Simple yet classic, this recipe for Espresso Martini is as easy as it gets. No fancy ingredients or bartending skills required, this cocktail is an any time of day favourite!
We can all use a pick-me-up every so often, am I right?! This Recipe for Espresso Martini is going to do exactly that! It’s the perfect mixture of coffee notes and alcohol, a simple yet classic and delicious cocktail everyone enjoys. You don’t need to be a bartender to make it and it doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. Start your morning with one or have one after dinner, either way this recipe for Espresso Martini is easy enough to follow and is as classic as it gets. Cheers!
You know, it’s funny. When I think back on my bartending days (as if they were that long ago, lol) I don’t ever really remember making Espresso Martinis all that often. As a matter of fact, the first time a girl I worked with ordered one, I had to ask her to remind me what actually goes in the classic recipe for Espresso Martini. Maybe it was the kind of bar I was working in. Or the neighbourhood it was in. Maybe it was just the younger crowd. Or the fact that Espresso Martinis don’t mix very well with shots of Jameson or cheap pints of beer. However, I gotta tell ya, it’s become one of my favourite drinks to order at a bar or restaurant these days. Am I getting old? Maybe just too old for the Jameson and cheap beer.
Espresso Martinis are just a classic, fun and simple cocktail. I love them and I don’t even consider myself a coffee drinker. They’re the perfect after dinner cocktail (and can take the place of dessert entirely!) but are fun enough to get the party started, too. And on mornings when the kids are already screaming before 8 a.m. and you need something stronger than a regular ol’ Mimosa, the Espresso Martini will be your new best friend. Need I say more?
SAY NO MORE. I’M IN. SO, WHAT GOES IN AN ESPRESSO MARTINI?
All you need to make this recipe for Espresso Martini are three main ingredients. You’ll also need a martini shaker and some ice. And if you feelin’ fancy and want to make things look a little pretty, throw in some coffee beans for garnish. Let’s talk about the ingredients in a little bit more detail down below:
- Vodka: You definitely don’t need the world’s finest vodka to make this recipe for Espresso Martini. As a matter of fact, the vodka gets pretty much masked by the espresso and Kahlua. So, just use something basic or whatever you have on hand. You don’t taste it, anyway. Save the good stuff for something else.
- Kahlua: Kahlua is a coffee flavoured liqueur from Mexico made from coffee beans and rum. It’s one of the most used bottles on our home bar. What can I say, we love our Espresso Martinis.
- Espresso: Use whatever kind of espresso you prefer or have at home. You only need an ounce of it so, no biggie. Yes, I said ESPRESSO and not coffee. There is a difference and you’ll definitely taste it in your martini!
- RECIPE NOTE: Some recipes call for simple syrup which adds an extra element of sweetness to the drink. I personally don’t find it necessary and therefore, don’t use it. If you want a sweeter cocktail, feel free to add some in (see recipe card below or FAQs for how to easily make some).
HOW TO MAKE THIS CLASSIC MARTINI (KEY TIPS)
- Brew your espresso in advance or allow it to cool slightly before adding it to the martini shaker with the rest of the ingredients. This will ensure the ice doesn’t melt and that you end up with a cold, frothy martini. PRO TIP: Pop the espresso in the freezer for a few minutes to chill before adding it to the shaker.
- YES, you need a martini shaker. Or something to shake up all the ingredients in (get creative if you don’t have one!) The martini just won’t be the same if you just add the ingredients to a glass with some ice and stir it.
- Shake it up really nice and hard. Put some muscle into it! You don’t have to shake it for three hours and do all these crazy arm motions you sometimes see bartenders do. But you do have to shake it up rather quickly and with some force. You not only want to mix up the ingredients to get a well balanced martini but you also want to create that frothy foamy layer on top (that kind of lacks in my photos, TBH, lol).
- Taste it before you decide to sweeten it. I think it’s perfect as is (without added sweetness) as the Kahlua already adds some in itself. But if you decide to add some, simple syrup does the trick just fine (see recipe notes for details on how to make it).
- Strain the ice before serving. Just like any classic martini, the ice is there to chill the cocktail. We strain the drink and remove the ice before serving. Although, I’m not going to lie, sometimes those little tiny pieces of ice that managed to slip through the strainer are the best part!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
To make this classic Espresso Martini, you want to stick to using espresso. I mean, ain’t nobody gonna bother you if you decide to try it with coffee. But, be warned, it won’t taste the same and it definitely won’t be as strong. Especially try to avoid instant coffee but I meannnnn, you do you, boo. Some people swear that using espresso from an espresso machine makes the world of difference. I say I’ve been using Instant Espresso for years now, without any noticeable difference in taste. The Italian Gods are shunning me right now, I just know it. PRO TIP: If you don’t have any espresso on hand at all, using cold brew concentrate is a good substitution!
I urge you to try this recipe for Espresso Martini as is. A lot of people think adding simple syrup or some other form of sugar or sweetener is necessary. But trust me, it’s good without it IMHO. If you try it and do think it could use a little sweetness, the best way to do that is to add some simple syrup. You can make this simply at home (hey, they don’t call it simple syrup for no reason!) by bringing equal parts sugar and water to a boil until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool completely before using. It’ll thicken as it sits and create a syrup.
The short answer is yes. But, the long answer is to just use something else (i.e. a mason jar) if you don’t have one. Get creative with it. But the point is, yes, this martini musssst be shaken up. It just wouldn’t taste the same if the ingredients were just poured into a glass and stirred. Besides, it’s the shaking of the ingredients with the ice that makes it turn frothy and beautiful.
- 2 oz. Vodka
- 1 oz. Kahlua
- 1 oz. Espresso
- Coffee Beans, for garnish (optional)
- Add the vodka, kahlua, espresso and some ice to a martini shaker. See recipe notes for adding some sweetness.
- Shake hard until the ingredients are well combined and a frothy foam appears on top.
- Strain into a martini glass and garnish with coffee beans, if desired. Enjoy immediately. Cheers!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 373Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 882mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 10gSugar: 20gProtein: 12g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
LOOKING FOR MORE DELICIOUS DRINK RECIPES? TRY THESE FAVOURITES: