Classic Espresso Martini Recipe (2024)

The Espresso Martini is a sumptuous mix of vodka, coffee liqueur, and espresso that will energize your evening with its robust coffee flavor, complemented by a touch of sweetness. First created by London bartender Dick Bradsell in the 1980s at the Soho Brasserie, the co*cktail is reputedly born when a model asked for something to 'wake me up and f*** me up'. Its rich, creamy head and dark, opulent appearance make it a sophisticated after-dinner drink with a spirited kick.

Today, the Espresso Martini stands as a symbol of sophisticated indulgence. Its rich, creamy head—a velvety crown atop a dark and alluring liquid—makes it as visually striking as it is palate-pleasing. Whether it's the end to a fine dining experience or the start of an unforgettable night, this co*cktail's story is one of glamour, delight, and a hint of mystery.

Why Freshly Brewed Espresso is Key to the Perfect Martini

Let there be no doubt: the heart of an Espresso Martini lies in its core ingredient—freshly brewed espresso. The vibrant, rich flavors of espresso not only give this martini its characteristic depth and robustness, but they also ensure that each sip carries the refreshing zing needed to revive your spirits. Using day-old or even instant coffee simply won't do, as they lack the necessary body and crema to create that iconic, frothy top.

Remember, this co*cktail's charm resides in its balance—a dance of the bitterness from coffee and the sweetness of the coffee liqueur. If you're seeking perfection in a glass, invest in top-quality coffee beans and take the time to pull a fresh shot of espresso. This isn't just a beverage; it's a crafted experience that begins with the scent of freshly ground coffee and culminates in a symphony of flavors savored with each sip.

Elevate Your After-Dinner Drinks with an Espresso Martini

Say goodbye to mundane after-dinner drinks and hello to the luscious Espresso Martini. This divine mixture is designed not only to satiate your dessert cravings but also to inject a final burst of exuberance into your evening. The co*cktail's indulgent layers of flavor derived from premium vodka and coffee liqueur are enveloped by the energetic buzz of espresso, making for an elegant finale to any meal.

Guests will revel in the sophistication of this modern classic which elegantly bridges the gap between co*cktail hour and the end of a delightful banquet. It's more than just a digestif; it's a celebration, a statement, and a perfect toast to good company and great times.

Mastering the Espresso Martini: Tips and Tricks

Achieving that perfect frothy top on your Espresso Martini requires a bit of skill and a few insider tips. Firstly, ensure that your espresso is hot and freshly brewed; this helps in creating a frothier mixture upon shaking. Speaking of shaking, the vigor and duration of your shake are paramount—a full 30 seconds of vigorous shaking will aerate the drink and create that desirable creamy froth.

Always use a high-quality vodka and coffee liqueur for a smoother, richer taste. Additionally, experiment with your garnishes. The traditional trio of coffee beans represents health, wealth, and happiness but feel free to add your own twist with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or a custom-designed co*cktail pick that reflects your personal flair.

Customizing Your Espresso Martini for Every Palate

While the classic Espresso Martini recipe is exceptional on its own, there's room for personal touch and creativity. For those with a sweeter tooth, adjusting the amount of coffee liqueur or adding a dash more of simple syrup can do wonders. Conversely, for the caffeine aficionados, an extra shot of espresso will turn up the intensity and bring forth a bolder coffee presence.

For a non-alcoholic version, without compromising the co*cktail's signature kick, non-alcoholic vodka and coffee liqueur substitutes can be used—they're a fantastic way to include everyone in the toast when celebrating special occasions. The Espresso Martini's flexibility means every sip can be curated to your guests' tastes, ensuring a memorable experience for all.

Classic Espresso Martini Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes | Total time: 5 minutes


Makes 1 co*cktail

  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 oz Freshly Brewed Espresso
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup


  • 1 Fill a shaker with ice.
  • 2 Pour the vodka, coffee liqueur, freshly brewed espresso, and simple syrup into the shaker.
  • 3 Shake vigorously for 30 seconds to ensure a good mix and to create a frothy top when poured.
  • 4 Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass.
  • 5 Garnish with three coffee beans on the froth for a traditional look.


To make your Espresso Martini truly stand out, use freshly brewed espresso and quality vodka. For a non-alcoholic version, replace the vodka and coffee liqueur with non-alcoholic substitutes or increase the amount of espresso.

Classic Espresso Martini Recipe (2024)
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