This Espresso Martini recipe combines the bold flavors from Espresso, Vodka, and Kahlúa to make the perfect cocktail!
Coffee. Vodka. Kahlúa. Yes, please! This classic Espresso Martini is so delicious and so easy to make with only three ingredients! One thing I love about this coffee cocktail is that it’s a way to add coffee to your afternoon or evening and it is something different from your morning coffee.
If you do not have an espresso maker, I would recommend purchasing this affordable Classic Stovetop Espresso Maker from Amazon. It is so easy to use and you put it right on your stovetop. In addition, it is small so it will store easily, and there are three sizes: 3-cup, 5-cup and 8-cup. This one is a 5 cup. There are a number of colors to choose from, but we love this red one, especially for making espresso martinis during the winter holidays!
While fresh espresso is the best way to make this vodka coffee drink, you can get similar results with 1 oz. of cold brew coffee concentrate.
Of course if making espresso is not your thing, you can always use pre-prepared coffee from the grocery store or local coffee shop and this will work as well for the recipe. However, to get the most flavor I do recommend making the espresso fresh at home.
How to Make an Espresso Martini
Assemble the espresso martini ingredients. For exact amounts see the recipe card below.
Cool the espresso before adding it to the shaker so that it doesn’t melt the ice and water down the overall flavor, you can put the espresso in the freezer to chill it quickly and save some time.
Pour the Vodka, Kahlua, and Espresso into a cocktail shaker over ice.
Shake, Shake, Shake.
Strain into your favorite martini glass.
Garnish with three coffee beans and enjoy!
Alternate Garnishes for your Espresso Martini
Traditionally, this coffee cocktail is garnished with 3 coffee beans, but there are some other garnishes that have been used in the cocktail. So, alternatively, you can garnish with chocolate covered bacon, coconut, coco powder, espresso powder or a cherry.
Alternate Additions to this Easy Espresso Martini Recipe
Sweetness: If you are looking to add a little bit of sweetness to this drink I would recommend adding 1 oz. of simple syrup.
Creaminess: If you’re like me then you like cream in your coffee, to keep on trend with this beverage I would recommend adding 1 oz. of Bailey’s Irish Cream for an Espresso Martini with Baileys.
Bold Coffee Flavor: If you are wanting more of the espresso and less of the liquor I would scale back the amount of Vodka and Kahlua you use and add more espresso coffee.
Desserts to Pair with this Classic Espresso Martini
When I think of this espresso martini cocktail, I think of enjoying this beverage in the evening after dinner with a delicious dessert. You can see all my dessert recipes here, but these are a few I would recommend to pair with this recipe:
History of The Espresso Martini
The Espresso Martini has a relatively short history with the drink touted to have been first created in the early eighties by London bartender Dick Bradsell. According to Dick, a famous model entered the Soho Brasserie where he was working and asked him to create a drink that would “wake me up”. As there was a coffee machine next to where Dick was serving drinks, he decided to combine the coffee with vodka.
Bradsell has also been quoted about his invention of the drink, “The coffee machine at the Soho Brasseries was right next to the station where I served drinks. It was a nightmare, as there were coffee grounds everywhere, so coffee was very much on my mind. And it was all about vodka back then – it was all people were drinking.”
Naming it the Vodka Espresso, the original recipe featured vodka, sugar syrup, two types of coffee liqueur and freshly made espresso. At that time, any cocktail served in a V-shaped glass was known as a martini, so Dick renamed it to the Espresso Martini. In 1998, Dick was working at the Pharmacy Bar in Notting Hill so renamed the drink once more to the Pharmaceutical Stimulant. The drink is now known by these three names around the world, with slight variations on the ingredients.
Check out my other ideas for Boozy Iced Coffee!
Espresso Martini Recipe
- 4 oz. Vodka
- 2 oz. Kahlua
- 2 oz. Espresso
- Optionally, chill your martini glasses in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Add the Vodka, Kahlua, and Espresso into a cocktail shaker over ice.
- Shake, Shake, Shake.
- Strain into your favorite martini glass.
- Garnish with three coffee beans and enjoy!
Enjoy Responsibly. This post and recipe are intended for those of legal drinking age.