How To Make An Espresso Martini

food, how to, how to make an espresso martini

Made with a short shot of freshly brewed espresso, it also requires vodka and Kahlua, a coffee liqueur, and of course plenty of ice. So grap your cocktail shaker and whip up an Espresso Martini!

Perhaps the most well-known post-dinner cocktail around, the Espresso Martini is a drink of caffeinated beauty. Combining two of our favourite things (*cough* booze and coffee *cough*) it’s no wonder we often find ourselves drinking it in place of a dessert.

What’s in an Espresso Martini?

Made with a short shot of freshly brewed espresso, it also requires vodka and Kahlúa, a coffee liqueur, and of course plenty of ice. Some people use sugar syrup, too.

Who invented the Espresso Martini?

The cold coffee flavoured cocktail was invented by bartender, Dick Bradsell, in the 1980s when someone asked for a drink that would “wake me up, then f*ck me up.” (True story).

As well as inventing the Espresso Martini, Bradsell is also known for creating the deliciously-tart, blackberry-flavoured Bramble cocktail, too.

What can you use instead of Kahlúa?

If you’ve struggled to get your hands on Kahlúa, you could pretty much use any type of coffee/chocolate flavoured liqueur instead. Don’t like the taste of Kahlúa full stop? Give Amaretto, or Creme de Cacao a go.

How do I make my Espresso Martini frothy?

The trick to a frothy cocktail is simply to shake as hard as you can. Yep — shake, shake, shake and shake some more! Even if it feels like your arm’s about to fall off… As well as a good shaking routine, make sure you’ve got plenty of ice. The ice is key in keeping your cocktail ice-cold, and will encourage that frothy head when pouring as it helps emulsify the mixture.

If you love this cocktail, then you’ve got to try our gorgeous Espresso Martini Cake, or our Espresso Martini Ice Lollies.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 23 May, 2022 to include more information about the recipe.

Yields: 1

Total Time: 5 mins


  • 50 mL


  • 30 mL

    freshly made espresso coffee

  • 20 mL



  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and vodka, espresso and Kahlua. Shake vigorously until ingredients are well combined and well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a martini glass, until froth forms nicely on the top. Balance three coffee beans on top of the froth. Serve.

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