Quick Espresso Martini (2024)

An espresso martini is a simple co*cktail made of vodka, coffee liqueur, and espresso. It’s something I love having when I need a pick me up after a long work week because of the caffeine boost and sweet coffee taste. My recipe is easy and only takes 5 minutes to make.

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Martinis are one of those co*cktails I absolutely love. I love the way they look and how simple the flavors are: a dirty martini tastes like green olives while a lemon drop martini tastes like lemon, a cosmopolitan like a cranberry co*cktail, an appletini like a green apple, and a French martini like pineapple and raspberries.

While I will usually go for a dirty martini any day of the week, I like making myself an espresso martini when I am feeling a little tired, but want to make the evening last a little longer. The caffeine and sugar kick is energizing and feels like a treat after a long day at work. My recipe only required 6 ingredients, a co*cktail shaker, and some ice cubes. Cheers!

Table of contents

  • Ingredients
  • Variations
  • Directions
  • Expert Tip
  • Storage (Make Ahead)
  • What To Serve With Espresso Martini
  • Frequently Asked Question
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  • Simple syrup: A mix of sugar and water. Both light brown sugar and granulated sugar can be used.
  • Vodka: I like using Grey Goose vodka or other types of vodkas that have a clean and smooth taste. Yes, they are on the more expensive side but also taste considerably better!
  • Coffee liqueur: Coffee liqueur is made of coffee, alcohol, and sugar. Brands like Kahlua and Tia Maria are the most popular and well known brands. But feel free to use any type of coffee liqueur that you enjoy drinking on its own.
  • Espresso: A strong shot of espresso is the best for espresso martinis. But using strong coffee also works well.
  • Ice cubes: Lots of ice cubes will be needed to fill the co*cktail shaker, chill the drink, and give it that frothy look.
  • Coffee beans: The coffee beans are optional since they are used as garnish. I personally love them because I like to chew on them while sipping my co*cktail.


  • Using other types of alcohol: The flavor will not taste like the classic co*cktail but you can certainly use other types of alcohol such as rum, gin, or tequila.
  • Using instant coffee: I actually love using instant coffee when making espresso martini, especially if I am only making one for myself! With instant coffee, it’s easy to control the amount of coffee flavor that goes into the martini.
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  1. Begin by making the simple syrup. Mix equal part water and sugar and microwave the mixture until the sugar has fully dissolved. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  2. Add all of the ingredients – except for the coffee beans – in a co*cktail shaker and fill it with ice. Put the lid on and shake for a few seconds until the co*cktail shaker is very cold and frosty.
  3. Pour the espresso martini in a martini glass and top with 3 to 5 coffee beans.

Expert Tip

  • To make it frothy: Using fresh espresso will give you the best froth, so if that part of the drink is important to you, make sure to only use freshly made espresso from an espresso maker. Otherwise, you can still achieve a good froth by shaking the shaker vigorously and for a little longer than you usually would for other types of co*cktails. When you are done pouring the espresso martini into the glass, shake the shaker to let the extra froth come out. Please note that this method will not work with instant coffee.
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Storage (Make Ahead)

Planning to serve espresso martinis at your next get together? No problem.

My suggestion is to make a very strong pot of coffee ahead of time and let it cool to room temperature. It’s best not to add ice cubes so as not to dilute the flavor (since you will be adding ice cubes later, when making the martinis). Once the coffee has cooled down, transfer it to a pitcher and chill it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

What To Serve With Espresso Martini

I don’t know about you but when I think about a coffee drink I picture myself eating something sweet or fruity. What I find pairs nicely with this particular martini are simple cakes and snacks that will not overpower the taste of the drink. Some of my favorites are:

  • Castella cake
  • Hotteok (Korean sweet pancakes)
  • Matcha mochi cookies
  • Dutch apple pie
  • Baked stuffed apple
  • Chocolate espresso cookies
  • Japanese coffee jelly
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Frequently Asked Question

Can I use dark brown sugar or honey instead of granulated sugar?

Yes you can but the overall taste of the martini will not be the same. Dark brown sugar has a deep caramel flavor while honey has floral notes, so the result will be more complex. Espresso martinis are known and loved for their pure coffee taste, so it’s up to you to decide which one you prefer.

Can I use Baileys instead of coffee liqueur?

Yes you can use Baileys if you enjoy a creamy and less intense espresso martini. Think of it as a latte martini!

Can I make espresso martinis using cold brew coffee?

Yes you can use cold brew coffee. In fact, it’s a great option since cold brew coffee tends to be less acidic and bitter than many other types of coffee.

What about a skinny espresso martini?

Yes you can make this martini, skinny! Simply swap regular coffee liqueur for sugar-free coffee liqueur, and omit the simple syrup. If you would like to add a little sweetness to it, use a little allulose sweetener, which is closer to tasting like real sugar than stevia.

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Did you like this recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!


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Classic Espresso Martini

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  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Shaking
  • Cuisine: European
  • Diet: Vegan
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Units Scale

  • 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) vodka
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoon) espresso or very strong coffee
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) coffee liqueur such as Kahlua
  • Ice cubes
  • Coffee beans, as garnish


  1. Make the sugar syrup: Mix the sugar and water in a small bowl and microwave for 10 seconds. Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved.
  2. Add ingredients to co*cktail shaker: Fill a co*cktail shaker with ice cubes and add the sugar water (simple syrup), vodka, espresso, and coffee liqueur.
  3. Shake it baby: Close with a lid and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.
  4. Serve: Pour the drink in a martini glass and top with a few coffee beans.


An espresso martini tastes best when it’s served very cold. So make sure you give that co*cktail shaker time to cool the drink before pouring it into the glass.


  • Serving Size: 1 drink
  • Calories: 201
  • Sugar: 11.7g
  • Sodium: 2.6mg
  • Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.9g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

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Quick Espresso Martini (2024)
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