Espresso Martini Recipe

Espresso Martini, a combination of vodka, coffee liqueur, and espresso, defies expectations with the fascination of flavors. One sip opens up a refreshing espresso, a panacea that revives even the most weary souls after a busy day.

The story behind the Espresso Martini’s origin adds intrigue to its allure. Attributed to the talented bartender Dick Bradsell, who crafted this masterpiece at London’s Fred’s Club in the 1980s, Bradsell’s ingenious response to a customer’s request for a drink that can wake him up adds a cheeky charm to the mix.

Despite its name, the Espresso Martini doesn’t contain vermouth or gin, staples of classic martinis. Instead, it’s a fusion of coffee, vodka, and a touch of sweetness, creating a delightful balance of flavors that coffee and cocktail enthusiasts appreciate.

Espresso Martini Recipe

Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini is a versatile cocktail that seamlessly bridges the gap between an after-dinner treat and a pick-me-up
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine British
Servings 1 drink
Calories 250 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker


  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. coffee liqueur e.g., Kahlúa or Mr. Black
  • 1 oz. or 1 shot of espresso or cold brew concentrate
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • Espresso powder or cocoa powder and coffee beans for garnishing


  • Fill a shaker with ice to chill the cocktail.
  • Pour in the vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso or cold brew concentrate, and simple syrup.
    1 1/2 oz. vodka, 1 oz. coffee liqueur, 1 oz. or 1 shot of espresso or cold brew concentrate, 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • Seal the shaker and shake vigorously for around 15 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish the cocktail with a sprinkle of espresso powder, cocoa powder, and a few coffee beans.
    Espresso powder or cocoa powder and coffee beans for garnishing



Pro Tips for Success:

  • Ensure your brewed coffee is completely cooled before using it in the cocktail to prevent ice from melting.
  • Quick-cool the coffee by placing it in the freezer briefly.
  • Shake the cocktail extra hard to create a velvety foam on top.
  • When pouring the mixture into the glass, do it swiftly to preserve the foam layer.
  • If you lack bottled simple syrup, you can make it by boiling equal parts sugar and water until dissolved, then cooling it before use.

Nutrition Information:

For a general estimate, the Espresso Martini is around 250-300 calories per serving due to the combination of alcohol and coffee liqueur.
Keyword Espresso Martini Recipe

Our think about Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini Poster

After a lull, the Espresso Martini reappears in canned versions, homemade kits, and creative variations. The pandemic has ushered in a wave of reopening of bars and the return of social gatherings. The appeal of combining the stimulant effects of caffeine with the intoxicating sensation of alcohol is undeniable, drawing parallels with other iconic pairings like vodka with Red Bull.

Although its revival was well received, only some were fans. Some people see it as a trend. For others, however, it is a delightful elixir containing the spirit of an awakening world. Whether you’re a fan or a skeptic, Espresso Martini’s journey from its origins to its revival is a testament to the cyclical nature of cocktail trends and the unique interplay between cultural change and the world of wine glasses.

What kind of vodka do you put in an Espresso Martini?

When crafting an Espresso Martini, it’s recommended to use a good quality, neutral-flavored vodka. The vodka serves as the base spirit in the cocktail, and its smoothness and lack of strong flavor allow the rich coffee and liqueur flavors to shine.

Brands like Absolut, Ketel One, Grey Goose, or Tito’s are popular choices for Espresso Martinis. Opting for a high-quality vodka ensures a well-balanced and enjoyable cocktail, as the focus should be on the combination of coffee and coffee liqueur rather than the vodka itself.

Why isn’t my Espresso Martini creamy?

The creaminess in an Espresso Martini typically comes from the combination of the coffee liqueur and the frothy layer created during the shaking process. So here are some reasons why your cocktail might not be as creamy as expected:
  • Shaking Technique: The key to achieving a creamy texture is vigorously shaking the cocktail. Ensure you’re shaking it hard enough for a sufficient amount of time (usually around 10-15 seconds) to create a nice foam.
  • Fresh Espresso: Using freshly brewed espresso or cold brew concentrate is essential. If the coffee is too diluted or not strong enough, it might not create the desired creamy layer.
  • Lack of Liqueur: The coffee liqueur (e.g., Kahlúa) also contributes to the creaminess. Try to increase it a little bit to see what changes 
  • Proportions: The balance between the vodka, coffee liqueur, and espresso is crucial. If the proportions are off, it can affect the overall texture and flavor of the cocktail.
  • Glassware: The type of glass you use can also impact the drink’s appearance. A martini or coupe glass is typically used for Espresso Martinis, as they allow the frothy layer to settle on top.
  • Ice: Using ice that’s too large or not properly crushed can affect the chilling and dilution of the cocktail, which in turn can impact the texture.
  • Simple Syrup: If your recipe includes simple syrup, ensure it’s well-dissolved and evenly mixed with the other ingredients before shaking.
  • Equipment: Ensure that your cocktail shaker is sealed correctly and that you use the right type for adequate mixing.

If you’ve addressed these factors and your Espresso Martini is still not as creamy as desired, consider experimenting with different shaking techniques, ingredient ratios, and equipment to find the right balance for your taste preferences.