This is the absolute best Espresso Martini you’ll ever have! Made with vodka, fresh espresso coffee, coffee liqueur and simple syrup for a hint of sweetness, this easy vodka espresso cocktail is the perfect drink for coffee lovers!
The Best Espresso Martini
Espresso Martini is the coffee lover’s dream cocktail! Robust, yet intensely smooth coffee, pairs perfectly with the indulgent caramel and sweet butter taste of rich coffee liqueur and your favorite vodka.
A few shakes in a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes gives this great espresso martini its foamy top. Poured in a chilled martini glass and garnished minimally with coffee beans, this delicious drink has the best flavor and enough caffeine to perk you up without making you jittery.
Whether you need a jolt of caffeine mid afternoon (yes! it’s 12 o’clock somewhere), an after dinner cocktail or an anytime dessert cocktail, this espresso vodka martini is one of the most popular coffee cocktails in the world for a reason. It’s beautiful, sophisticated and a delicious modern cocktail that is easy to make.
Why You’ll Love this Cocktail ?
- You don’t need special equipment: The best part about this recipe is that to make the perfect espresso martini, you don’t need to have a fancy espresso machine at home!
- Drink and dessert all in one: Although I welcome a good martini anytime of the day (OK maybe not super early in the morning), this creamy espresso martini is the perfect after-dinner drink aka dessert.
- A few simple ingredients: We all know that in the cocktail world we can find drinks that have a laundry list of ingredients. Ingredients you most likely won’t even use again. This caffeinated cocktail is made with a handful of common ingredients so you don’t get stuck with a full bottle of something you’ll never use again.
- Budget Friendly: Good drinks don’t come cheap, especially when you are having them at a bar or restaurant. By making cocktails at home, you can save money, know exactly what goes in the drink and customize it to your taste. Win, win and win!
What’s a Espresso Martini?
Technically (and to appease the purists) an espresso martini is a vodka cocktail or a vodka martini and not a true martini. A true martini is made with gin which this recipe lacks.
This cocktail was created by a bartender named Dick Bradsell in 1983 at the Soho Brasserie in London. The inspiration came when a patron asked for a cocktail to help her wake up.
The key ingredient in this caffeinated drink is espresso coffee combined with good quality vodka, simple syrup and coffee liqueur such as Kahlúa or Mr Black coffee liqueur. The frothy top layer of this drink gives this cocktail its signature look and makes anyone look like an expert mixologist.
Espresso Martini Ingredients
- Coffee: Obviously, espresso is the best option. Very strong coffee brewed in a regular coffee machine is a very good substitute. You can also use cold brew concentrate. Stay away from instant coffee or instant espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine, there are other ways to make espresso at home. Check three other methods below.
- Vodka: Use high quality vodka. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be good.
- Coffee Liqueur: My favorite is Kahlúa. This coffee and rum liqueur is smooth, sweet and rich with a nice vanilla and caramel finish. Other options are Mr Black coffee liqueur and Tia Maria.
- Simple Syrup: Just like when drinking a nice cup of coffee, the amount of sugar needed is up to the drinker’s personal taste. Because of the sweet taste of the Kahlua, you may not even need to add simple syrup to this cocktail. The official recipe however includes this ingredient.
How to Make Espresso Without an Espresso Machine?
A French Press: This is a wonderful option that is budget friendly. The coffee brewed in a French Press tastes amazing!
Portable Espresso Maker: This portable device makes decent tasting espresso although it doesn’t make as much foam as a regular machine. It’s a very affordable option if you don’t want to make a big investment.
Aeropress or Kompresso: Manually brews a nice shot of espresso with decent taste. This affordable device has a compact design and makes a good option for people with limited kitchen counter space.
Stovetop Espresso Maker: Also known as a moka pot, this little silver pot makes an amazing tasting espresso. This device has been used for years in countries like Cuba, Dominican Republic and France.
How to Make An Espresso Martini?
- Make the Coffee: Make a shot of espresso or a cup of very strong coffee.
- Shake It: Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice. Add the vodka, the coffee liqueur, espresso and simple syrup. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds or until foamy.
- Strain, Garnish, Serve: Strain into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with coffee beans and serve.
Can I Use Bailey’s Irish Cream?
Yes, you can; however, the flavor profile of a regular espresso martini is not the same when using Irish cream liqueur. Unlike Kahlua, Irish cream has a very distinct flavor which will shine through no matter how strong the coffee is.
Kahlúa is a coffee flavored liqueur from Veracruz, Mexico. Kahlúa is made with coffee beans, sugar and rum. It has a sweet taste and thin consistency.
Is Kahlúa Dairy Free?
Yes. Kahlúa is lactose free and doesn’t contain milk or cream.
Does an Espresso Martini Have Caffeine?
Yes, both Kahlúa and espresso contain caffeine.
When To Serve An Espresso Martini?
- After dinner cocktail
- Happy hour drink
- Late night drink
- Before, during and after lunch or dinner
- Instead of dessert (serve with a piece of dark chocolate)
Take A Look At These Other Drink Recipes
- Lemon Drop Martini
- Lychee Martini Cocktail
- Best Fresh Watermelon Martini Recipe
- French Martini Cocktail Recipe
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- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce coffee liqueur I use Kahlua
- 1 ounce espresso freshly brew and chilled (or cold brew concentrate)
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup (optional)
- Coffee beans as garnish
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice.
- Add the vodka, the coffee liqueur, the chilled espresso and simple syrup.
- Shake vigorously for 30 seconds or until foamy.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with coffee beans.
To make simple syrup
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.
- Cool, then transfer the mixture to a small container and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.