appreciate.
  • Chocolate Espresso Martini: Introducing chocolate, this martini creates a decadent blend of coffee and cocoa. The chocolate enriches the coffee’s natural bitterness with a sweet, creamy undertone.
  • Hazelnut Espresso Martini: Infusing nutty flavors of hazelnut, this martini complements the coffee’s depth. The hazelnut adds a rich, aromatic layer, enhancing the martini’s complexity.
  • Irish Espresso Martini: Taking a bold turn, this martini incorporates Irish whiskey. The whiskey adds a rich, woody note, marrying well with the coffee’s intensity.
  • Spiced Espresso Martini: Infused with warm spices, this martini adds an exotic flair. Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg introduce a festive and aromatic quality to the traditional coffee base.
  • Coconut Espresso Martini: Bringing in tropical coconut flavors, this martini offers a creamy, exotic twist. The coconut pairs beautifully with the coffee, giving it a velvety, luxurious texture.
  • Orange Espresso Martini: Adding a citrusy spark with orange liqueur, this martini provides a refreshing contrast to the coffee, creating a vibrant and lively blend.
  • Mint Espresso Martini: Introducing a refreshing mint flavor, this martini gives a cool, invigorating edge. The mint offers a light, crisp finish to the rich coffee, making it an excellent choice for a refreshing pick-me-up.
  • Bourbon Espresso Martini: Replacing vodka with bourbon, this martini adds a smoky warmth. The robust character of bourbon complements the coffee, resulting in a rich, complex sip. I’m particularly drawn to the smoky undertones of bourbon in this, adding a sophisticated and mature twist to the familiar coffee flavor.

History and Origin

The Espresso Martini has its roots in London during the late 1980s. A bartender named Dick Bradsell invented the drink when a famous model walked into the Soho Brasserie where he worked. She asked for a drink that would “wake her up and mess her up” simultaneously. This request inspired Bradsell to combine vodka with freshly brewed espresso and coffee liqueur. He shook these ingredients together, creating a frothy, caffeinated cocktail that met the model’s unique requirements.

Initially, Bradsell called it the “Vodka Espresso,” but the name later evolved to “Espresso Martini” as the Martini craze took hold. Despite the drink not being a traditional Martini, this name helped it gain worldwide popularity. Over the years, the drink has become a modern classic, showing up on cocktail menus around the globe and inspiring countless variations. It’s particularly popular in coffee-loving cultures and is often enjoyed as an after-dinner drink or a pick-me-up before a night out.

A side shot of a Espresso Martini cocktail in a martini glass on a dark wooden table surrounded by coffee beans and plant leaves.

See More

Did you make this recipe?

We’d love to see how you crafted our recipes!
Tag us on Instagram at @_drinksworld

FAQ

How many calories are in an Espresso Martini?
On average it contains approximately 285 calories, depending on the specific brands of ingredients used.
How strong is an Espresso Martini?
The cocktail's strength varies, but it often has an ABV of around 30-35%, translating to 60-70 proof.
What type of alcohol is used in an Espresso Martini?
Vodka serves as the primary alcohol in the classic version.
In which glass is an Espresso Martini typically served?
Traditionally, it's served in a Martini glass.
What does an Espresso Martini taste like?
It tastes like a blend of strong coffee with hints of sweetness and vodka's warm, neutral backdrop.
What is the ratio of ingredients in an Espresso Martini?
The classic ratio is 1.5 oz of vodka, 0.5 oz of coffee liqueur and 1.5 oz of freshly brewed espresso.
Why is it called an Espresso Martini if it contains no gin or vermouth?
The name capitalizes on the Martini trend but doesn't reflect the traditional Martini ingredients. It's more about the serving style and sophistication.
What's the significance of the coffee beans garnish?
The coffee beans enhance the coffee aroma and also add a visual touch.

Categories

Flavours

Spirits

Share
Pin
Post
Share
Send
Email

Rate this recipe

I don’t like it

It’s not bad

I like it

I really like it!

I love it!

Comments

Leave a Reply

Select language

The page you are looking at is also available in the following languages:

Recipe Overview

Explore our recipes by the categories below.

By spirit

By type

By flavour

Spirits Overview

Explore our spirits by the categories below.

Types