How to Make an Espresso Martini Recipe

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PREP TIME 10 min

Cocktail Type


Great for

Dinner Party



Front view of three decadent Espresso Martini cocktails served with sweet and savory snacks

There’s nothing like a coffee cocktail for a shot of energy and the crowd-pleasing Espresso Martini is best served as a digestif or after-dinner drink due to its rich caffeine content. Our divinely simple Espresso Martini recipe makes it easy to adapt to your guests’ tastes, such as adding sweeter liqueurs like coconut or salted caramel for a more indulgent treat.




For the ultimate foamy top, make sure you shake your cocktail very vigorously!


Only use a freshly brewed espresso with all the crema, nothing else will do


Don’t let your cocktail sit for too long, the foam will start dissolving.



1 Person

2 Oz

60 Ml

2 Parts

SKYY Vodka
0.5 Oz

15 Ml

0.5 Parts

Coffee liqueur
1 Oz

30 Ml

1 Parts

Espresso, freshly brewed (or cold brew concentrate)
0.5 Oz

15 Ml

0.5 Parts

Simple syrup
To garnish, 3 coffee beans


Poster Preview Image

Add all of the liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice


Shake vigorously until chilled (this is crucial to give the cocktail it’s iconic foamy top)


Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass


Garnish with whole coffee beans, if you want, and enjoy!

What is an Espresso Martini?

Legend has it that the Espresso Martini was invented by British bartender Dick Bradsell at Fred’s Club in London. One day, a top model walked into his bar and asked for something strong for a quick wake-up. Bradsell mixed vodka, coffee liqueur, and a shot of fresh espresso, creating the perfect after-dinner drink that’s still one of our favorite types of Martinis today.

It’s typically garnished with three coffee beans atop the foam, laid out in a triangle shape to represent health, wealth, and happiness. Aw!

Making an Espresso Martini foamy

The foam is arguably the most enjoyable part of an Espresso Martini. To get the perfect foam, make sure you shake your cocktail very vigorously for at least 20 seconds, as the natural oils in the coffee must combine with the air bubbles in order to create the foam.

Another tip is to use freshly brewed espresso, including the crema (foam that comes out of the espresso machine). The quantity of coffee liqueur is also a key factor in creating an impressive foam. If, after shaking, your drink is still looking quite flat, try adding more liqueur before shaking again and it should do the trick.

Finally, don’t let your shaken cocktail sit for too long or the foam will start dissolving.

Espresso Martini Variations

The simplicity of the Espresso Martini lends itself to many tasty variations. If want a more luxurious dessert cocktail that’s sweeter and creamier, combine a Chocolate Martini with an Espresso Martini to create a Mocha Martini. For extra indulgence, choose a vanilla-flavored vodka.

You can also swap the vodka for bourbon, if you’re more of a whisky lover, or you can even swap in tequila for an unexpected twist. Adding a dash of nut liqueur, like amaretto, will enrich your drink with a flavourful aftertaste.

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Despite the prominence of the espresso component in its name, the Espresso Martini is an alcoholic drink. The main spirit is vodka or flavored vodka according to taste (for example, vanilla vodka), alongside coffee liqueur.

The secret to a perfect Espresso Martini foam is to shake, shake, and shake your mix for at least 20 seconds. The ice needs to nearly freeze all the liquids in the shaker. A second important step is not to let your drink sit around. Pour it into chilled glasses as soon as it’s been shaken to preserve all the richness of the foam.