Full of smooth coffee flavor, yet surprisingly balanced, our easy Espresso martini recipe is the perfect after-dinner drink. We love the sophistication that this cocktail brings to the party and over the years, we’ve perfected this easy recipe.
The only espresso martini recipe you’ll ever need
With our espresso martini, you can recreate all of the sophistication of an upmarket cocktail bar but in your own home.
You don’t have to search anymore, you’ve found the perfect recipe.
Where does it come from?
The espresso martini was created in the eighties by the legendary British bartender Dick Bradsell.
He was working in Soho, London when a model asked him for cocktails that would wake her up.
And so the coffee-flavored espresso martini was born. An instant classic cocktail recipe that would become a favorite in cocktail bars around the world.
This delicious frothy topped espresso flavored cocktail recipe is easy to make at home if you follow our step-by-step guide.
Do you need an espresso machine to make this martini?
No, you don’t. That’s the simple answer.
Not everyone has an espresso machine at home.
You could use a stovetop espresso pot or you could just use cold brew. The cold-brew concentrate can be bought in bottles or you could even make it yourself if you have a favorite recipe.
We’ve used a stove-top espresso pot to make our espresso martini as we like a fresh espresso brew, there’s nothing better than the smell of freshly brewed espresso coffee filling your home!
Don’t use instant coffee.
What is the best coffee liqueur for this cocktail?
For our espresso martini recipe, we’ve used our coffee liqueur of choice which is Kahlua.
Some people like the sweet flavor of Tia Maria, but we always opt for Kahlua.
Some may also add in a sugar simple syrup also, it just depends if you have a sweet tooth, but we don’t find sugar simple syrup necessary.
Kahlua is an easy ingredient to find in most supermarkets or liquor stores and is often used in cocktails.
What alcohol is in it?
There are two alcoholic ingredients to an espresso martini.
A shot of vodka and a shot of coffee liqueur.
In our recipes, you don’t need to buy an expensive brand of vodka, just use one that you like the taste of. We always say, buy the best that you can afford but don’t break the bank.
The brand of vodka we tend to use is Absolute vodka, but as we’ve said, you can use any brand of vodka you like in this recipe.
Why are coffee beans used to garnish this drink and what do they mean?
The three coffee beans that gently rest on the delicious frothy foam top of the cocktail drink are in the shape of a petal.
The coffee beans replicate the three coffee beans used in the Italian drink Sambuca and are meant to represent health, wealth, and happiness and are not meant to be eaten.
Seeing the coffee beans resting on the foam is a sign of an amazing martini!
And speaking of coffee, if you can’t get enough of it and need an alcohol free drink, try this French press cold brew.
What glass should I use?
Of course, martini glasses are the obvious choice to serve your cocktail in but don’t worry if you don’t have one.
Coupe glasses are great for serving them in but at the end of the day, you’re not a bar, so just use the best glass that you have at home.
Are espresso martinis vegan?
There’s a really easy way for vegans to enjoy an espresso martini and that’s by choosing a vegan-friendly coffee liqueur.
Kahlua isn’t vegan friendly but a popular alternative is Tia Maria.
Just use a shot of this Tia Maria coffee liqueur in the recipe and then everyone can drink this amazing cocktail.
The perfect pre-dinner cocktail
This vodka coffee liqueur based is ideal to serve as pre-dinner drinks.
If you are making for a number of people then just increase the number of servings in our recipe and the ingredients will change accordingly.
As long as you make the coffee ahead and have it chilled in your fridge, then the prep time is very quick once your guests arrive.
Just make sure that you are ready to make some more. These cocktails taste so great that your guests will want more than one!
And if you want the perfect cake to snack on, try this vegan coffee cake?
How to make an espresso martini with step-by-step instructions
Making our espresso martini recipe is easy if you follow our simple instructions.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to prep your drink by making your hot espresso coffee, either in a coffee machine or a stovetop pot.
You could buy espresso coffee beans and grind your own coffee or you can buy it already in powder form.
You’ll need to make this first because it needs to cool down before you add it to your cocktail drink, you don’t want to add it in hot.
Once your espresso coffee has cooled, then you are ready to make this amazing cocktail!
You’ll need to first add a handful of ice to your cocktail shaker, then add your vodka, coffee liqueur Kahlua, and espresso coffee.
One of our handy tips: don’t overfill your cocktail shaker with ice as you need to be able to shake the ice, vodka, and coffee liqueur until the ice has completely disappeared and the mixture is really chilled and cold.
Make sure you have the lid on the shaker firmly in place – you don’t want your cocktail spraying out everywhere!
It’s really important to give your cocktail shaker a really good shake.
This may sound obvious but you need to shake it longer than you think you can manage. Around 30 – 45 seconds will be perfect (your arms may well ache afterward).
You need to shake your cocktail shaker for a good amount of time as this is what produces the frothy foam for the top of your martini and we all know that you can’t have an espresso martini without a frothy foam top!
Once you have given your cocktail a good shake, then it’s time to pour your drinks.
Use a strainer to strain the martini mixture into a martini glass or coupe glass.
The frothy foam will form on the top of your espresso martini and if you’ve given it a long enough shake, then the froth or foam will be thick enough for the classic garnish which is three coffee beans.
The froth or foam will slowly dissolve as the drink warms up so serve this tasty drink immediately to your delighted guests.
Enjoy and cheers!
We hope that you enjoyed making, and drinking, our espresso martini and would love to hear how you got on with making it.
Please leave a comment below or feel free to ask any questions you may have.
More martini recipes for you to enjoy
If you like our espresso martini, then check out our martini cocktail recipes!
- 2 oz Vodka
- 1 oz Coffee liqueur
- 1 oz Freshly brewed espresso coffee
- Your first job is to brew the espresso coffee and then leave it to chill for at least 30 minutes
- Put a handful of ice in a cocktail shaker
- Add your vodka
- Add your coffee liqueur
- Add your chilled espresso coffee
- Secure the lid on your cocktail shaker and shake for between 30 – 45 seconds
- Strain into your glass
- Garnish with three coffee beans
- Glamour in a glass cheers and enjoy!
Please note that nutrient values are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.
How about something more healthy? Check out espresso overnight oats from Fit as a Mama Bear.
Did you make this recipe?
We love hearing how you went with ours recipes! Tag us on Instagram at @splash_of_taste_uk
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