Expresso Martini Recipes

cocktail recipes martini

"A thirst for a booze and wake-up cocktail is a coffee lover’s dream."

Espresso Martini is a classic super versatile cocktail. It is not a true martini as it contains neither gin nor vermouth.

It’s an easy Espresso Martini recipe of 3-ingredient cocktail, it’s spirit, espresso and your choice of coffee liqueur.

This Espresso Martini recipe makes the best aperitif cocktails for a social gathering and an equally popular after dinner drink and even doubles as dessert.

What is an Espresso Martini?

Espresso Martini is a modern coffee-flavoured cocktail made with vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur and sugar syrup (may omit). It’s ideal as a pick-me-up or after dinner drink.  This classic cocktail is served in a classy chilled V-shaped glass – martini glass and garnished with espresso beans.

The origin of Espresso Martini

In the early 80’s in London, a top model walked into famous late bartender Dick Bradsell’s bar, with a special cocktail request to have something that would wake her up.  The famous Espresso Martini was created, sophisticated and unexpectedly strong. The rest is history and today it is one of the most popular cocktails.

Which coffee liqueur is best for espresso martini?


Espresso Martini with Kahlua is a very popular cocktail.  Kahlua is a rum-based coffee-flavoured liqueur from Mexico and is the favourite choice but some tasters prefer the less sweet flavour of Tia Maria.

Espresso Martini with Kahlua recipe

Following this recipe is no brainer, it is simple.


  • 1 part Kahlua 
  • 1 part Espresso   
  • 1 part Absolut Vodka


  1. First, make the strong espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine then just make some extra strong coffee in a pot (Tip: Freshly brewed coffee).
  2. Fill a martini shaker half full of ice. Fresh from the freezer ice.
  3. Add the ingredients to the shaker and shake it briskly for like 20 seconds for optimal frothiness.
  4. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a couple espresso beans on top.

What can you use instead of Kahlua in Espresso Martini?

You can have unlimited Expresso Martini recipes with variations of Kahlua substitute.

There are both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ingredients you can substitute for Kahlua in recipes and drinks.

  • Substitute any other coffee flavoured liqueur, such as Tia Maria or Sheridan's coffee liqueur.
  • Use chocolate flavoured liqueur such as crème de cacao.
  • Add a creamy liqueur like Baileys.

For 3 non-alcoholic ingredient substitutes: 

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder, 2 tablespoons simple syrup.
  2. Use equal amounts of brewed espresso and simple syrup.
  3. Mix 1 teaspoon of instant coffee into ¼ cup of hot simple syrup. Add a drop or two of vanilla extract and stir. Allow it to cool before you use it.

No steadfast rule to Espresso Martini recipe

This classic cocktail has been around for quite some time now. While most bartenders have their own twist on how to make it, experiment as you desire.

  • Use cold brew, strong freshly brewed coffee, or instant coffee in place of espresso.
  • Use plenty of ice and shake vigorously to create a froth.
  • Strain it briskly from the shaker into a chilled martini glass.
  • Spoon extra froth on top of the martini.
  • Experiment with amounts – just like everybody likes their coffee a little different, you may prefer more or less of one ingredient or another.

An absolute treat is an Espresso Martini with topping of the froth with grated chocolate, giving a delicious mouthful of boozy chocolate.

Expresso Martini Variation

An old saying goes ‘Coffee Keeps Me Busy Until Its Time to Drink Gin’ – not anymore.

Gin Expresso Martini – “Ginspresso Martini”

The Ginspresso Martini is a pleasing gin martini recipe that adds the flavour of coffee to the cocktail through espresso vodka. It’s an exciting twist on the average espresso martini, offering a depth of flavour.

It's a fabulous alternative to sweet dessert drinks and a great way to finish up a meal.


  • 60 ml espresso vodka
  • 30 ml gin
  • 15 ml dry vermouth
  • Dash of orange bitters
  • Garnish: coffee beans / burnt orange peel


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain it briskly into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a few coffee beans or a burnt orange peel.


  • The juniper-led botanicals of a London dry gin are a great pairing for the Ginspresso Martini. Some of the softer gins can’t stand up against an espresso vodka and will have a lost highlight.

Can you stay awake with Espresso Martini?

The crafted Espresso Martini will give a stimulant of caffeine to jolt you to stay awake and make your sleep elusive. 

Espresso Martini is a cocktail that is probably better to drink earlier in the night if you plan to hit the sack early.

Espresso Martini Festival in Australia and UK

The Mr Black Espresso Martini Festival is Australia’s original festival dedicated to the worship of coffee cocktails. The celebration followed the huge success of the Espresso Martini Festival in Sydney and Melbourne in Australia – the home of Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur – and brought its spin to London where the famous late Dick Bradsell invented the Espresso Martini cocktail in Brasserie Soho in the 1980s.

How do I make my Espresso Martini frothy?

To get a very frothy top on top of your espresso martini, you need to shake, shake, shake the mixture for a few seconds past when you think your arms will fall off (minimum 20 seconds). The ice needs to near-freeze all the liquid and the ice needs to break up in the shake.

If you find that you don’t have enough froth for your liking, and can’t bear to shake it any longer, add another 15 ml each of kahlua and crème de cacao, and shake again. That should do the trick.

The popularity of the Espresso Martini keeps increasing year after year.

Espresso Martini is for people who love inventive cocktails and take their coffee seriously. Put the two together and you’ve got yourself a new drive and momentum, coffee cocktail culture.  Espresso Martini recipes packed with exciting flavours, and certain to be perfect for the evening.

Voila, indulge in the amazing flavours of Espresso Martini !