Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini is one of my favorite cocktails of all time, and I’m sure many people would agree. While not even close to being a true martini, the cocktail exudes class and elegance, with a rich coffee aroma and clean tasting spirits. The most popular origin story for the Espresso Martini claims the drink was invented by Dick Bradsell (of Bramble fame) in the late 1980’s London.

There are many different variations to this drink, and I’m sure mine is similar to others. The original recipe calls for Absolute Vanilla which I replaced with regular vodka as I’m not a fan of flavored vodka (well, most, since they taste artificial). I did however follow the original recipe in that I am using actual sugar instead of simple syrup.

How To Make A Great Espresso Martini


  • 50 ml Vodka. The vodka doesn’t need to be expensive, but it should be very neutral and clean tasting.
  • 25 ml Kahlua. Another popular coffee liqueur is Tia Maria which can also be used.
  • 25 ml Espresso. I used my Moka Pot, which doesn’t make a traditional espresso, but it works in a pinch. Basically anything stronger than drip and you’re good to go.
  • 2 cubes Raw Sugar. This adds a tiny bit of sweetness to balance the bitterness, but you could always reduce to one cube if you want.

In a cocktail shaker add the two cubes of raw sugar and pour in the hot espresso. Swirl around the shaker until the sugar completely dissolves (about 15-20 seconds). Add ice and pour in the vodka and Kahlua. Shake hard and then double strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the traditional three coffee beans.

espresso martini

I like pairing these espresso martinis with my coffee bean cookies to keep with the theme. It makes a great after dinner drink if you are planning on going out since it can start the pregame and wake you up.

Espresso Martini

My version of the Espresso Martini is strong on rich coffee flavor. Don't have simple syrup? No problem. I use some raw sugar cubes to perfectly balance out the natural bitterness.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Course Cocktails, Drinks
Cuisine British, English, European
Servings 1 drink


  • Cocktail Shaker


  • 50 ml Vodka
  • 25 ml Kahlua
  • 25 ml Espresso better if you can do a Ristretto
  • 2 cubes Raw Sugar


  • In a cocktail shaker add the raw sugar cubes and the hot espresso. Swirl the shaker around until the sugar is completely melted into the coffee. Add ice, vodka, and kahlua and shake well for 10-15 seconds. Double strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the traditional three coffee beans.
Keyword Cocktail Shaker, Coffee cocktails, Espresso Martini
espresso martini pin
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