The Perfect Pick-Me-Up: The Best Espresso Martini Recipe

Hey there! Are you in need of a drink that can perk you up? Something that will give you that little push to get through the rest of your day or night? Look no further than the espresso martini! This delicious cocktail combines the bold flavors of coffee and vodka to create a perfect pick-me-up.

Espresso Martini Recipe

The espresso martini has become a popular drink among coffee lovers and cocktail enthusiasts alike. It’s a great way to enjoy the taste of coffee in a different way, and the caffeine kick doesn’t hurt either. Plus, with only a few ingredients and simple steps, it’s easy to make at home.

Best Espresso Martini Recipe

Espresso Martini is a classic cocktail that combines the bold flavors of espresso and rich sweetness of chocolate liqueur. This delicious drink is perfect for coffee-lovers and cocktail enthusiasts alike, and is a must-try for any party or special occasion. In this article, we’ll explore the history of the Espresso Martini, go through the essential ingredients you’ll need to make it, and provide you with a step-by-step recipe to create the perfect Espresso Martini in the comfort of your own home.

What is an Espresso Martini?

An Espresso Martini is a popular coffee-based cocktail that is believed to have been invented in the late 1980s by famous bartender Dick Bradsell. The Espresso Martini is a modern take on the classic martini, which traditionally includes gin or vodka, vermouth, and a garnish of olives or a twist of lemon. The Espresso Martini is unique because it includes freshly brewed espresso and chocolate liqueur, giving the cocktail a rich and unique flavor.


To make the perfect Espresso Martini, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 shot of freshly brewed espresso
  • 1 oz of vodka
  • 1 oz of Kahlua or other chocolate liqueur
  • Ice cubes
  • Coffee beans or grated chocolate, for garnish (optional)

It’s important to use freshly brewed espresso as it will provide the best flavor for the cocktail. If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can use strong brewed coffee instead. You can also use other chocolate liqueurs besides Kahlua such as Godiva or Mozart, depending on your preference.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Now that you have the ingredients ready, here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make your Espresso Martini:

  1. Make sure you have all the ingredients ready, and chill your martini glass in the freezer for a few minutes.
  2. Brew a shot of espresso, and let it cool for a few minutes.
  3. Fill a cocktail shaker or a mason jar with ice cubes.
  4. Pour the chilled espresso, vodka, and chocolate liqueur into the shaker.
  5. Shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds until the mixture is well combined and frothy.
  6. Strain the cocktail mixture into the chilled martini glass.
  7. Garnish with coffee beans or grated chocolate, if desired.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

And there you have it – your very own homemade Espresso Martini! This cocktail is perfect for any occasion and is sure to impress your guests. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and ratios to find the perfect balance of flavors that suits your taste. Cheers!

Tips for Making the Perfect Espresso Martini

Choosing the Right Coffee

The key to a great Espresso Martini is the coffee used. It is important to choose a coffee that is strong and intense in flavor. Generally, dark roast coffee beans are best suited to this type of cocktail. The intensity of the coffee will help to balance out the sweetness of the liqueur and sugar.

You could also try experimenting with different types of coffee and roasts to come up with your perfect blend. Make sure your coffee is freshly brewed and cooled before making the cocktail.

Cocktail Shaker Techniques

The cocktail shaker is an essential tool for making any cocktail, and it is especially important when making an Espresso Martini. The technique used when using a cocktail shaker is key to getting the perfect texture and temperature.

Start by filling your shaker about three-quarters of the way with ice. Then, add your freshly brewed coffee, vodka, coffee liqueur, and sugar. Give it a good shake, making sure to hold the shaker firmly to prevent any leaks.

After shaking, strain the cocktail into a chilled martini glass. Straining will help remove any ice chips or small pieces of coffee bean that may have found their way into the shaker. You can also double strain by using a fine mesh strainer for a smoother texture.

Garnishes and Decorations

To give your Espresso Martini that professional touch, it’s important to put some thought into the presentation. The most common garnish for an Espresso Martini is a couple of coffee beans. Simply place them on top of the cocktail to give it a classic look.

You can get creative with your garnish options by adding a slice of orange or lemon zest, chocolate shavings, or a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. A sugar rim is also a great way to add some extra sweetness and visual appeal to the cocktail.

Aside from garnishes, you can also play around with the glassware to add some decoration. A chilled martini glass is the go-to option, but you can opt for an Old-Fashioned glass or a coupe glass for a unique twist.

By following our tips for making an Espresso Martini, you’ll be able to create a delicious and visually appealing cocktail that will impress anyone who tries it.

The Best Variations on the Classic Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini is a classic cocktail that’s known for its smooth and velvety texture, crisp coffee flavor, and rich aroma. But did you know that you could put a unique spin on this beloved cocktail with a few simple tweaks and modifications? Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best variations on the classic Espresso Martini recipe to help you experiment with your bartending skills and impress your guests with your creative concoctions.

Salted Caramel Espresso Martini

If you’re a fan of all things sweet and salty, then the Salted Caramel Espresso Martini is the perfect cocktail for you. This decadent blend of salted caramel, vodka, Kahlua, and freshly brewed espresso is a delicious twist on the classic recipe, sure to tantalize your taste buds with every sip. To make this cocktail, you’ll need a cocktail shaker, a strainer, and the following ingredients:

  • 1 shot of vodka
  • 1 shot of Kahlua
  • 1 shot of freshly brewed espresso
  • 1 oz of salted caramel syrup
  • Ice
  • Salt and caramel sauce for rimming the glass (optional)

To prepare your Salted Caramel Espresso Martini, start by rimming your martini glass with salt and caramel sauce. Then fill your cocktail shaker with ice and add the vodka, Kahlua, espresso, and salted caramel syrup. Shake well until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed and chilled. Strain the mixture into your prepared martini glass and garnish with a few coffee beans or a sprinkle of sea salt if desired.

White Chocolate Espresso Martini

Indulge your sweet tooth with this heavenly White Chocolate Espresso Martini recipe. This cocktail recipe is perfect for dessert or a nightcap, and it’s sure to satisfy your craving for something rich and decadent. Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious cocktail:

  • 1 shot of vodka
  • 1 shot of Kahlua
  • 1 shot of freshly brewed espresso
  • 1 oz of white chocolate liqueur
  • Ice
  • White chocolate for garnish (optional)

To create your White Chocolate Espresso Martini, start by filling your cocktail shaker with ice and adding all the ingredients. Shake well until the mixture is chilled and evenly mixed. Strain the cocktail mixture into a martini glass and garnish with a sliver of white chocolate or a sprinkle of cocoa powder if desired.

Spiced Espresso Martini

Get into the spirit of the season with this Spiced Espresso Martini. This cocktail recipe brings some warmth to the cold winter months with a blend of festive spices and caffeine. To make this cocktail recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 shot of vodka
  • 1 shot of Kahlua
  • 1 shot of freshly brewed espresso
  • 1 oz of spiced syrup (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves)
  • Ice
  • Cinnamon stick or another festive garnish (optional)

To make your Spiced Espresso Martini, start by filling your cocktail shaker with ice and adding all the ingredients. Shake well until the mixture is chilled and mixed. Strain the cocktail mixture into a martini glass and garnish your cocktail with a cinnamon stick or another festive item of your choice.

There you have it, three excellent variations to spice up your Espresso Martini game. Experiment with the recipes until you get the taste that suits your preference, and don’t be afraid to test other variations that appeal to your taste buds. With these recipes, you are well on your way to making your signature espresso martini. So, bring on the cocktail lovers and have a splendid evening.

Before We Go

We hope you enjoyed this article and that our best espresso martini recipe becomes a staple in your cocktail repertoire. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just want to treat yourself to a delicious drink after a long day, this recipe is the perfect pick-me-up. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of espresso and vodka to find your perfect combination, and don’t forget to garnish with those coffee beans for a touch of elegance! Thanks for reading, and cheers to good espresso martinis.


1. Can I use instant coffee instead of espresso?

We recommend using real espresso for the best flavor, but if you don’t have an espresso machine, you can substitute with 1-2 shots of strong brewed coffee or instant coffee granules.

2. Is it necessary to use Kahlúa in the recipe?

While Kahlúa adds a rich coffee flavor to the drink, you can substitute it with any coffee liqueur of your choice or skip it altogether if you prefer a stronger, simpler drink.

3. What type of vodka should I use?

We recommend using a high-quality vodka that is smooth and not too harsh. Popular choices include Grey Goose, Belvedere, and Absolute.

4. Can I use decaf espresso?

Yes, you can use decaf espresso if you prefer a less caffeinated drink.

5. How should I adjust the recipe for multiple servings?

Simply increase the ingredients proportionally and mix the cocktail in a shaker or blender.

6. Can I add sugar to the recipe?

We do not recommend adding sugar as the Kahlúa and chocolate liqueur already provide sweetness to the drink.

7. Can I use dark chocolate liqueur instead of white?

Yes, you can use dark chocolate liqueur for a richer and more decadent flavor.

8. How long can I store the espresso martini mix?

We recommend consuming the espresso martini immediately after making it for the best taste, but it can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

9. Can I make an alcohol-free version of this recipe?

Yes, you can skip the vodka and Kahlúa to make a delicious and refreshing coffee mocktail.

10. Can I use milk instead of cream?

Yes, you can use milk instead of cream to make a lighter version of the recipe. However, the texture and flavor may be slightly different.

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About the Author: David Dunlap

Worked in restaurants for years before turning to food writing and has won multiple awards for the work, including more than a dozen awards.

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