Espresso Martini

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Learn how to make an Espresso Martini just like you’d pay $15 for at a fancy cocktail lounge. This coffee cocktail recipe will be the hit of any happy hour or party menu.

An espresso martini on a plate surrounded by espresso beans.

Espresso Martini recipes took over Instagram and TikTok in the early 2020s, but this drink trend once again proves that what’s old is new.

This smooth, creamy cocktail recipe is said to have been created by British mixologist Dick Bradsell. It was originally called the “Vodka Espresso,” later renamed to “Pharmaceutical Stimulant,” and now, the easy cocktail recipe goes by its signature and simple name: the Espresso Martini.

Featuring one part vodka, one part espresso, a splash of coffee liqueur, a dash of simple syrup for sweetness, this shaken drink recipe is garnished with espresso beans. Its speedy rise back to fame is likely due to the fact that a slew of celebrities and reality TV stars were seen sipping on the buzzy beverage…not to mention Americans’ dedication to all things coffee.

Learn how to make an Espresso Martini at home, and if you adore java in all its forms, don’t miss my Irish Coffee and Mudslide recipes, too.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for espresso martinis.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Espresso: Cold brew coffee concentrate is an excellent alternative if you don’t own an espresso machine.
  • Heavy cream: For the richest results, choose heavy cream. Light cream or half and half also work, but will give you a slightly less decadent texture due to the lower fat content.
  • Kahlúa: Or substitute any coffee-flavored liqueur such as Tia Maria or Bailey’s espresso.
  • Simple syrup: For homemade simple syrup, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove the pan from heat and allow the syrup to cool. You can also look for simple syrup in bottles at grocery and liquor stores.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a mixing glass filled with ice, add vodka, espresso, heavy cream, Kahlúa, and syrup. Cover and shake until well combined and chilled.
Making an espresso martini in glass.
  1. Strain martini mixture into a well-chilled martini glass. Garnish with coffee beans.
Making an espresso martini in glass.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: Each Espresso Martini recipe as written makes one 4-ounce cocktail.
  • Glassware: Martinis are traditionally served in a cocktail glass with a very fitting name: martini glass.
  • Big batch: To make a batch of 8 cocktails, combine 16 ounces (2 cups) vodka, 8 ounces (1 cup) espresso, and 8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream, 4 ounces (½ cup) Kahlúa, and 4 ounces (½ cup) simple syrup in a pitcher. Have ice, glassware, and coffee beans for garnish on hand so guests can help themselves.
An espresso martini on a plate surrounded by espresso beans.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make a non-alcoholic espresso martini?

Absolutely. Omit the vodka and replace the Kahlúa and cream with 3 tablespoons of Kahlúa and Crème Flavored Coffee Creamer. Non-alcoholic coffee liqueur is also available online and at some liquor stores; if you can find that, use 2 tablespoons of the NA alternative and 1 tablespoon heavy cream.

How can I garnish an Espresso Martini?

To represent health, wealth, and happiness, the trademark Espresso Martini topping is three coffee beans. Instead of, or in addition to, those beans, you could also sprinkle on chocolate curls. Or to rim the glass with chocolate shavings, first dip the martini glass in Kahlúa, then dip the glass in a shallow dish with chocolate shavings to coat.

More cocktails to try

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An espresso martini on a plate surrounded by espresso beans.

Espresso Martini

Learn how to make an Espresso Martini just like you'd pay $15 for at a fancy cocktail lounge. This coffee cocktail recipe will be the hit of any happy hour or party menu.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 1 cocktail
Course Drinks
Cuisine Russian
Calories 220
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces vodka (4 tablespoons)
  • 1 ounce freshly brewed espresso (2 tablespoons, see note 1)
  • 1 ounce heavy cream (see note 2)
  • 1/2 ounce Kahlúa (2 tablespoons, see note 3)
  • ½ ounce simple syrup (see note 4)
  • 3 coffee beans for garnish

Instructions 

  • In a mixing glass filled with ice, add vodka, espresso, heavy cream, Kahlúa, and syrup. Cover and shake until well combined and chilled.
  • Strain martini mixture into a well-chilled martini glass. Garnish with coffee beans.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Espresso: Cold brew coffee concentrate is an excellent alternative if you don’t own an espresso machine.
  2. Heavy cream: For the richest results, choose heavy cream. Light cream or half and half also work, but will give you a slightly less decadent texture due to the lower fat content.
  3. Kahlúa: Or substitute any coffee-flavored liqueur such as Tia Maria or Bailey’s espresso.
  4. Simple syrup: For homemade simple syrup, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove the pan from heat and allow the syrup to cool. You can also look for simple syrup in bottles at grocery and liquor stores.
  5. Yield: Each Espresso Martini recipe as written makes one 4-ounce cocktail.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 220kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 14mgPotassium: 42mgSugar: 17gVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

    1. Hi Jackie, thank you so much! I appreciate the comment and I’m so happy that you loved it. It’s such a tasty cocktail. Thank you again! -Meggan