easy espresso martini recipe

Easy Espresso Martini Recipe

Easy Espresso Martini Recipe: The Chic Cocktail You Can Master at Home to Impress Your Guests

easy espresso martini recipe

Everything You Need to Know About the Espresso Martini

Picture it! You've just finished a delightful dinner party with close friends and family. The conversation is flowing, but the energy dips a touch as everyone leans back from the table. You, the host with the most, know exactly how to perk things back up. You excuse yourself and with a flourish, reappear with a tray of icy glasses containing a beverage that's both sophisticated and invigorating – the Espresso Martini.

This delightful coffee-infused cocktail is not just trendy (statistics show a 72% rise in Espresso Martini searches online in the past year, it's surprisingly easy to make at home, ditching the bar tab and saving you the hassle of a crowded scene. So, channel your inner barista and impress your guests with this delicious and potent pick-me-up, perfect for after-dinner drinks or a delightful pre-game option.

Origin of the Espresso Martini

easy espresso martini recipe

The inventor of this beloved cocktail, the smooth and invigorating Espresso Martini, is widely credited to be British bartending guru Dick Bradsell. He rose to prominence in the 1980s, revolutionizing the London cocktail scene with his innovative creations served at bars like The Player, 6 Degrees, and Match. Bradsell is also known for other modern classics like the Bramble.

The story behind the Espresso Martini's invention adds to its mystique. Legend has it that Bradsell, while working at Fred's Club in the late 1980s, was approached by a young model (rumored to be a now-famous name) who requested a drink to "wake me up and then F*** me up" With a touch of creative flair, Bradsell responded with a potent yet balanced concoction: a mix of vodka, fresh espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar, shaken to a frothy delight that became an instant sensation.

Despite the various claims to its invention, the Espresso Martini's widespread popularity and enduring legacy point to Dick Bradsell as the true pioneer behind this iconic drink.

How to Make an Espresso Martini: Mastering the Art of the Home Bartender

easy espresso martini recipe

The beauty of the Espresso Martini lies in its simplicity. With just a few readily available ingredients and a good shake, you can create a cocktail worthy of any upscale bar. Here's a step-by-step guide to becoming an Espresso Martini maestro at home:


  • 2 ounces vodka (choose your favorite brand; quality does matter!)
  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur (Kahlúa is the classic choice, but Mr. Black offers a less sweet, vodka-based option)
  • 1 ounce fresh espresso or cold brew coffee (freshly brewed espresso offers the best flavor and froth potential)
  • ½ ounce simple syrup (easily made at home by boiling equal parts sugar and water until dissolved)
  • 3 coffee beans (for garnish)


easy espresso martini recipe

  1. Gather your ingredients: Assemble your favorite vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso (or cold brew), simple syrup, a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and a chilled coupe glass.
  2. Shake it Up: Combine all ingredients except the coffee beans in your shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. This is the key step to achieving that signature frothy top – the longer you shake, the more foam you'll create.
  3. Strain and Serve: Double strain your concoction into your chilled coupe glass. This ensures a smooth texture, free of ice chips. 4. Garnish with Flair: Top your masterpiece with three coffee beans, a traditional garnish that some say represents health, wealth, and happiness.

Recipe Tips: Pro Secrets for the Perfect Espresso Martini

easy espresso recipe

  • Coffee is King (or Queen): For the best flavor and froth potential, use freshly brewed espresso. Cold brew concentrate can be used for convenience, but may result in a less foamy drink. If you don't have an espresso machine, high-quality cold brew is a perfectly acceptable alternative.
  • Temperature Matters: Ensure your espresso or cold brew is cool before adding it to the shaker with ice. Hot coffee will melt the ice too quickly, diluting your drink.
  • Sweetness to Your Taste: The ½ ounce of simple syrup adds a touch of sweetness to balance the coffee and vodka. If you prefer a less sweet drink, reduce the amount of simple syrup or omit it altogether.
  • The Power of the Shake: Don't underestimate the importance of a good shake! A vigorous shake for 30 seconds is the secret to achieving that delightful frothy layer on top of your Espresso Martini.

Frequently Asked Questions: Espresso Martini Edition

What makes an espresso martini frothy?

The secret to a frothy Espresso Martini lies in vigorously shaking the cocktail with ice. This incorporates air bubbles into the drink, creating a light and airy foam. Freshly brewed espresso, with its natural crema (the foamy layer on top), also contributes to the froth factor. If you're using cold brew, consider adding a splash of egg white (don't worry, it won't affect the taste) to the shaker for extra frothiness.

What do the three coffee beans on top mean?

While the exact origin is unclear, some believe the three coffee beans represent health, wealth, and happiness – a fitting sentiment for a delightful after-dinner drink. They also add a touch of visual intrigue and sophistication to your presentation.

Can I use something else instead of Kahlua?

Kahlúa is the traditional coffee liqueur used in Espresso Martinis, offering a rich coffee and vanilla flavor profile. However, there are substitutes! Mr. Black, a vodka-based coffee liqueur, provides a less sweet option. Tia Maria, another coffee liqueur, can also be used.

easy espresso recipe


  • For a creamier Espresso Martini, add ½ ounce of Baileys Irish Cream to the mix.
  • If you're feeling adventurous, explore upscale variations by using premium ingredients like rum or reposado tequila instead of vodka.
  • Vanilla Vodka can also be used to give the cocktail another layer of flavor

Nutritional Info (per serving)

  • Calories: 203 (depending on the sugar content of your coffee liqueur)
  • Carbohydrates: 10g (primarily from the simple syrup and coffee liqueur)
  • Fat: 0g (unless you add Baileys Irish Cream)

Remember, moderation is key! Enjoy your Espresso Martini responsibly, considering its alcohol content (approximately 26% ABV).

Conclusion: Impress Your Guests and Embrace Your Inner Mixologist

The Espresso Martini is more than just a cocktail; it's an experience. It's a chance to showcase your home bartending skills and create a delightful beverage that's both delicious and visually appealing. So ditch the crowded bar scene and gather your friends around your home bar. With a few simple ingredients and this handy guide, you can whip up a batch of impressive Espresso Martinis that will have your guests raving.

Who knows? Perhaps you'll even develop your own signature Espresso Martini variation, adding your own chapter to this delightful cocktail's intriguing story. What unique twist will you add to this classic drink?

easy espresso martini recipe

Further your bartending knowledge and explore a wider range of impressive cocktails with Barprints' extensive library of cocktail recipes and techniques. Barprints offers a variety of resources, including its highly-rated online bartending course, "Mixology Mastery," designed to transform you from a home mixologist to a cocktail connoisseur. With Barprints, you can unlock the secrets of crafting delicious and impressive drinks for any occasion, leaving your guests in awe of your newfound bartending prowess.

easy espresso martini recipe