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An Espresso Martini Recipe is such a classic – it’s the perfect after-dinner drink or drinking-in-the-afternoon cocktail. This martini combines espresso, vodka and coffee liqueur to make one of my favorite classic cocktails – it tastes AMAZING!

espresso martini in a tall clear glass with coffee beans all around the glass.

Classic Espresso Martini

I am obsessed with Espresso Martinis – I love them when we’re out for dinner or when I’m out with the girls – but did you know it’s so easy to make one at home? I consider this not just a dessert martini but a drink-anytime coffee cocktail (brunch anyone?)

This is a classic cocktail recipe said to be invented by bartender Dick Bradsell in the 1980s. Different restaurants and bartenders will make the recipe differently, whether they use fresh espresso or cold brew coffee, Kahlua or Baileys Irish Cream, a good true martini will have that signature foam on top. Calling all coffee lovers – this is the drink recipe for you – this recipe is my favorite way to make an Espresso Martini.

ingredients in espresso martini standing on a grey platform.

Ingredients Needed

  • Vodka: Use your favorite vodka, we love Tito’s.
  • Espresso: Traditionally these are made with espresso, but if you don’t have an espresso maker, use really strong coffee.
  • Coffee Liqueur: I used Kahlúa, but use whatever coffee liqueur you like best.
  • Simple Syrup: Sugar syrup is easy to make yourself (boil equal parts sugar and water, cool, store in the refrigerator), but they also sell it in the mixer aisle.

How to make Espresso Martini

  • Add shots of espresso, vodka, Kahlua, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously.
  • Strain alcohol into martini glass. Garnish with espresso beans. The drink will get darker and the foamy top will form as the drink settles.
espresso martini in a tall clear glass with coffee beans all around the glass.

Expert Tips

  • You can make this decaf if you’re worried about drinking caffeine too late – use decaf espresso, strong decaf coffee or decaf cold brew concentrate.
  • If you want a sweeter martini, you can make this recipe with vanilla vodka.
  • Don’t have a cocktail shaker? Use a mason jar with a lid.
  • Place your cocktail glass in the freezer for a few minutes before making the drink to keep it nice and cold longer.


How do you make an espresso martini frothy?

The froth comes from the vigorous shaking of the drink – so be sure to use lots of ice and shake it several times.

espresso martini in a tall clear glass with coffee beans all around the glass.

Espresso Martini Recipe

5 from 6 votes
This espresso martini is the perfect after dinner drink recipe! It mixes coffee and vodka to create this delicious masterpiece!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Yield 1 drink
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce kahlua
  • 1 ounce cooled espresso
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Coffee beans for garnish
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  • Add vodka, Kahlua, espresso, and simple syrup to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously.
  • Pour into martini glass. Garnish with coffee beans. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • You can use vanilla vodka for a sweeter cocktail.
  • If desired, add more simple syrup.
  • If you don’t have an espresso machine, make very strong brewed coffee. On a Keurig, make a 2, 4, or 6 ounce glass. You can also use decaf coffee or cold brew.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 42mg | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Drinks
Cuisine American

Variations + Substitutions

Don’t have an espresso maker? Do this instead:

  • Use cold brew coffee or cold brew concentrate.
  • Brew very strong coffee. For a pot of coffee, use the same amount you’d make for 12 cups but make it only 2 cups. For a Keurig, brew it 2 or 4 ounces per kcup.

Flavor Variations:

  • You can make this with gin or tequila instead of vodka
  • If you find espresso vodka, you can use that instead – or vanilla vodka.
  • Use Baileys in place of the coffee liquor.
  • Make a chocolate (mocha) espresso martini – I have a salted caramel mocha version that’s fantastic.

Other Martini Recipes

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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