Mastering the Art of Crafting the Perfect Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini, the iconic coffee-infused cocktail, has a history as intriguing as its flavors. Its origin story takes us back to the early 1980s in a posh London club. A young, not-yet-famous fashion model, craving a drink that would both buzz her up and keep her night going, approached a quick-thinking bartender. With a touch of inspiration, the bartender concocted a mix of freshly pulled espresso shot, vodka, coffee liqueur, and simple syrup. And with that, a star was born.

This classic cocktail, along with its captivating origin, is credited to Dick Bradsell, a mastermind of the British cocktail scene. While countries like Australia maintained their love for the Espresso Martini, it’s fascinating to see its resurgence in the United States after a period of waning popularity. Today, you can find the Espresso Martini being reinvented in numerous ways, from canned versions to nitro-infused renditions. But what lies behind the trend is a truly great cocktail, a modern classic that thrives in its original form and welcomes thoughtful adaptations.


The Espresso Martini Recipe

Espresso Martini Recipe | The Kitchn

The Espresso Martini’s original recipe, closely modeled on Bradsell’s creation, combines the rich flavors of freshly made espresso with the kick of vodka and the sweetness of coffee liqueur. Simple syrup adds the perfect touch of sweetness. However, this version brings a twist into the mix, or should we say, a zest of lemon.


  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 1 oz coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz freshly pulled espresso (cooled)
  • 0.25 oz simple syrup (adjust for sweetness)
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Espresso and lemon are known to be a delightful pairing, and by shaking the traditional Espresso Martini ingredients with a lemon peel, you introduce a subtle brightness that counters some of the coffee’s bitterness. If you don’t have access to an espresso machine or a stovetop moka pot, Cometeer’s frozen coffee capsules, thawed, make an excellent substitute.

Crafting the Perfect Espresso Martini

To craft the perfect Espresso Martini with a twist, follow these steps:

  1. Gather your ingredients – vodka, coffee liqueur, freshly made espresso, simple syrup, and a lemon peel.
  2. In a shaker, add the vodka, coffee liqueur, cooled espresso, and simple syrup.
  3. Toss in a piece of lemon peel for that citrusy zing.
  4. Fill the shaker with ice, and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  5. Strain the cocktail into a martini glass.
  6. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel for an elegant finish.

This rendition leans towards the drier side, but if you prefer a sweeter coffee cocktail, consider increasing the simple syrup to 0.5 oz.

Making Espresso Martini at Home

Espresso martini recipe | BBC Good Food

The Espresso Martini is not just a cocktail you order when you’re out on the town. You can easily master the art of making it at home. With the right ingredients and a good shaker, you can treat yourself to this coffee-infused delight whenever you desire.

In conclusion, the Espresso Martini, with its intriguing history and adaptable recipe, is a cocktail that stands the test of time. Whether you enjoy it as Dick Bradsell intended or with a twist of lemon, it’s a modern classic worth savoring.

So, why not try your hand at making this exquisite coffee-infused cocktail at home and experience the charm of the Espresso Martini for yourself?

Discovering Espresso Martini’s Unique History

What are the essential ingredients for an Espresso Martini?

Ingredients for an Espresso Martini:

To create the perfect Espresso Martini, you’ll need the following components:

  1. 2 ounces of vodka.
  2. 1/2 ounce of coffee liqueur, typically Kahlúa.
  3. 1 ounce of freshly brewed espresso (or cold brew concentrate).
  4. 1/2 ounce of simple syrup.
  5. Garnish with coffee beans.

These key ingredients come together to form the heart and soul of this iconic coffee-infused cocktail. The combination of vodka, coffee liqueur, and freshly brewed espresso is what gives the Espresso Martini its rich and invigorating flavor, balanced by a touch of sweetness from the simple syrup. The coffee beans, used as a garnish, add an extra layer of sophistication to this classic drink.

How can I make a classic Espresso Martini?

Instructions to Make a Classic Espresso Martini:

Creating the quintessential Espresso Martini is a straightforward process. Follow these steps:

  1. Brew a fresh batch of coffee and ensure it cools to room temperature.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, then combine the cooled coffee with simple syrup, Kahlúa, and vodka.
  3. Shake vigorously to create a delightful foam, then strain the mixture swiftly into a martini glass.
  4. For a finishing touch, garnish with coffee beans.
  5. Serve and savor this classic coffee-infused cocktail.

These instructions guide you through the creation of a classic Espresso Martini, known for its bold flavors and elegant presentation.

Are there any unique variations of Espresso Martini?

Exploring Unique Variations of Espresso Martini:

Diving into the world of Espresso Martini opens up a realm of creative possibilities. Here’s how you can infuse a unique twist into this classic cocktail:

  1. Swap out the vodka for rum or whiskey to create a distinct flavor profile.
  2. Experiment with various coffee liqueur flavors, from the classic to more exotic options like vanilla and cinnamon spice.
  3. Embrace the unexpected by incorporating trendy elements like the viral Parmesan cheese trend into your Espresso Martini.
  4. Get playful with textures and garnishes, especially when it comes to rimming the martini glass.

By exploring these variations, you can craft Espresso Martinis that cater to your unique tastes and preferences, making each sip an exciting and personalized experience.

What’s the history behind the Espresso Martini’s creation?

Unraveling the Espresso Martini’s Origin:

Legend has it that the Espresso Martini was born in 1983 at the skilled hands of Dick Bradsell, a renowned figure in the cocktail world. The story goes that a young aspiring supermodel approached Bradsell’s bar, seeking a drink that would invigorate her. In response, he crafted a unique concoction. This cocktail, which later became the Espresso Martini, featured a blend of vodka, sugar, coffee liqueur, and a shot of freshly pulled espresso, taken from the nearby coffee machine.

The Espresso Martini’s intriguing genesis tale not only adds to its allure but also pays homage to the creative genius of Dick Bradsell, who left an indelible mark on the cocktail scene.

What are the standards in an espresso martini?

Espresso Martini Standards Unveiled:

Curious about the alcohol content in an Espresso Martini? Typically, this captivating cocktail packs a punch, containing a combined total of 60 ml (2 oz) of vodka and Kahlúa. This equates to 2 standard drinks.

This insight into the Espresso Martini’s alcohol content provides a clear understanding of what to expect from this delightful coffee-infused libation.

What are the ingredients in espresso martini on tap?

Ingredients in Espresso Martini on Tap:

Elevate your coffee experience with the Espresso Martini on tap. This exceptional cocktail is meticulously prepared with top-quality components, ensuring a moment of true indulgence. The ingredients include:

  • Overproof craft distillery vodka.
  • Rainforest Alliance single estate coffee.
  • Hazelnut liqueur.
  • Madagascan vanilla.
  • Cane sugar.

Created by master mixologists, this Espresso Martini is a testament to the use of premium spirits and the finest ingredients, delivering a taste sensation that’s second to none.

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