Espresso Martini
Espresso Martini

Make an espresso martini with coffee liqueur and fresh espresso for an invigorating pick-me-up any time of the day.

Equal parts alertness and relaxation, the espresso martini is the sleepy person’s answer to a cocktail.

The history of an espresso martini

The espresso martini, originally called the vodka espresso, was invented in London in the early 1980s by Dick Bradsell at Soho Brasserie.

It wasn’t until the 1990s, when drinks served in martini glasses became popular, that the name was changed to espresso martini. Years later, Bradsell called the cocktail a “pharmaceutical stimulant” and served it on the rocks at a bar called the Pharmacy in Notting Hill. Allegedly, Kate Moss, the model, asked for a drink that would wake her up and give her the usual buzz, but her involvement in the drink’s invention is unconfirmed.

Espresso martinis have since become a staple in the cocktail world for anyone looking for a pick-me-up along with their alcoholic beverage. Other coffee-infused alcoholic beverages, such as Drinks such as Irish coffee have been around for some time, but hot drinks can be uncomfortable when consumed in a bar or club. Conversely, an espresso martini’s sleek presentation and smaller volume make it attractive for going out.

An espresso martini actually contains real coffee, not just coffee liqueur.

Ideally, use freshly brewed espresso for this martini. This can lead to some difficulties – not everyone has an espresso machine and even if you do, you need to chill the freshly made espresso in advance. You don’t want the ice to melt when you shake the cocktail.

To get around this, you can replace freshly brewed espresso with cold brew concentrate instead. This conveniently gives you a similar taste and texture.

Equipment needed for an espresso martini

To prepare an espresso martini, you should have several ingredients on hand in addition to your drink ingredients.

  • A cocktail shaker with a strainer
  • Martini or coupe glass
  • You need a shaker, not a mixing glass, because this drink is unlike other martinis always served shaken. That’s because shaking creates a layer of foam on top, giving the cocktail the vibe of a non-alcoholic espresso drink similar to a latte or cappuccino.

The alcohol

Although highly aromatic, this cocktail contains a lot of vodka, so a premium choice is ideal. Some vodka brands to consider – Van Gogh, Chopin, Gray Goose and Belvedere.

Kahlua is a readily available coffee liqueur that you can use in this cocktail, but there are other options. If you’re interested in a more artisanal brand, St. George Nola Coffee Liqueur is a brand that features notes of chicory throughout. Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur is made from special quality beans. Both are available at upscale liquor stores, while Kahlua can be found at major grocery and drug stores.

Plain syrup is sometimes used in place of the crème de cacao in an espresso martini if ​​it is not available to you. I prefer to use crème de cacao as a simple syrup, however, as the liqueur adds just a hint of mocha flavor when paired with coffee thanks to its natural chocolate flavor.

Dekuyper Crème de Cacao is the grocery store option, but there are higher-quality choices. Fair Cocoa is fair trade and organic, and Tempus Fugit’s Crème de Cacao is naturally colored with raw cocoa and vanilla.

Tempus Fugit’s and Fair Cacao are available at upscale liquor stores. Martinis are usually made with dark crème de cacao, but you can use a white one if you prefer. Note that a white liquor gives the drink a milky appearance, rather than the usual translucent one.

The beans

The amount of exactly three coffee beans on the espresso martini might seem overly specific, but that’s the usual way of serving the drink. They should be spread out in a fan to show the appearance of multiple petals. The tradition of the three fanned coffee beans stems from how sambuca is served in Italy. The three beans stand for health, luck and wealth.

More classic vodka cocktails

  • Belarusian cocktail
  • Classic vodka martini
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Long Island Iced Tea

espresso martini

preparation time
5 minutes

total time
5 minutes

1 martini


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka

  • 3/4 ounce Coffee Liqueur

  • 1/2 ounce cocoa cream

  • 1 ounce espressochilled

  • 3 coffee beansfor garnish


  1. Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker:

    Pour vodka, coffee liqueur, crème de cacao and espresso into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice.

  2. Shake cocktail and pour into glass:

    Shake the cocktail vigorously for 15-30 seconds, then strain into a martini or coupe glass.

  3. Garnish and serve the cocktail:

    Garnish with the three coffee beans and fan out over the drink. Surcharge.

nutritional information (per serving)
216 calories
0g Fat
14g carbohydrates
0g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!